Multi-Generational Wellness Vacations - Something to Please Everyone
Thermal waters and spa resorts differ around the world - What you should know before you go
Bathing isn't just about cleaning one's body and skin.
Many places around the world have natural assets including cold and hot springs, pools, and ocean water (thalsassotherapy) and muds used for their healing properties. The chemical composition is usually evaluated by scientific assay and then categorized into groups of therapies to "cure" (the word used in these cultures is different than how it is used in American English) certain health conditions, such as gastrointestinal and kidney problems, skin problems, lung conditions, arthritic conditions, and more. These natural assets cost very little - in some cases, they are totally without cost to gain admission to the spring or pool. You'll find these spas and resorts and the pools and springs under a variety of terms, including: Banyas in Russian, Balnearia in Spain and in Mexico, Onsen baths in Japan, and other terms throughout Eastern Europe, Asia, Northern Africa (Tunisia for example) and all across the USA. Throughout the Mediterranean, you'll also encounter hammams, where bathing rituals were (and still are) used to celebrate major life events like weddings and births. They are often separated for male and female bathers. You are expected to bring your own special "black" soap for the experience. Small personal quantities are usually available at the spa sales counter where you can also buy or rent sandals and towels.
At the Four Seasons in Morrocco, a therapist performs services with the traditional black soap treatment with a mildly exfoliating kessa glove before applying a full body wrap of ghassoul (a naturally cosmetic clay) and argan oil, along with amber oil, sugar and beeswax. The setting is a steamy marble room full of Arabian lanterns, carvings and mosaics. We can find similar service packages in Qatar, Dubai, and Tunisia quite easily.
In Japan, if you have tattoos, you cannot enter a traditional public onsen. We were explained that this is because tattoos are seen as associated with criminal behavior and is therefore off putting to many guests. The etiquette of a Japanese Onsen is quite strict. Guests are expected to sit on a stool, rinse off and shampoo their hair before entry. They are also expected to remain silent and to wash away all shampoo before entering any onsen’s waters. In an effort to remain true to tradition, the Onsen environment is kept at a natural state as possible with hot spring water heated only by nature. Surroundings, minerals, temperature and color are all aligned with nature. If the onsen is located indoors, the area is designed to use natural light and plants in a setting that is tranquil and off limits to cell phones, wifi, and other stressful implements of daily life. This includes clothes. If you see hadaka no tsukiai expect to find people naked and socializing.
Having been to many on site inspections, what we've learned is that they are different in the way the local culture uses these natural attractions and assets, and in many locations, the health services available at the bath (pulmonary, arthritis physiotherapy treatments, and skin treatments are actually paid for by the local health authority as a medical service covered by their insurance. We also learned by taking our Board of Directors to one resort that for the uninitiated, the medical part comes as a surprise to most westerners. Our Board Chair was told "please remove your clothes" for a doctor's exam before entering the pool and treatment area in Hungary so that the doctor could prescribe the course of therapy that would benefit her tennis elbow and arthritis pain she had suffered for years. He didn't explain why she needed to remove her clothes or who he was. He simply assumed she knew and expected it because it is usual and customary at most therapeutic centers to do this first, before using the facilities. The cost of the exam and prescription was 14 euros. The use of the facility was included in the all-inclusive resort package of 50 euros per night, inclusive of meals. Only additional personalized treatments were subject to additional charge (e.g. massage, lymphatic drainage, pulmonary therapy (breathing treatments,) and so forth). They were inexpensive but the massage was only a 20 minute target area massage.
Private, luxurious alternatives do exist. Many upper category hotel spas and all inclusive resorts offer both authenticity and creature comforts. We offer these on all five continents for our clients at Medical Tourism Journeys. Therapeutic sea bathing and salt air treatments are also popular around the world.
Maria Todd, Mercury Healthcare International's CEO, authored the book on developing these assets for medical tourism, so we are fortunate to have an internal expert who can help us to identify the springs, pools and resort spas that meet our rigid international criteria for Approved Provider network status. When you search for these spa resorts, you should look for the Quality Check approval seal that indicates that the resort is approved by Mercury's Network and has been inspected.
How we can help you
Medical Tourism Journeys planners customize the all-inclusive experience for individuals, couples, families and groups by selecting different levels of luxury and service to meet our clients' requirements. Those with a modest budget opt for basic packages at a lower cost, while luxury-seekers can book bigger suites and pay for added services and amenities. We tour each one before adding them as Approved Providers in our Network. They must pass our rigorous standards and criteria. our Approved Spas and Resorts include both upscale adults-only properties and family properties where travelers with children are staying.
Our clients tell us that they don't want to or don't have time to deal with the logistics of organizing a mass-scale trip or figuring out what to do if something goes wrong. Our specially-trained travel planners share their personal experiences and their resort knowledge. They leverage resort destination contacts and stay three steps ahead using experience to sidestep avoidable problems. It takes an experienced travel planner to coordinate travel logistics for health and wellness journeys, especially when the group is traveling from different locations and airports on different airlines, using frequent flyer reward miles, and need special planning for wheelchairs, strollers, and other necessities. They trust our Approved Provider choices rather than take a chance with their own research on the Internet. Our clients know that someone is on duty around the clock if there's a problem, and if they need anything, they call us. We also make arrangements with the hotel so that risks of reservations not being honored because a previous guest didn't check out don't happen. That's not something an individual traveler can do on their own. But the main thing we do at Medical Tourism Journeys is listen to what our clients want and do everything in our power to make it happen. That pays off in repeat business and excellent referrals to friends and families. Over the past 35 years, that's how we've grown our business to what it is now.
Medical Tourism Journeys offers care coordination and complete travel planning to medical, wellness, dental and pharmacy tourism destinations all over the world.
We leverage our long established history and high volumes of travel arrangements to get your discounts that aren't available at other medical tourism websites. Approved healthcare and wellness providers are coupled with Approved Hotels in our network at various destinations around the world. When you call, you can inquire about our upcoming group and private tour packages for surgery, consultations, dialysis, spa and wellness programs to appealing destinations. Then let your Medical Tourism Journey Manager® advise all your options. We never just tell you to "get your own tickets" online or through a local travel agency. We have this policy for your safety, comfort and convenience. We don't make money on air travel reservations. What you pay goes directly to the airline. But we do it because it's the right thing to do.
Medical tourism travel planning and patient movement takes specialized training.
We choose the appropriate seating, meals and make arrangements throughout your entire flight itinerary for wheelchairs, oxygen access, storage of crutches or walkers inside the cabin, avoiding stairs, and connecting from flight to flight at huge international airport hubs that may require more than a mile walk to the next gate.
Your Medical Tourism Journey Manager® briefs you on what to expect, if you should have tip money ready for assistants, and if so, how much. They also make sure you have enough time to connect to your next flight if the wheelchair assistant is late arriving to collect you when the flight arrives without expecting you do sprint to the next flight if you are temporarily incapable of that kind of activity during your post-operative period.
Contact us any time, 24 hours per day to learn more about the tours we offer throughout the world several times each year for health and wellness and pharmacy tourism.
We arrange medical tourism journeys for your convenience wither you choose to travel with a group or alone, as a couple or as a family. Your companion travelers are always welcome to join the group whether plan to visit with the doctor or just to participate on the tourist activities. Your Medical Tourism Journey Manager® will organize everything for you in advance - appointments, tours, hotels, transfers, and medical visits to the doctor and the pharmacy and an interpreter, if needed. Ask about the kinds of tour packages we offer - from sedentary to active. Many of the activities on our tours are outdoors and may include hiking, biking, riding and climbing. At seasonal destinations, skiing is also available. Please advise your Medical Tourism Journey Manager® of your preferences when you call.
Your Medical Tourism Destination Coordinator will always be nearby and accessible from the time you land until the time you are ready to board your return flight home. While in flight, our travel coordinators keep an eye on your journey itinerary to take action if you miss a flight, are delayed or something else happens that may require rebooking or re-accommodation on a different flight and a hotel booking for a long layover.
Every Approved Hotel stay includes free Wi-Fi and strong internet connections. For smaller groups and family tours, we organize luxurious, private chauffeur-driven black sedans to carry you from place to place at your destination. We also choose properties and tourism suppliers who will make you feel comfortable when you want to fall back on authentic comfort foods, native language TV and culturally aware staff to give you a break from the spectacular sights and sounds of the selected destination of your visit.
Payment for your Procedure and Medical Travel
Your Medical Tourism Journey Manager® also helps with payment arrangements. We would be pleased to verify with your insurance plan to determine in advance if your consultation with the doctor and your prescription costs (and possibly your related travel costs) will be covered by your insurance or employer. If the response is positive, your Medical Tourism Journey Manager® will obtain pre-authorization and pre-certification as may be required by your insurer. If your insurer will not cover the procedure, Approved Providers and the Approved Pharmacies accept cash, check or credit card at the time of service or purchase. Some of our US providers also participate in various financing programs - so please ask us what is available if special medical travel financing for your trip and medical procedure expenses would be helpful.
Learn more about how we can help you arrange your next medical tourism journey package. Just complete the simple form below and one of our Medical Tourism Journey Managers® will follow up with you or your loved ones to get everything arranged in short order.