Glancing down at my fresh set of nails, I was definitely in holiday mode.
My best friend Mary and I were heading to Hawaii, and I had a beautiful new set of natural-looking acrylics.
When we arrived, we headed to our car rental company and threw our suitcases in the boot.
Landing at 6am, it was too early to check into our hotel.
‘To the beach!’ we smiled.
After a short drive, we pulled into the car park and I gathered our valuables.
‘I’ll just hide them out of sight,’ I said.
But as I pulled open the glove box, the tip of my nail got caught between that and the dashboard.
Quickly, I pulled my finger away.
‘Ah!’ I shrieked in pain.
Half my nail had been
‘Are you okay?’ Mary asked.
Suddenly, a huge gush of blood poured from my finger.
‘I think I’ve done more damage than it looks,’ I said.
Grabbing the GPS, Mary found the nearest medical centre, which was just five minutes away.
There, a nurse rushed us into a room, as I held my bloody finger to my shirt.
‘We’re going to have to remove your whole nail,’ a doctor said, ‘Acrylic and real.’
Looking down, I couldn’t believe a knock in the car could cause this much trouble. My nail had split right across the middle.
With two pain relief injections into my finger, the doctor carefully sliced off my nail.
Then he wrapped it up and provided further bandages for the duration of our trip.
‘You’re free to go,’ he said.
But on our way out, the reception desk stopped us.
‘Your bill totals $800 USD [AU$1180],’ she said.
Handing over my travel insurance details, the nurse shook her head.
‘We don’t deal with them - you’ll need to pay up front and claim later on,’ she said.
It had taken less than 30 minutes and was almost $1200!
I was stunned – I couldn’t believe a broken nail would cost that!
Once I’d paid the bill, we enjoyed the rest of our holiday – me, with a very sore finger.
Back home, my nail had slowly started to grow back when I collected the mail from our letter box one day.
It was a bill for another $1000.
Emailing the medical centre, I explained that it must be a mistake as I’d already paid.
The bill has not been paid in full, they responded.
Contacting my travel insurer, 1Cover, they took the bill off my hands.
But for months, the medical centre didn’t stop emailing me about it.
I am so grateful I had travel insurance.
Without them my broken nail would have cost me $2180!
Follow Rachael's travels on @rachxomin