Preparing for your Journey
Travelling to any place requires planning, particularly if you are planning for a medical tourist destination. After completing the initial talks with your medical provider, you must finalize your travel dates.
Keep the dates flexible and include as few more possible dates for departure. If you are planning with a broker, inform the broker accordingly about your plans for departure and the total itinerary.
Planning your travel
While deciding the actual dates of travel, it is essential to check if the dates are during peak travel season or the off-season. The cost of your airline tickets and other accommodation can show a wide difference in the seasons. You have to plan to keep in mind the duration of your medical treatment and the additional recuperation period.
Again, the weather also plays a major role in deciding the comfort levels of your stay. Planning and booking tickets in advance deliver a substantial cost reduction and confirmation of your travel plans with all the concerned authorities, like medical providers, brokers, airlines, and others.
However, do not book your tickets after confirming with any single provider. Compare and check the availability and costs between providers, and thereafter, confirm the tickets for your travel. You can access information about different travel providers through many websites like Discountfares.com, hotwire.com, travelocity.com, expedia.com, airlineconsolidator.com, cheapseats.com, and others.
A passport is an essential document necessary for your travel overseas. Getting a passport could take two to six weeks if you do not have one already. Acquiring a valid passport should ideally be the first step while planning your overseas travel for medical treatments.
Different federal departments and other agencies can help you get a valid passport. You can try at the local post office or even avail passport forms online. If you already have a passport, check its validity, which is essential for the entire course of your travel aboard.
It should have a validity of ten years for traveling abroad. Always fill out your passport’s emergency information page before you start your travel. Make two copies of the passport identification page. You can leave one with the people back home and carry another with you at a different place or within another baggage.
You have to secure a visa to travel to a particular country. Different countries have different regulations for acquiring a visa to travel. Some countries allow you to visit with a Tourist Visa. Therefore, contact the relevant consular office or embassy to collect details about visa requirements.
While acquiring the visas, make sure that they cover your entire duration of stay so that you can complete your medical treatment in peace. On the precautionary side, note visa extension formalities and other related details like multiple entries or exits.
You must carry various documents and medical records overseas to the medical provider. You can carry these documents physically or put them into a digital or electronic format. You can also secure help from different websites to maintain your medical records.
Have proper insurance in place and carry along all insurance coverage details. You can also carry along your International driving permit. Additionally, carry along sufficient clothing, toiletries, and other essentials. You should have your credit and debit cards too.
How to take Precautionary Measures During Medical Tourism Trips?
It is prudence to plan for any untoward incident which could happen while you travel to your medical tourist destination. Your medical treatment could cause complications, and you might have to change your plans. This could cause a change in the costs of treatments too.
Collect details of how soon you can fly out after your treatment or operation. Additionally, find out if there is any need to take additional family members or friends for moral support. Always give out a detailed plan with all contact numbers, names, and addresses of your family and friends back home.
Carry along contact details for contacting in case of any emergency. These precautions make you feel safe while travelling to your medical tourism destination.
Legal laws differ from country to country. After deciding on the medical provider at the medical tourist destination, educate yourself on all the legal formalities and restrictions of the country you intend to visit.
While in a foreign country, you must follow local laws and regulations. Gather information about any travel warnings and public announcements too. Dealing with authorized travel and medical provider agents can help you escape grave trouble.
Also, collect information about patient protection laws. You can gather such information from the Internet. Additionally, contact your local consular office or embassy before starting. After reaching your destination, register and maintain contact with the embassy of your home country.
You should never leave your luggage without an attendant. Similarly, do not accept any packages or anything from strangers.
How to Research Medical Tourism destination?
Before embarking on your medical tourist destination, a little research into the details of the place can prove to be very useful. The basic facts about the topography of the place and the weather at the time of your visit could provide valid clues for preparing for your visit.
Further, you must research the finer details of the place. Forming an idea of the cost of possible accommodation, the best and safest places for your stay, availability of the local means of travel like buses, rental cars, and taxis with their costs, availability of proper food and drinkable water, and similar others.
While you have to stay at any particular place for a relatively long time, you should be able to mingle with the local people. Therefore, prior knowledge of the local customs and traditions and a good command of the local language can make you feel more at home.
A little command over the local language with easy fluency over the normal greetings and numbers and little knowledge of asking directions is useful for moving around in a new place. Rather the locals find it friendlier to deal with if you understand and know the language. It also helps the locals to interact and help you out better.
Also, locate the interesting tourist places in the vicinity and within your destination itself. Renowned publications offer many tourist guidebooks with maps of the region and important tourist spots.
You can also collect similar information through the Internet. Most guidebooks provide essential tips for your travel with details of budget travel, important places, means of transport, and many more.
The city’s tourist office can provide practical information about important events at your destination and the best ways of reaching there with many driving maps and similar directions.
You can also avail information on CDs and DVDs. You can purchase and look through the local publications of newspapers to check local news and details of promotions and discounts at the local dining spots and other important places. The. current news section can help you get an idea of the political and social situation in your destination place.
How to manage your Finances for Medical Tourism Trip?
Money plays an important role in materializing your medical tourism plans. You need money for every action. You incur various costs on your trip; therefore, a prior blueprint of the detailed expenditures can prove helpful.
Common costs include costs of your airport pickups, travel visas, and passport, cost of food and beverages, accommodation, correspondence costs for maintaining contact with your family and friends, and other costs of tips.
You also need to include further costs of your medications and other related costs of your recovery period. You can arrange for a broker if you cannot gather information about the different costs.
Brokers handle all the necessary logistics and prepare a fine blueprint of your estimated costs. You should provide all your trip details for brokers to devise a foolproof plan. However, get a clear idea of the brokerage you need to pay. Also, keep all details in writing to form a clear picture of the costs and money involved in your medical tourism trip.
Insurance companies may not offer full coverage of all your costs of medical tourism. Therefore, a detailed discussion with your medical insurer can give you the correct information about the insured and uninsured costs.
You can understand if the costs of your medical tourism plans are sufficiently below the costs you would incur in your home country. This can prove the worthiness of your medical tourism trip.
While finalizing payment issues with your broker or medical insurer, keep all plans in clear perception. Fix the particular payment dates and the means of payment, too, through cash or credit cards. Sometimes it could be through a single payment or instalments. Again, some brokers insist on a fifty per cent down payment to proceed with your plan.
A valid contract with a reputable broker can help you manage your finances better. Additionally, rope in the services of a tax accountant to get an idea of the tax payments you need to pay for your medical tourism.
US tax laws have different guidelines for including or excluding certain expenses like lodging, cost of meals at the medical centre, costs of meals at other places, costs of medicines purchased at your destination country, or other places.