5 Things You Must Pack for a Medical Tourism Trip

By: Guest Author
Black doctor examining world map in office Getty Images / ©Hill Street Studios/Blend Images LLC

When you are packing for a trip, it can be tough to determine the things to take and the things to leave behind. When you are traveling for a medical procedure, it is even more vital that you pack with care. I’ve compiled a helpful list of 5 things you must pack for a medical tourism trip.

Given the stress that traveling for medical care can come with, it can become difficult to list all the essentials that you need for the entire trip. This is why you need to think with a calm and composed mind before setting off, and even plan your packing list more in advance.

This is where packing with the use of a detailed list can help tremendously. Take out your diary or notepad and write down the essential items which you need to carry during your medical tourism. You can then check off each item once you pack it in your bag.  


What is medical tourism?

Medical tourism occurs when people travel to other places to obtain medical treatment. Health care professionals also often travel to offer treatments at affordable rates in areas where this is not readily available (think Doctors Without Borders). 

Medical tourism is most common for surgeries or similar procedures, such as dental care. Almost all types of health care are available, including psychiatry, alternative medicines, convalescent care, and even burial services.

Five essentials you must carry for your medical tourism trip

Here is a detailed list of the top 5 things you need to bring for your medical tourism.

Your medical documents

Getty Images | Don Carstens

This is the number-one thing that you need to carry around on your person while on your trip. Getting your papers ready, and in order before your travel, to save you from last minute hassles or even emergencies. Medical records are a complete necessity when you are going on a trip to obtain health care, and should be on the top of your list that you have made. 

To be safe, keep some extra copies of your medical documents while you are traveling, in a separate place (for example, maybe one set of documents in your carry-on bag and another set in your suitcase or a traveling partner’s baggage). In case something is lost or damaged, you will have duplicates with you. Arrange all the essentials into a file before you leave, and keep each packet of documents together. 

Local currency

European Union banknotes spread out
Getty Images | Peter Dazeley

If you are traveling abroad, exchanging your money ahead of time will save you a lot of effort and precious time later. Ask your bank or a trusted institution if they offer money exchange services, or a referral for an institution that does. Have some small bills or change for low-cost items upon arrival, and also try to get smaller bills. 

Also, pay attention to the credit limits of your credit cards before you leave home. Plus, inform your credit card companies that you will be traveling (for how long and to what countries), so that you don’t face potential credit card blocks meant for security reasons. 


Pain relievers and other OTC medicines

Getty Images / © 2019 Grace Cary

When you are traveling elsewhere, you may not know what a hospital or a care facility will have at their disposal, or if it’s the same as what you are used to. If you don’t carry your own pain relievers and basic over-the-counter medications that might be useful, then it may be complicated for you to obtain them. 

Buy all the medicines that you might need in abundance, to make sure that you have plenty on hand. Pay attention to the expiration dates of the items as well. Don’t assume that you will be able to get all the essentials you are used to at home, especially when you are traveling to a more underdeveloped place. 

Carry comfortable clothing

Set of women's autumn, winter clothes - jeans, yellow pullover oversize, suede brown boots. Fashionable clothes for walks, flat lay
Getty Images | Anna Kurzaeva

When you are traveling elsewhere for medical treatment, one of the most important aspects to ensure is that you are comfortable; especially if you might be recuperating or in any type of discomfort or pain after a procedure. On a medical tour, you may be required to travel long distances or multiple legs. That means that you will always have to shift from one place to the other. 

If you pack tight or uncomfortable clothing, this can become a hindrance to being able to move around frequently. Loose, breathable clothing in organic and lightweight fabrics such as cotton is best. Also consider variable weather conditions, check the forecast and typical climate for your destination, and be sure to pack clothes for the appropriate conditions. You don’t have to shop for an entirely new wardrobe, especially when you are going on a medical tour and may only be in the facility or hotel. Your only aim and primary focus should be on making sure you select and pack comfortable clothing that will help you to be at ease.

Emergency contact information

Getty Images / Peter Dazeley

Make sure that you have all the emergency contacts of those people whom you can trust, both available to yourself and easily available to others should a situation arise. Be sure to have all your doctor’s names and contacts and their relevant information, which you can access anytime that you need to. Hiring a translator will also help you if you travel to a place where you don’t speak the native language. 

One more item to think about

An additional sixth item that some people may want to keep in mind, depending on their mobility, type of treatment they will receive and the destination, is a folding mobility scooter. A folding scooter comes in handy because they are straightforward to carry around, and at the same time, they can be folded into a compact form. They come with a proper headlight and chargeable port, as well.

Final thoughts

Medical tourism is growing in popularity, as medical costs rise in many parts of the world. It is a viable solution for healthcare as medical amenities are high quality, yet much more affordable, in many places of the world.