Taking a child on a medical tourism vacation, on the other hand, is usually not a good idea.Â Unless your kids are the ones who will be receiving medical treatment, we strongly advise you to leave them at home.Â We understand that each familyâ€™s situation is slightly different, and only you can determine what is best for your kids.Â Weâ€™ve created this section, however, because enough readers requested literature on traveling with infants to adolescents.
Our stance on medical tourism & children is fairly uncompromising.Â Don't Do It Unless You Must!Â Taking your children is a decision that will likely lead to more stress.Â Youâ€™ll already have so much to think about, so why would you add more variables to the mix?Â
If, after reading all of our warnings, you still insist on traveling with your kids, we offer a list of online resources that can better address specific travel, safety, and leisure concerns.Â If you would like to jump ahead to that section now, simply click here.Â
Planning for a normal family vacation is not without its headaches.Â In fact, many would agree that itâ€™s a logistical nightmare.Â This â€śnightmareâ€ť only becomes more pronounced when the primary purpose of your trip is to receive medical attention.Â For in addition to travel plans, itineraries, accommodations, and sightseeing, you also have to worry about accreditation, inoculations, malpractice & liability, legal forms, medical insurance, and other healthcare-related issues.Â
Despite clever marketing and attractive ad copy, medical tourism vacations are not usually trips of pure leisure.Â They can certainly be enjoyable (don't get us wrong).Â But because the primary focus is on health and safety, the leisure aspects are secondary.Â Sightseeing, relaxing on the beach, shopping; these are all simply bonuses.Â The bulk of your time and attention will be focused on medical concerns.Â This is why managing children can be such a logistical nightmare.
If this is not enough to convince you, weâ€™ve provided 4 more reasons why you should leave your kids at home:Â
1.Â Family Travel Is Expensive
The added costs of air fare, hotel accommodations, food, visas, inoculations, souvenirs, entertainment, and miscellaneous travel expenses will quickly eat away at what could and should be an affordable alternative to domestic healthcare.Â Â
If at all possible, leave your kids with close family members or friends.Â You could also hire a short-term babysitter or au pair.Â Â Even if you have to pay top dollar for 10 or 20 days of professional childcare, the total bill will likely be cheaper than all of the added travel costs mentioned above.
2.Â Safety Concerns
We realize that all of the above concerns apply whether youâ€™re taking children on a normal vacation or a medical vacation.Â The difference, however, is that with a medical vacation, you might be out of commission for long stretches of time.Â Â
What if you go under the knife and have to be anesthetized?Â What if youâ€™re incapacitated, groggy, or immobile for several days after your operation?Â Who will handle your kids then?
3.Â Difficult to Relax & Recuperate
Youâ€™ve just undergone three hours of surgery, your body is sore, and the doctor has advised that you get plenty of rest and relaxation before heading back home.Â Do you really want to deal with any of the following:Â
Why is there no HBO?
Randy hit me Mommy.Â Make him stop.
Pad Thai?Â I want a cheeseburger, and I want it now!
This is boring.
Why canâ€™t I go out and play?
Any parent who has ever had the flu knows all too well that itâ€™s very difficult to recover from illness or injury while taking care of kids.Â But when youâ€™re abroad, you canâ€™t always expect a TV, PlayStation, or school bus to provide you with temporary relief.Â In most cases, you canâ€™t even send kids to their room.Â They'll be right there with you, 24/7.
4.Â Itâ€™s Not Fair to Them
Kids need constant stimulation, structured activities, manageable challenges, and constant supervision.Â Given the very nature of medical tourism, it is extremely difficult to provide children with all of the attention they need to remain entertained and safe.Â Much of your attention will be on your own medical needs.Â
If you are absolutely determined to take your kids abroad, do so at a time when you can truly focus on all of their needs and wants.
We recognize that leaving your children at home is not always an option.Â Perhaps you canâ€™t find a suitable babysitter.Â Maybe your child is the one who requires medical care.Â Or perhaps the thought of being away from your children is so unbearable that the reasons weâ€™ve already listed are not enough to sway you.Â Â
If any of these is the case, we strongly urge you to read over all of our Travel Safety Tips.Â Although guidelines were designed primarily for adult travelers, they still apply to minors.Â In reviewing these Travel Safety Tips, make sure that your children understand the potential danger and possible setbacks associated with international travel.Â Thereafter, we invite you to review the following links which deal more specifically with international travel for families.Â
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