HOW MUCH SHOULD I BUDGET FOR MY MEDICAL TOURISM TRIP?
Your particular lifestyle, the medical tourism destination, and the type of medical tourism procedure you will be undergoing will dictate, to a large degree, how much money you will be spending. In general, the farther away your medical tourism destination the more you will pay for airfare. So, for example, expect to pay more if you are flying from Dallas to Bangkok, Thailand, than you would for a flight to Monterey, Mexico. At the same time you also need to take into account that some medical tourism destinations are more expensive than others. So even if a particular country is cheaper to travel to, you will need to factor in the relative cost of “living”, in comparison to another medical tourism destination.
What about your lifestyle preferences? Do you plan to stay at a five star hotel or are you comfortable “roughing” it at a local bed and breakfast? Some adventurous souls prefer to immerse themselves in the local culture and will literally live on a shoestring budget. Most everyone else though will tend to fall somewhere between the Holiday Inn and Club Med.
The type of medical tourism procedure or medical tourism treatment you are undergoing will also play a large part in your decision of where to stay and what you will do. A medical tourism patient undergoing open heart surgery or a knee replacement will require extra care and very comfortable conditions after leaving the hospital. Not the case for someone coming for a dental bridge or an eyelid lift. Wherever you decide to stay, make sure it serves your needs as a medical tourism patient.
Many of the expenses of a medical tourism trip will be the same as those of a “normal” trip or vacation. At the very minimum you will need to budget for airfare, hotel accommodations, transportation requirements and meals. Sightseeing tours and souvenirs are also a real possibility, particularly if you are traveling with a companion.
Although there are exceptions, expect to pay more if you plan to use the services of a medical tourism facilitator than you would if going at it alone. They will assist you with obtaining your passport, booking a flight, coordinating your lodging and pretty much helping you arrange every detail of your medical tourism trip (by the way, some hospitals provide these services as well). Note that most medical tourism facilitators and some international hospitals will include many of the above elements within a total package price (minus the tours and souvenirs). You will still be paying for these services but having everything packaged together will make your life much easier.