If you’re a fiend for the joy of a to-do list, then travel planning is just one big list making opportunity! But if you’re having dental treatment on the same trip, there’s other things you need to think about.
There are agencies out there that specifically deal with medical and dental overseas travel. The advantage of them is that they can co-ordinate all the services you need, from transfers to accommodation and book your appointments with accredited and reputable dentists. If you have limited time, or if you have concerns about your language skills then an agency might be something to consider.
The disadvantage is that they are likely to be committed to working with a small number of dentists that you might not choose yourself. They are likely to cost more in total – you are paying for convenience.
Regular travel insurance normally excludes medical treatment when you travel if that’s the intention of your trip; but having treatment abroad may also invalidate the travel insurance you have meaning if your luggage is lost on the way home, you might not be covered.
If you want to have dental treatment while you’re abroad, you need to make sure your travel insurance provider knows that and provides the right policy for you. Search for “medical travel insurance provider” to find insurance companies in your locale.
Planning your trip
After you decide to travel
- Start thinking about where you’ll go and check out potential travel destinations
- Begin budgeting for your trip and calculating how much you’ll need
- Think about learning the language or at least a few phrases
6 months before you travel
- Get a passport or check the validity of yours; renew if needed. Some countries require you to have a minimum of 6 months valid on your passport. Some countries won’t let you in if you have stamps from another – double check this at this stage.
- Begin researching the culture; read some good travel book reviews or travel blogs for inspiration
- Read up on travel health and research your travel vaccinations and schedule them, and don’t forget to get your vaccination certificate stamped
- Find a dentist and start the conversation about your treatment
1 month before you go
- Start making your packing lists – travel clothing, accessories, backpacking gear…
- Look into overseas money matters, like transfers, credit cards, ATM fees
- What electronic gear will you take? Phone? Laptop? How many chargers?
- Start doing the required online research for more detailed background for your trip
- Research and buy your travel insurance
- Give someone at home a power of attorney; nothing will go wrong, but precautions are always a good thing
- If you’re on medication make sure you have enough with you as well as the necessary prescriptions
Just before you go
- Photocopy your important papers; take the photocopies with you but also give someone at home a set; alternatively scan everything and put the scans on a stick you’ll take with you
- Pick up a bit of foreign currency for your first country of arrival
What to pack
There are fantastic lists out there about packing lightly, what to pack, how to pack. It all depends on the weather, and what you plan to do when you aren’t relaxing in the dentists chair.
Whatever you do bring, be it hiking boots and DEET or a bikini and a good book; here’s a few things we recommend you do take if you’re having dental treatment.
- Comfortable clothes for treatment days, or resting after
- Over the counter pain medication
- A medicated mouthwash
- Some new toothbrushes – oral hygiene needs to be your top priority!
- A book or some movies to pass the waiting time