The travel industry has been hit exceptionally hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Almost overnight, all forms of travel virtually stopped. Countries implemented travel restrictions, events got canceled, some airlines went close to bankrupt, and people were more or less quarantined in their homes. But the seasoned international travel experts at Scandia Travel Unlimited, Tone Evensen and Michelle Campillo, still manage to stay positive.

We are very much affected by the pandemic but Scandia Travel has been around since 1988. We have experienced economic crises, natural disasters, wars, and acts of terrorism. I am sure we will pull through this too, Tone Evensen said.

And it’s not all bad. Considering how difficult travel has become in the wake of the pandemic, having a personal travel expert who is ready and able to deal with last-minute changes makes all the difference in the world for a stress-free experience. Not only does Scandia Travel take local covid restrictions and quarantine rules into consideration when planning trips, they also make the necessary arrangements if something unexpected occurs. 

With flights being canceled and national travel restrictions changed from one day to another, it’s good to know that someone has your back. We will do everything possible to safely get you where you want to be, Michelle Campillo said.

The need for personal contact has definitely had a revival during the pandemic. Scandia Travel has seen many former clients return to them as they want to feel safe about their trips. But it’s not only in a time of crisis personal customer service has an advantage. With decades of experience and a worldwide network of airlines, cruise lines, and hotels, Tone and Michelle know all the shortcuts and backdoors in the industry.

We work with consolidators and can often find discounts that are not advertised online. We know our clients’ rights if flights get canceled, and we know all the manual tricks that algorithms don’t.

Keep in mind that Scandia Travel was founded years before the World Wide Web was available to the public. Back then, tickets were booked over the phone and everything was handwritten. According to Tone Evensen, life in the travel industry has been a journey through both time and space.

I remember when the fax machine came and we thought that the technical evolution had reached its peak!

It was their shared passion for travel and adventure that made them pursue careers in the industry. Tone, born and raised in Sweden, traveled all around Europe and the U.S. for ten years before finally settling in San Francisco in the 1980s. Michelle went the other direction. She was born in California but grew up in Mexico. She then spent several years traveling in Europe, picking up both French and Italian along the way. Considering their backgrounds, it doesn’t come as a big surprise that the two multi-lingual globetrotters decided to start a travel agency. In Scandia Travel Unlimited they created the go-to place for travel advice, best fares and problem solving.

Speaking of travel advice, what is their recommendation for the upcoming holidays? Many native Swedes in the Bay Area want to visit friends and family back home for Christmas. 

So far, the flights to Sweden have only been half-full but that can change for the holidays. You need to wear a mask at all times and I recommend you to bring hand sanitizer and wipes. Also, make sure you have a travel insurance, Tone Evensen said.

As a Swedish citizen, you will always be allowed into Sweden but in order to come back to California, you need to be a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency.  Another option, if you don’t want to travel far, is to go to Mexico or Hawaii. Michelle Campillo has the latest news:

Hawaii just abandoned their quarantine rules for those who can show a negative covid test, no older than 72 hours. Many hotels have big discounts as they are eager to get back in business. Mexico has no restrictions but, as with Sweden, you need to be a U.S. citizen or have a green card in order to be allowed back.

However, if there is anything we have learned these past eight months, it is that restrictions and guidelines change all the time. To make sure your dream vacation doesn’t turn into a nightmare, contact Tone and Michelle when planning your next trip. Get in contact here.