Travel with Maria Burridge
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Maria Burridge,
President, Know How Tours –
tour department of
Niagara Scenic Tours



Let’s plan & dream travel!

With Western New York entering Phase 4 of reopening, travelers are looking forward to getting back on the road again traveling by car or motor coach, planning to fly domestically for leisure or family visits or even planning that cruise or dream vacation for the future. With the coronavirus keeping everyone quarantined for several months, many want to begin that first step of travel either on one day car or motor coach tour, visit to a newly reopened casino or even an overnight getaway. The Western New York professional are ready when you are ready to plan!

Now is the perfect time to plan. Some travelers may be in that higher risk category which may require more time in personal isolation and others are ready and preparing to venture out. With the virus still peaking in some states which opened more aggressively, you want to be sure you are using a Travel Professional or invest time in educating yourself on the area to which you plan your trip. Planning was never easier with virtual tours that take you to the attraction, hotel, resort or destination to see exactly what you are to expect. Websites throughout the travel and hospitality industry have been updated to outline their offerings, limitations, hours and expectations of guests. Browsing your favorite travel destination is also a great way to dream travel during these unprecedented times. You may not be ready to travel immediately – but now IS the time to look ahead and dream and plan travel. You will find that attractions, hotels, casinos, theaters, and restaurants are recreating & reinventing themselves presenting a safe, unique experience to explore. Take advantage of 2020 pricing for the 2021 travel season with special offerings throughout the industry. Travel protection allows you the opportunity to protect your investment. With many protection programs available through your vendor or travel company, be sure to understand the guidelines and cancellation policies surrounding Covid19 and what is refundable or changeable. Many vendors are offering credits toward future travel which protects your investment for you to travel in the future, if the need presents itself. Your travel professional can give you the guidance you need to make the right decision. When you are ready to plan, the industry is ready for you!

Embrace the “new norm”

The hospitality and travel industry worldwide have been working for several months for the phase of reopening. You will find that there are definite changes. We have heard the term, our “new norm,” which is a fact. Embrace the change. Embrace the “new norm.” Actually, you may surprise yourself and find that we are venturing out to a more sanitized environment than ever before. Individuals and companies are paying attention to the important little items keeping everyone safe. It is very important that we ALL do our part in making sure we are not only keeping ourselves healthy, but it is also a morale responsibility to keep others safe while we travel, venture out, explore locally, regionally or beyond. Follow the CDC guidelines. Follow the guidelines presented to the places you visit. Embrace the “new norm.” Whether it is wearing masks or face coverings, setting up a timed ticket into an attraction, respecting others by social distancing, or understanding the changes put in place under the new norm is for your protection and that of your friends, family and those who are working the front lines of the travel and hospitality industry.

Support Local Travel Businesses

Covid19 took a toll on many small businesses. It’s now time to do YOUR part! Instead of cancelling a restaurant experience, a one-day trip, or an overnight getaway … change the date – postpone to a date that works with a travel schedule that you are most comfortable with. Western New York is the home to YOUR travel professionals, motor coach companies, restaurants, fantastic world-renowned attractions and they are ready to serve you when you are ready. The Buffalo/Niagara Region through “Visit Buffalo/Niagara” has prepared a regional pledge to companies to adhere to public health protocols. Our Western New York businesses have your health and well being as their first concern. The “BUFFALO CARES PLEDGE” is signed by companies who pledge to enforce and adhere to health & safety guidelines implemented by the CDC and NYS Department of Health as well as industry specific guidelines. So, when YOU are ready, THEY ARE READY!