I know how I felt when I needed information for the first time in 2008 when I flew to San Jose, Costa Rica, to get work done on my teeth.
I developed ideas and put them down here for you to peruse. I trust that you will agree that with these points one would feel much more prepared and comfortable on a first, and even a second visit to the clinic in San Jose.
Here read this:
Here is the US State Department’s web site: https://www.state.gov/ When you open it, look at its menu bar for the SECRETARY OF STATE button. Click on it and see what our State Department offers its citizens while traveling overseas. I tell you, it IS a great web site full of excellent information. You can also [ if you create an account ] login and then inform the State Department by entering the time period that you will be in Costa Rica, your contact information, your telephone number, etc. It's for your protection. I did and do this every time I go overseas.
Here are two web sites I like.
1.] About Costa Rica, The Costa Rica Travel Guide Here
2.] Costa Rica Tourism Official Website. Hotels, travel agencies, car rental and tours Here
It takes a bit of time to download…. be patient.
Here are some suggestions that I follow, and that you may find useful:
** Make a paper copy of your passport and keep that copy with you when you walk around
San Jose. Take a picture of the photo page of your passport with your smart phone. Keep it.
** Keep your original passport in the hotel room's safe [ Casa Marco and the SKY hotels have a safe box in the room ] If not ask at the front Desk of Casa Marco. Put the passport and valuables in an envelope, seal it,write your name on it, and have it deposited in the hotel’s safe.
** Call your credit card company - of the credit card/s you'll be taking with you - to inform them of the day you leave, and the day you are back. Ask them to NOT BLOCK your card or cards. If you intend to pay the Cavallini clinic with a credit card, that's good, but check first that the cost of dentist does not exceed the credit card’s limit. Use a credit card that will give you mileage points. If one credit card limit is not enough, take another card with you.
** If you intend to pay in cash for most of your dental work, then ask Dr. Marco if he will consider giving you a discount. Never hurts to ask. Remember, the clinic needs to pay a fee when you use a credit card, so cash might be an option in your favor.
** Check with your HMO or your health care provider what documents you need to get filled out at a doctor or hospital should you need to be treated overseas.
** Make sure before you leave that you get a clear and detailed bill for all the dental work that you received, and also a SEPARATE detailed bill for the Casa Marco or Sky hotel stay at, or any other hotel of your choice. Make SURE, that the dates are CORRECT on the bill.
Tell Ana [ she's the one who will take your money ] to write the details of the work done on your mouth in ENGLISH!!! I believe that it is allowed to deduct the the costs of the flights, the dentist bill, and the hotel bill when you prepare your tax returns. I believe that food bills are also deductible. In any event, check with your CPA, or your tax preparer.
** I bank with Bank of America, and online I order about $200 worth of Colons, the currency of Costa Rica, so that I will have money on me when I arrive. Within 2 days from ordering the Colons, the Colons arrive in my mail box. Fabulous
** Take a picture of the suitcases you intend to check in at the airport. In case the suitcases get lost. If you have a picture of what was lost, it will be very helpful both for you and to the airline representative when you are at the counter declaring your loss.
** To withdraw money [ paper money ] from an ATM, walk up the street from the clinic to Paseo Colon. Turn left and walk a block or so to the Scotia Bank. This bank has a room with 2 ATM machines. Insert your card into the ATM, punch in your PIN, and select ENGLISH as the language that will direct your transaction. You can ONLY withdraw $400 worth per transaction. You need more, then quit the first transaction, login again and pull some more $$'s or Colons. Keep the receipts for your record. The street side glass door to this ATM room has a small box on the side of the door where you need to slide your bank or credit card through to gain access to the ATM room.
** here's a picture of the Scotia Bank:
See the purple canopy at the street level of the building? Well, that's the door to
the ATM room.
** Make sure to arrange a ride to the San Jose airport days in advance of your departure. Check one day before you depart that your reservation is confirmed. Be at the airport ready to check in about 1.5 hours before departure; you will need to fill out an exit form at the airport BEFORE you proceed to the check in counter.
** Have your pain pills with you BEFORE your surgery. Take two pills as you get up from the dentist's chair, repeat in 3 hours or so, and then see if you still need pain pills. The clinic's pharmacy is upstairs. Ask.
** Make sure that the clinic's administration has your correct e-mail address before you leave, and request that the clinic email you the first set of x-rays taken, and the last set of x-rays when you are done. You pay for these x-rays, and you may need them back home when you come back. In case you need to see a dentist at home, it will be good to have those x-rays. You will need to Forward email these x-rays to your dentist. I highly recommend that you keep a diary of the work that was done. Date it, and do it every day right after your visit.
** I Suggest that you check before your leave home what the telephone number is of your airline in San Jose, so that should you need to make any modification to your departure date, you have that telephone number handy.
Remember that if your dentist's appointment is at 9:30 AM you will have to wait to be seated for quite a while. Bring your smart phone and or your iPad with you. The waiting areas of the clinic have WiFi, as well as the hotel rooms.
Also, insist that either Dr. Marco Peralta, or his father Dr. Cavallini preforms the surgery.
I trust that these pointers are helpful. Contact me with any questions. I am here to help.
thanks, Michael Sachs
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