Booking travel when unclear how long I'll be there

Posted by Aaron @ahulett, Apr 29, 2017

I’m trying to figure out how to book travel for my initial visit when I’m not sure how long I will be at the clinic. Right now my itinerary has me meeting a rheumatologist at 7:30, but nothing else yet. For the flight I plan on a fully refundable return ticket so I can move it without fees. Are hotels flexible in extending stays? Should I just book a week and a half and any extra time is vacation time?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Hello @ahulett! Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect! Great question.

We have many patients who come to Mayo with an unplanned expected iteanrry. We often suggest that a plan of 1 week allotted timeframe is feasible. Here is a link to the Mayo Clinic visitors guide

Here is another link to other conversation and accommodations at Mayo- Within this link you will see a posting for local hotels at each Mayo location. Upon booking, talk with the hotel desk service to see what their policy is about staying longer or checking out early. I know many of the Hotels in Rochester (if that’s where you are receiving care) offer discounts for Mayo Clinic patients and simply require a look at your patient itinerary.

While at any of our three locations, if you need help navigating the system just stop and ask one of our patient volunteers or employees. Everyone is so friendly and helpful! Also, remember to come back and let us know about your experience- that’s how our Mayo Clinic Connect community works- we learn from each other.


I have found the hotels in Rochester to be very flexible in terms of extending your stay. The first time I came to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, I had appointments for an MRI and a consult with an orthopedic surgeon. At the end of my first day, I had appointments for the next few days. Plan on staying at least a week and, yes, it would be good to buy a refundable airline ticket. I have also flown into Minneapolis on Southwest and taken a shuttle to Rochester. Good luck!


Hi @ahulett! I work with Concierge Services at Mayo Clinic and I would suggest if you can, to contact our department first thing Monday morning. We can help guide your travel arrangements by providing you information about lodging, flight, ground transportation and more. Typically patients do not know their departure dates and we have suggestions to help you facilitate this.

Concierge Services is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. by phone and email, 507-538-8438,

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