WANDERING WONDER WOMAN - a travel blog
Genealogical Travel – Take a Personal Journey
To some people, the word vacation is synonymous with images of sandy beaches and swaying palms. But for a huge (and rapidly increasing) number of others it’s about tracing the family heritage, no matter where in the world that may be. Thanks to a boom in these types of tours, those of us with an interest in exploring our roots now have the option to do so in conjunction with a memorable vacation.
Ancestry and heritage vacations are an exciting way to connect with a destination in a personal way and to gain a deeper understanding of who we are. But what is the difference between ancestry and DNA travel? And how do we know what’s right for us?
This category of travel consists of just about any trip in which people interested in their genealogical roots visit regions or sites that are part of their family history. When it comes to ancestry travel destinations, Scotland, England and Ireland tend to be the most common, with Eastern Europe and Italy also having high numbers of these types of tourists.
Heritage tours are broader than a specific DNA focused experience. Travelers may not know exactly where their descendants were from or even very much about their history, but the connection is there. Ancestral visitors are generally looking to get an overall feel for the destination and its culture without delving into too much detail.
Whatever the destination,ancestral visitors are always given a warm welcome. With the right local knowledge or a good guide, there are many opportunities to participate in activities that will enhance the genealogical aspects of the trip.
Where ancestry travel is primarily discovering your family history, DNA travel can now pinpoint a person’s exact geographical make-up and genetic history. Your genes are what really determine your ethnic heritage, and a simple kit can save hours of research.
A DNA testing kit can be purchased for approximately $99.00 and results will be sent after just a few weeks. In addition to confirming your exact ancestry, these kits can actually put you in touch with people that share your genetic history. This is a wonderful way for someone serious about family tree history to take the project to the next level by connecting with other family members that may otherwise have slipped through the cracks! Most people end up learning that their lineage is almost always more varied than they thought, which can then lead to an interest in traveling to destinations never previously considered.
Helpful tips for the perfect genealogical vacation
- Research your family history before planning your trip. Sites like Ancestry.com and Familytree.com make it easy – and some relatives are a wealth of information. It’s always helpful to have a contact in the area you are traveling to.
- If you don’t have enough detailed information on your ancestors or the area, consider a general heritage tour instead. These can still speak to you on a personal level and be extremely rewarding.
- Work with your travel agent who can help you plan a custom genealogical travel experience. Using your last name we can search your clan or heritage and tailor a vacation based in that area.