A Must-Read for British Expats – Top Destinations for British Expatriates in Europe

This is for British expats who are looking for great European destinations to travel, work, or live for retirement. For those who have been living abroad for so long, retiring to a place where you and your family will feel comfortable is the ultimate satisfaction or simply travelling and spending some time in another country for a vacation is an excellent way to relax and enjoy.

Europe is a favorite retirement destination of American and British expats simply because it is where the most amazing landscapes and spectacular beaches are, no matter how expensive life there can be. Seven of the most loved destinations are Austria, Italy, France, Malta, Monaco, Spain, and Switzerland. Retiring in a foreign country, especially in some European countries, retirees have to make sure that they have sufficient funds in their bank accounts.

Living abroad for a number of years make most people think that they are used to the climate and the culture of other countries. However, it still pays to research about the country one intends to settle in, especially if you haven’t been to the country you plan to retire. Aside from familiarizing with the climate, culture, the place, and the people, it is also important to know more about a country’s expatriate health insurance policies, the cost of living, health and medical benefits, etc.

One of the top European destinations for expats is Switzerland. While it is known to have the most expensive cost of living, Switzerland is also a world-renowned retirement destination because of the low taxes, the most comprehensive expatriate health insurance, healthcare, and transportation amenities, plus it has the most scenic mountainous landscapes and lakes.

Austria, located in central Europe is another country popular among tourist. It is often referred to as the Swiss Alternative because the standard of living is not as expensive as Switzerland. Its capital, Vienna is one of the most beautiful places in the country.

Italy, with its breathtaking landscapes, beautiful beaches, and scenic countryside, is another good expat destination. If you have been living abroad, working, and you only got to spend time in the city, you will love staying in Italy for some laidback living experience.

Spain has the most amazing beaches and wonderful snowy mountains with the most perfect weather. Expatriate health insurance benefits are also good in this country. This is a favorite retirement destination for a lot of British and American retirees.

Malta is becoming a new favorite for its tropical Mediterranean climate with the most beautiful beaches.

British expats like you have a lot European destinations to choose from so start your own research now.

Top 4 Latin America Medical Tourism Destinations

We are going to take a quick look at four countries, scattered across the Latin America, which make up some of the primary destinations for Medical Tourism. In this way, you can gather a basic picture of what is available on the international scene. You need much more information than is provided here to make a decision, but here is your starting point.

Brazil

Brazil, once known mainly for its international practice in plastic surgery, is now actively seeking a wider role in Medical Tourism. More medical facilities have been accredited by the JCI in Brazil than in any country other than the United States and Singapore. In 2005, nearly 50,000 medical tourists visited Brazil – a number that is growing rapidly. Portuguese-speaking Brazil has quite a European feel, with about half of the population having primarily European roots. Medical costs in Brazil are about half of those found in the United States – not the least expensive, but Brazil does have active legal protection against malpractice and fraud. The standard and style of care are quite similar to that encountered in Western facilities, with several hospitals in Sao Paolo being considered among the world’s finest. Brazil requires visas for American visitors as reciprocation for the US requirement that Brazilian tourists have visas.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica, the only Latin American country counted among the world’s 22 older democracies, has been a popular Medical Tourism destination for cosmetic surgery and dental care for the United States, attracting over 20,000 medical tourists each year to Central America. San Jose is gaining favor as a destination for more intensive medical care, having 6 private hospitals (3 of which have JCI accreditation) and 22 public hospitals. The cost of medical procedures and aftercare services are about 30-40% of US prices. The largely volcanic geography lends to a marvelous ecotourism experience. No visas are required for stays up to 90 days.

Mexico

The proximity of Mexico to the United States makes it a primary destination for Medical Tourism, even though the costs are not as low as are found elsewhere in the world. Dental care is a major goal, as most procedures can be accomplished during a day trip just across the border. Medical costs are generally 25-35% of the equivalent US costs. Although Mexico’s laws make bring suit for malpractice extraordinarily difficult, about 90% report that the care received in Mexico was good or excellent – a better report than received by the American health system! The close integration of the border region economies makes determination of the number of Americans seeking medical treatment in Mexico difficult, but it is clear that the number is in the millions and growing rapidly.

Panama

Panama has remarkable tourist attractions, a thoroughly Americanized culture and economy, and has the safest and most modern capital city in Central America. Given the proximity to the United States, it is not surprising that the role of Panama as a Medical Tourism destination is rapidly growing. English is widely spoken, and Panama’s doctors are largely US-trained. At present, only a few thousand medical tourists visit Panama per year, partially because the medical costs are relatively high for a Medical Tourism destination – about 50% of US rates. However, the lack of culture shock in the Medical Tourism experience is worth the additional expense to a growing number of international patients.

Health and Fitness Spas in South Africa

Unique health spa destination

Why is a South Africa spa experience so relaxing and effective is the fact many of the luxury city chic spas are located in some of the most magnificent natural environment on the planet. Several overlook tinkling streams, ocean seascapes and mountain vistas while others are placed in mystical man-made grottos, hewn and crafted from the mountain side!

South Africa health spas aren’t limited to the large city centres. Most of the rural holiday destinations offer wellness, well being and vitality as an extra allure to the more tried and tested facilities, points of interest and activities. The Cape Winelands, the Midlands of Kwa-Zulu Natal, the Garden Route and South Africa’s bush are visitor ‘hang-outs’ with spectacular health spas on tap.

Golf estate health spas

Golf in South Africa yearly draws in thousands of visitors from all over the globe and most of the perfect golf locations in South Africa have luxury spas on the property, providing visitors a well-earned respite from the travails and challenges of the course.

The glistening Garden Route venue of the Presidents Cup, Fancourt Resort, Country Club and Golf Estate includes a health spa dominated by a heated Roman Bath with spectacular views of the Outeniqua Mountains whereas Pezula, Arabella, Erinvale, Selborne and Pearl Valley, all situated in popular tourist destinations, are but a handful of golfing locations in South Africa which offer indulging health spa treatments as a welcome addition to the general golfing experience.

Bush spas

Southern Africa is a renowned big game safari destination there are a large number of privately owned games reserves, national parks and animal sanctuaries providing a perfect bush encounter.

In an effort to stay competitively priced, numerous top-end luxury game lodges have secluded and remote wilderness bush spas presenting a range of health spa remedies as an extra attraction of a Big 5 safari bundle.

Etali Lodge in Madikwe offers mini-spa treatments, whereas the Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve in the Cedarberg, the Falaza Game Reserve in Hluhluwe and the Sabi Sands Earth Lodge all possess magnificent spas situated in the tranquillity of the Africa bush!

Arranging a luxury spa holiday in South Africa

Tourists who wish to mix a perennial South Africa holiday experience with wellness, well being and vitality can do so with ease. Online South African booking websites provide entries of accommodation that offer refreshing health spa treatments in spectacular surroundings.

Source a stylish inner-city hotel, luxury game lodge or top-end golf estate with health spa amenities anywhere in the country from the comfort of your office or living room and then book an unforgettable luxury South African spa holiday today!

Spa Hotels and Resorts – Ultimate Wellness Destinations

The emergence of spas is not recent. Earlier spas were located near a natural spring offering holistic wellness treatment to the visiting public. The term is more than often referred in conjunction with healing and curing than wellness. Spas got a make over from the Roman royals. They developed spas with a touch of class and a feel of luxury. In fact, they started using spas more or less like wellness centres, soaking in spring water, taking steam or hot air bath in a marble clad chamber, giving the body the luxury of soft massage, taking a cool dip in spring water and finishing with a relaxing drink.

Present day hectic pace of life, a busy social lifestyle of the lap top carrying corporate executives has created a profitable business opportunity for the hospitality industry – wellness travel. The concept of wellness is quite different than curative or medical travel. Wellness is for healthy people wanting to live healthier, whereas medical travel is for patients wanting to get well. This fine distinction makes wellness travel or spa tourism an interesting marketing proposition.

The term spa is derived from its Latin origin – salus per aquam, literally translating as water gifted health. No wonder then that the earlier wellness spots were located near natural springs as aqua therapy is considered mother of all detox therapies. The German health destinations like Baden Baden and Bad Neunehar, to name a few, have the prefix Bad, meaning spa or literally bath. Spa hotels and resorts today offer holistic wellness, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual in luxurious surroundings and atmosphere.

According to the first ever spa report published by Christine Tetreault at the 2008 Global Spa Summit in New York, the global spa economy stood at US$ 250 billion. This confirms the fact that the economic slow down had no impact on wellness business.

Spa business has come of age generating employment opportunities by millions. It has become very focused, specialised and professional. Spas can be classified into three categories – the day spa, offering a specific therapy, destination spa- as the name suggests, these are spas where guests stay, get healthier, have an entertaining time as the spa offers a whole range of body pampering treatments and therapies, and finally the medical spas which are more on clinical and medicine based treatments. The industry thrives on day spas in the city hotels and destination spas in resort hotels.

Spa planning for a luxury city hotel and a spa resort is a very complex exercise. Since wellness is the main marketing tool, the planning and implementing team must be fully aware of various processes and procedures, the flow of activity, space planning, knowledge of latest spa, gym and therapy equipments, technology, lay outs etc. The spa planning and executing team normally consists of a technical resource, interior decorator and the facility planner.

Staff in a spa plays an important role. They are educated and well trained in various therapies, processes and operations. These include massages – Swedish, Thai, deep tissue etc, water therapies like flotation, water dance, Jacuzzi etc. Most spas offer yoga sessions and various alternate therapies like Chinese, Egyptian and many more.

Wellness being the focus of the entire concept, beauty therapies become an integral part of a spa. These are available for both men and women. The beauty segment includes areas like hair, facial and body treatments. Food and nutrition counselling is part of spa management for the resident and day spa users.

A well-planned spa hotel or a spa resort has all the essentials of a luxury city hotel or a luxury resort hotel. Wellness becomes the core activity for the guests as well as the management. Well appointed guest rooms, state of the art fitted bath rooms, a wow lobby, gourmet restaurants, bars, discotheque, lounges, business centre, swimming pool and sports complex etc make the product complete.

As we look ahead, we must remember that enjoying good health and well being is the most desired wish of humans, the demand for a luxury, upscale spa hotel or spa resort will always remain high, it is an evergreen business niche. Forget get well! Keep well! is the mantra for a beautiful and enjoyable life.
You have permission to publish this article without any change what so ever electronically, in print, in your e-book, or on your web site, free of charge, as long as the author by-lines are included.