You may have heard the expression medical tourism bandied around many times in the past. But what actually is medical tourism? Medical tourism is going to another country to have a procedure performed at a much reduced rate than the home country. There are pros and cons to this, and you have to decide for yourself what is worth it and what isn’t. We bring you a list of some things for your consideration. 

Cost 

Generally, the foremost reason why people go with medical tourism is cost. Sometimes the difference in cost is quite amazing. For example: A dental crown in Los Angeles can cost $800 to $1,000, in the Philippines or India that will cost $100 to $150 with a western train dentist. You can still get it much cheaper than that but you’re taking a lot of risks then. You have to remember though that like anywhere in the world all doctors are different. There are dentists in the United States that are terrible and will mess your teeth up, just like there are dentists overseas that will do the same. So look at reviews and ask around. 

Elective procedures 

Most insurance in the United States does not cover elective procedures. These are things to make you feel better or look better. These procedures don’t have a life-threatening aspect to them. If you want plastic surgery, it’s going to cost you. So jumping back to our first point, cost is an issue. A good rule of thumb for elective surgery, such as liposuction, between the United States and a country such as Thailand, is you will be paying 30% of the cost that you would pay in the USA. 

Safety 

People often have worries of health safety in other countries, but if you choose a top hospital or clinic, and have checked it’s reviews, then this is usually not a problem. Many doctors and dentist are western trained. The facilities are up-to-date and clean. Medical tourism is a business, and they want to do the best they possibly can so they can get continuing business. Obviously, if you go to a smaller Hospital it will not have the same quality or level as the larger hospitals that are familiar with medical tourism. Just like the USA or anywhere, do your research. Check out the doctors and the hospitals that you will choose as you will be putting your life in their hands. 

If things go wrong 

Unfortunately, things can go wrong in any medical procedure. This is one of the main reasons that you need to do research to make sure you are selecting the best professional you can. There is not too much you can do. One of the reasons the hospitals and doctors in the USA are so expensive is the amount of insurance they carry for litigation when patients to sue them. Good luck trying to sue a doctor in india. Your choices are to fly back to the country and have them fix it, or go to a local doctor to fix it instead. Local doctors can cost you a lot more than you originally paid depending how badly things have gone wrong. It’s a gamble, but remember, things go wrong in the USA too. Do your research. 

Travel 

Depending on what procedure you will be doing, some hospitals that cater to medical tourism are like staying in a luxury hotel, with a nurse on staff to check you. Thailand has some hospitals that you would mistake for a high-level Hotel. If you can get the time off to travel and get some medical procedures done, very often the price of the whole vacation, including the travel and the medical procedure, will be half the price of the procedure alone back home. 

Medical tourism is great, as long as you understand its limits. You have to do your research like you would with any hospital or doctor back home. Check reviews, and anything anybody else says about them. You can get world class attention and medical treatment with medical tourism, as long as you do your research. In the last 10 years I don’t think we have had any dental procedures done in the United States, we have always had them done as we travel, and we have never regretted it yet. Just remember this is your life so make the effort to do the research.

We have all seen those funny movies where they make fun of the woman toting along 10 suitcases and a few steamer trunks as they travel. As funny as that seems, sometimes it feels as if we need that much space. You really don’t need to travel with all that. In fact there is a whole culture called one-baggers that only travel with one carry-on. They don’t even check a bag. This of course takes a little bit of work and planning but it is possible. 

Only what you need 

You might have to be a bit brutal in what you bring with you, and squash all those emotional feelings of things you might need. But “might use” is not the same as need. Bringing things “just in case” is how you get to those 10 suitcases and steamer trunks. How many times have you traveled and not worn things that you have brought with you? So bring just what you need, and be honest with yourself. 

Carry-on bag 

A good carry-on bag can make all the difference. Things have changed in recent years, and weight has become more important. So choose a very lightweight bag and you can carry more. Although a backpack is not the most stylish thing in the world, you can pick one that looks good and will fit in the overhead compartment as a carry on. Just make sure that you keep the weight down and you don’t go oversized. We tend to avoid wheelie bags, as they are just extra weight we can use. 

Wear the heaviest pieces 

When you travel, it’s a good idea to wear the heaviest items you have. As a silly example,if you are going to go hiking on your trip, wear the hiking boots on the plane and not pack them in your luggage. You may want to wear those lightweight slip-ons while you travel, but you will end up paying a lot more money for the extra weight of those hiking boots in your bag. Wear that heavy shirt and coat and fill the pockets with anything else heavy that you can find in your bag. You can always move it back into your bag later on. 

Multi-use 

There are certain things every woman should have when she travels. Sarongs and scarves are two of the most important. You can use them for almost anything. You can wear them as a wrap from the beach, or you can use them to dress up an outfit for going out on the town. A nice sarong can even replace the little black dress. There are many sites online that will show you how to tie a sarong into a multitude of different types of dresses. 

Shoes 

Okay, here’s where most women fail. Take two pairs of shoes only. If you have a very small pair of sandals you might be able to squeak three pairs of shoes. Take one set of shoes for casual walking around, and one set of shoes for the evening if you plan on going out. Sandals will be an easy backup that can be used for both. Again, avoid the Trap of you “might” wear them. 

Matching colors 

Make sure that everything you bring can be worn with everything else you bring. Stick to a basic color set, and use the scarves for the different flashes of color. You can boast a new look every day with only a few pieces of clothing if they are all complementary. 

Give and take 

Buy things when you are there that you don’t need to bring, such as shampoo, or toothpaste, or half the things you bring with you. If you need a hat, buy one when you are there, it will give you the benefit of making you look more like a local (depending what you buy) and when you leave? give the hat away or wear it on the plane. Point is, don’t get attached; buy things there as you need them instead of toting all that extra weight with you. 

A woman can travel light, even if she won’t admit it to herself, it just takes a bit of ingenuity and forethought. Hard to imagine, but you can travel to exotic locations with just a carry on, imagine that? No waiting for checked bags, or the hassle of the anchors (as we call full size luggage) as you move from one location to another. We have managed to get almost everything we need into a 25 Liter backpack, though it did take us some time to get it down to the essentials over the years, but honestly? We would never travel with full size luggage ever again. Go for it girl