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Travel and accommodation

Coming to the UK from the US is far less of a culture change compared to travelling to Thailand or India. The weather may not always be as good, but there is no language barrier and getting around, finding accommodation and discussing your health with the health professionals who will be caring for you will be straightforward.

Most people who opt for medical tourism choose to travel with a friend, relative or partner; during the time you are in hospital they will need somewhere to stay and it is a good idea for them to have some activities lined up to keep them occupied when not visiting you.

Travelling to the UK

Travel agents in the US and online offer cheap air tickets to most of the major airports in the UK. If your treatment is at a London hospital, the major destination airports are Heathrow and Gatwick, both of which are a good distance from central London. You can take a taxi to where you are staying before your hospital admission or appointments and this is the best option if you have a lot of luggage or have difficulty walking. If you are mobile and travel light, the high speed train links and tube provide a much cheaper alternative.

Booking a flight to an airport near to your hospital, if it is outside London, can save you travelling from London to your final destination by car or by train. The private hospitals you contact during your search for treatment can all provide information on location and local travel details.

A Medical Tourism Vacation

If you are want to combine your medical treatment with a vacation in the UK, your options will depend on what treatment you are having. If you are mobile during your recovery, you may want to spend a few days close to the hospital and then head further away to see the Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District, or to explore the coasts of Scotland or Wales. If your treatment is outside London, you could decide to travel to the capital to visit galleries and museums and savour the delights of the West End.

Medical Travel Health Insurance

Although coming to the UK for medical treatment will not be covered by any medical insurance you have in the US, it is important to get adequate travel health insurance for your trip. Ordinary travel insurance is not suitable – and insurers may well decide not to pay out for something unconnected with your treatment if they discover that the reason for your trip is medical tourism.

Accommodation in the UK

If you are having surgery or a procedure that requires you to stay in hospital for several days, you may need accommodation only for a few days at either end of your stay. Someone travelling with you will need accommodation for the duration of the visit – and will need somewhere close to the hospital so that they can visit easily. London, other major cities and more rural locations have a range of options to suit all budgets:

  • Hotels range in price from 5* hotels in central London, including Spa hotels, through smaller but still luxurious boutique hotels to budget chain hotels such as Premier Inn and privately run smaller hotels.
  • Bed and breakfast – these are more common out of London, and can be a pleasant alternative. Rural B&Bs offer a room with breakfast, and the setting can be anything from an ordinary private house to a stately home or castle.
  • Serviced apartments – the privacy of an apartment but with maid service and room service in some cases.
  • Self catering apartments and cottages – a good option if you are staying near to a rural or scenic area. Having treatment at the Christie Hospital in Manchester, for example, could be followed by a restful break in the nearby Lake District.

Any good travel agent in the US will be able to find out about alternatives available near to the hospital you have chosen.