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PCU Blog

An Unwelcome Travel Companion

Not the travel companion we wanted or deserved

By Jason Jourdan

Steve Martin and John Candy starred in what has to be one of the most iconic and funny travel movies of all time, 1987’s Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. The late John Hughes' masterpiece is the perfect analogy for the circumstances we face as the world slowly re-opens to travel.


The film’s protagonist, Neal Page (Martin), is trying to make it home for Thanksgiving only to have his travel plans delayed, derailed, and ruined by the presence of his unwelcome travel companion, Del Griffith (Candy). Sound familiar?


Like Neal Page, our travel plans have been turned upside down by our global Del Griffith: COVID-19! Coronavirus has made a mess of things for would-be travelers around the world. After the tumult of the year that wasn’t, we're in a topsy-turvey caper of our own!


International travel is a critical factor in revitalizing our global economy. Once one of the world's most robust markets, the international tourism industry has endured considerable losses. Even with widespread Covid-19 vaccine deployment, the Wall Street Journal reports that business travel may reduce by as much as 36%. However, the airline industry remains optimistic, with CEOs of American, United, and Delta all stating they believe business travel will return, though it may take a few years.


Surveys suggest that 60% of Americans are less likely to travel outside the U.S. in the next six months. The upside is nearly 25% say their feelings toward international travel remain unchanged from pre-Del Griffith levels. According to a recent tracking study of American travelers by Longwoods International, most have the summer of 2021 targeted for their vacation plans. Like Intrepid Travel, One Life Adventures, and Exodus Travels, many travel touring companies have updated their safety guidelines, trip schedules and introduced flexible booking policies.


The ongoing Del Griffith situation will continue to fluctuate in the coming months as vaccines' impacts on travel safety show promise.


Along with an ounce of prevention, information is your best inoculation against travel safety concerns. Check the CDC and monitor your destination’s alert level at the U.S. Department of State.


The characters in the film learned a comical lesson about the value of insurance and rental cars! In real life, surveys reveal that more travelers recognize the importance of travel insurance, especially international travel medical insurance.


Point Comfort® offers up to $100,000 in medical expense coverage for Covid-19 contracted while you are abroad. Most domestic policies have minimal to no coverage internationally. Point Comfort® plans include benefits for Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation, Emergency Medical Reunion, Return of Minor Child, and Local Burial or Cremation.


We’re stuck with our overbearing Del Griffith for the foreseeable future. Until our unwelcome travel companion becomes as harmless as a slightly annoying shower curtain ring salesman, the travel industry has responded with flexible solutions and increased safety protocols. Point Comfort® leads the way to build back better with a range of products designed to make traveling a bit less stressful.


CLICK HERE for more information on International Travel Medical Insurance and to get a free quote.

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