Medical Tourism: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Medical tourism

For the most part, travellers are trying to stay out of a hospital whilst they’re on holidays. But across the world there is an emerging class of voyagers crossing international borders with the sole purpose of obtaining affordable medical services which can range from dental work to liposuction. The proliferation of affordable air travel, skyrocketing costs of healthcare in developed countries, extended waiting lists and strains on health services due to aging populations have all contributed to global expansion in medical tourism across the past decade. And business is booming. It’s not difficult to see why: the cost of heart bypass surgery is around $70,000 in the United States whilst the same surgery will cost just $7,000 in India — a saving of a staggering 90 percent. With rising costs of health care in developed countries, there are more and more people electing to have procedures completed abroad. But it’s not simply major invasive surgeries like gastric bypass or orthopedic operations being sought by medical tourists. There are equal numbers of people simply keen to regain their pearly white smile through laser whitening or seeking cheaper alternatives to some dermatological conditions. Here, we take a look through some of the considerations you should take into account if you are planning to hop on a plane for a nip or a tuck. Continue Reading…

Tread Lightly: How to Minimize Your Impact and Travel Responsibly

travel responsibly

With the prices of airfare as cheap as ever, there’s never been a better time to escape the rushing monotony of ‘real life’ and jet off to a tropical island paradise, climb a mountain, go on safari or explore the ruins of an ancient civilization. Every corner of the globe is so accessible that we’re spoilt for choice on where to travel: and the question of how we should travel is often not addressed. Travelling and experiencing a different culture first hand is an important way to learn more about both ourselves and the world we inhabit, but a great number of tourists and travellers tend to disregard the impact that their travels have on local environments.

The ‘travel destinations’ that we head to on holidays or for extended trips are in fact, someone’s home. The impact of what you do and how you spend your time whilst travelling is felt long after you leave, so it is important that as responsible travellers, we respect the natural and often delicate balance of the places we visit and experience.

Tourism can have incredible benefits to local communities and indeed whole countries, but this economic gain should not be at the expense of culture or environment. By embracing a few simple principles, it’s easy to experience everything that a country has to offer without having a negative impact on the communities or environment of the areas you visit, maintaining the culture and natural beauty for generations to come. Continue Reading…

How to Do Europe in Two Weeks or Less

europe

The fact is you can’t do Europe in two weeks. You can only be in Europe for two weeks, which, though it may not carry as much weight on a bucket list, is as good a way as any to spend a vacation.

And besides, vacations are for enjoying, not for checking things off lists. So before you book that Eurorail pass and start planning 15 countries in 14 days, just take a moment and think about how much fun you’re actually planning to have on this trip. Continue Reading…

How to Travel on a Budget in Paris, New York and London

travel on a budget

Paris is a fun place to spend money. But it’s no less interesting on a budget. It might be exciting to shop your face off on the Champs-Elysées, but you’ll have a much more interesting time cruising up and down the car-free, cobblestone streets of le Marais.

Of course, the same can be said of New York City and London. Many of the world’s greatest cities are best explored on foot, coffee and camera in hand (or possibly tucked into a fanny pack). In Paris you can stem your appetite for most of the day with espresso and croissants. In London you can cool it with a pint. And in New York it’s trendy to go hungry anyway. Continue Reading…

The Pros and Cons of a Chinese Medical Examination: A Light-Hearted Journey into Cultural Differences

chinese medical examination

“A smile will gain you ten more years of life.” – Chinese Proverb

China’s flirtation with an experimental blend of communist-come-capitalist society is one of the most discussed topics of the 21st century . The cultural differences between Chinese and Western society are an increasingly discussed theme in today’s academic and media landscapes and . With its increasing prominence on the global stage, this land of no-longer sleeping dragons is making people consider more and more just what and who is China?

Having recently visited Hangzhou, China for a three week period over Easter, I feel I am a little closer to answering this question. Below I will set out my recent experience of attempting to undergo medical examination in both my home country of the United Kingdom, and my chosen host country; China. Finally I hope that I will be able to add some years to your life, as the Chinese proverb that begins this essay states, as I certainly added many to mine. Continue Reading…

How to Have a Budget Holiday in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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Here’s the thing about resort towns in Mexico: it is very easy to spend money unnecessarily. In Playa del Carmen, stores like Victoria’s Secret and Forever 21 decorate the main street. From a Rolex to a year’s supply of Viagra, everything is available for the eager buyer.

What’s not immediately obvious is that almost everything is available for a discount price. (Unless you’re shopping for a Rolex watch, of course). Do your research if you don’t want to get taken for a ride.

Continue Reading…

6 of the Best Spring Destinations

spring vacation

Whether you’re interested in sport, music, nature or cultural activities, we’ve scoured the world for the best places to visit during the spring months and compiled a program of some of the greatest events and festivals to explore. Click through for six compelling reasons to book yourself a trip, enjoy everything that the season has to offer and shake off those winter blues. Continue Reading…

Packing Essentials for Your ‘Round the World Trip

packing essentials

A summer of backpacking across Eastern and Western Europe. Six months hopping from beaches to mountains to jungles in the heart of Southeast Asia. An entire year, or more, of seeing every country you can, until the budget runs out. Extended travel means different things to different people, but there is one constant – the long-term traveler must be prepared. A good toiletry bag is essential to health and happiness during your adventure. Fill it wisely. Continue Reading…

Essential Steps to Planning Your First Round the World Trip

backpacking
Close your eyes for a minute and imagine this: It’s 8 a.m. You roll to the edge of the bed and flick your eyes open. The sun is coming in full strength through the window, only it’s not your bedroom window, just a hole in the wall really, with shutters flung open and warm breeze streaming through. Possibly, there are birds singing or water lapping at a dock not far away.

Slowly it dawns on you. You don’t have to go to work. You don’t have to check your email, file any paperwork or answer any calls. Heck, you don’t even need coffee. You’ve escaped the rat race. You’re free now. The world is yours.

This could be you. Continue Reading…

Backpacking America Part 7 – New Mexico’s Aliens and the Long Ride Across Texas

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If you are reading this, then congratulations are in order because, in the virtual world at least, you have committed to covering several thousand more miles of America’s roadways over the next few weeks. So tip your cowboy hat to your partner and get ready to make for the Deep South and eventually the East Coast. America is about to get a lot greener and a lot more diverse. Continue Reading…