Tight travel restrictions impact summer vacation plans

Posted at 11:47 PM, Jul 29, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — COVID-19 has upended travel plans for countless Western New Yorkers. International travel is a distant memory and now domestic travel could be as well, with New York's travel advisory list growing each passing week.

“I just miss the traveling. This is the longest I’ve gone without going some place,” Therese Calovini said. For several years, she has been in charge of a travel group through her Niagara Falls Catholic church. The group had several trips planned this year, but with COVID, she had to canceled a trip to Bermuda in April and delayed an upcoming October visit to Italy to next spring.

“It’s hard when you work so hard to put a trip together and then it all falls apart and there’s nothing we can do about it,” Calovini said. She added it has been a hassle trying to change flights, hotels and tours, while also trying to get refunds. The grandmother is not even sure if she can visit her son in Cleveland with New York’s travel advisory.

“We’ve had thousands and thousands of trips pushed back and some canceled,” Elizabeth Carey with AAA of Western and Central New York said. She said her best advice right now is to plan ahead and be flexible.

“Travel is that personal choice of what you actually want to do and what’s your comfort zone,” Carey said.

Anyone with an upcoming trip either to a state on the advisory or international travel, Carey said, should do their research, read the small print and even talk to a travel agent about options.

“Travel is more flexible now than it has been before,” Carey said.

As for next year, Carey said there is certainly a “pent up” demand for travel with bookings filing up fast in 2021 and 2022.