The recent volcano and resulting travel nightmares emphasizes the importance of having contingency plans – particularly when traveling for medical treatments. Those safeguards and contingency plans will help make things easier if you are stranded by a volcano, hurricane or some other “made for TV” worthy travel horror story.
Probably one of the most important things to realize when traveling for IVF is that our bodies don’t always work on schedule – so I suggest planning a few buffer days near your clinic on either side of your treatment.
For example, when my client/patients are planning their travel to Europe, I suggest they arrive 2 days prior to treatment, and leave 2 days after the latest likely transfer date (usually based on a 5 day transfer). That provides a little buffer for recovering from travel hiccups. I recently have had two clients on their way to treatment who were bumped from or missed connections that resulted in them arriving at the clinic a full day late – which could have been a disaster if they hadn’t planned the buffer days. I think it is especially important if you are traveling from the US to Europe, since often there is only one flight per day.
While I am not always a big advocate for travel insurance, it does provide some relief if things go awry. Just make sure to check the fine print and see what circumstances are covered and what is excluded. Many travelers affected by this Iceland Volcano (whose name no one can pronounce) are just now reading the fine print to see if their travel insurance carrier will cover their hotels and expenses until they can get a flight home. Without the coverage, you could be faced with thousands of dollars of unexpected expenses. Most travel insurance seems to be covering the current volcano situation, but not all of them, so make sure you check the fine print before you buy your coverage.
Usually you want to buy the trip insurance close to the time you book your trip to get the most coverage. Travel insurance companies won’t cover something that already happened – so that flight you just booked to Europe next week would likely not be covered for delays from the volcano if you bought the insurance after the volcano erupted.
You may also want to check into a “cancel for any reason” rider. You will definitely pay extra for it, but that will help you if it turns out your period shows up late or some other circumstances arise to delay or cancel your cycle that just wouldn’t otherwise be covered by the “medical emergency” coverage of a standard travel insurance policy. There are special travel insurance plans for medical tourism, but to date they seem to be so expensive that they probably wouldn’t be cost justified for a regular IVF cycle. Perhaps that will change as medical tourism increases.
More thoughts on travel safeguards tomorrow.