Looking for a travel assistance provider? Here’s an objective review of the top travel assistance companies
Published on October 30th, 2023 in Comparison, Travel Assistance
Exploring a new country or hitting the open road offer a unique blend of fun, anticipation, and excitement.
For smart travelers, it’s essential to consider the unexpected twists and turns that can arise while on the road before you depart. That’s where travel assistance providers come into play, offering a safety net for travelers when emergencies strike.
Whether you’re a globetrotter seeking support for unplanned emergencies or a cautious traveler keen on understanding your options, we’ve got you covered. We’ll navigate the types of services offered by various travel assistance providers, dissecting their strengths, weaknesses, and unique features.
In this post we’ll break down the top travel assistance providers in terms of company specialties, situations they’re best suited for, and pricing.
But before we get to the rankings, let’s cover a bit of background on the topic.
What is a travel assistance company?
A travel assistance company, also known as a travel assistance provider, offers various services to its members while they travel. Examples of services provided include emergency medical evacuation, nurse escorts, transportation home, luggage/document replacement assistance, and many more.
The price of travel assistance, as well as the scope of services, varies greatly between providers.
Things to look for in a travel assistance company
Before you start comparing the details of the travel assistance providers you’re evaluating, it’s important to understand a few key things to look for.
Scope of services
You’ll need to look at what exactly each company offers and compare that to what you may need.
For instance, in the list below you’ll see that most travel assistance providers offer medical evacuation, but few offer field rescue. Another example of a service category is travel assistance services such as help with lost luggage/documents, translation, destination intelligence, etc. Some companies provide this, while others offer only medical services.
Many travel assistance companies have restrictions in place for who can obtain protection, as well as where and when you can use it.
For example, Medjet Assist (a great company and on our list below!) doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions if you’re over 75, and you also need to be more than 150 miles away from your home to activate services.
Note: We actually have a separate article that compares Medjet Assist services to EA+ in greater detail.
Pricing and plans
Of course, each travel assistance provider is priced differently. Some have flat-rate pricing that is very straightforward like Emergency Assistance Plus, while others have a plethora of options you can select that will affect your price.
With that said, let’s get into the list of the four best travel assistance companies.
The 4 best travel assistance companies
Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) is the premiere option for travel assistance for both individuals and families for a few reasons.
The first standout feature EA+ offers its members is the breadth of services. From emergency medical evacuations to nurse escorts to help with your pets, EA+ offers comprehensive protection for you and your family.
EA+ offers two plans to help protect you and your family while traveling. The documents below list every available service EA+ has to offer: (the links below will open as a PDF):
Another feature that EA+ members love is the lack of restrictions. There are no age limits and no medical exams required to obtain protection. Additionally, there are no restrictions for trip duration or annual trip volume. Travel as often as you’d like to wherever you’d like, the sky’s the limit*. With the exception of Washington residents (who must be at least 100 miles from home), there are no restrictions on distance.
*Note: There are certain circumstances in which a particular country may not be eligible for services from EA+, for example if the country is an active war zone. More info here.
Lastly, EA+ offers unrivaled support for travel companions. Most travel assistance companies help get you to a hospital for treatment, but not all ensure your immediate family and travel companions make it home safely as well. If you suffer a medical emergency while traveling, EA+ treats your loved ones like family with the following:
Here’s a quick comparison of EA+ against the competition:
All information provided is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of 10/9/2023. All information regarding each travel assistance company’s services are based on a review of their website.
Emergency Assistance Plus® (EA+®) is not insurance, it is a membership plan. This is only an outline of the plan’s features. Hospitalization (admitted as an inpatient) is a requirement to be eligible for some services. All services must be arranged and provided by EA+. Please read the EA+ Member Guide carefully to understand all the services available to you, as well as any rules and regulations. EA+ is only available to U.S. residents at this time and is not available to residents of New York. Washington state residents must be traveling more than 100 miles away from home to be eligible for EA+ services.
2. SkyMed: Best travel assistance company for travel deals
SkyMed is another reputable name in the travel industry and it offers protection for its members in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas.
While somewhat limited in terms of locations served, SkyMed competes admirably with the other names on this list in terms of services offered. The standout feature of SkyMed is its program called SkyMed Travel. This feature is essentially a built-in travel agency for its members that helps locate discounts and rare or limited travel experiences.
To learn more about pricing and plans, visit its website.
3. Medjet Assist: Best travel assistance company for hospital choice
Medjet has been in business since 1991, and according to its website, was the first to implement the air-medical transport membership concept.
It offers a range of services primarily dealing with medical evacuation and assistance.
You can refer to the chart in the first section to see a comparison of its services compared to the rest of the list, but one of Medjet Assist’s claim to fame is its practice of allowing its members to choose the hospital they are transported to. Most other travel assistance companies default to transporting members to the nearest appropriate facility to receive medical care.
If the choice of medical facility is a priority for you, you might want to check out the plan information for Medjet Assist via its website.
4. Global Rescue: Best travel assistance company for field rescue
Global Rescue was founded in 2004 and provides medical, security, travel risk and crisis management services anywhere in the world.
While the company may not provide a comprehensive set of travel assistance services (compared to others on this list) they do have a unique specialty in that they are the only provider to offer field rescue.
Note: “Field rescue” typically includes services such as getting you from the location where you were injured/ill and getting you to the hospital.
That means membership with Global Rescue may be more attractive for people who do eligible activities in remote places (typically younger and more adventurous). For example, the U.S. Ski Team is a Global Rescue member.
For more information, please visit its website.
As you can see, travel assistance providers are not a ‘one-size-fits-all.’ Different companies provide different levels of support and areas of focus.
If a medical emergency occurs while you’re traveling—either domestically or abroad—you want to know that you and your loved ones are well-protected. Emergency Assistance Plus not only offers that protection but the peace of mind to explore the world with confidence.