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Heritage tours are giving the term “family reunion” a whole new meaning. The trend of taking direct DNA tests such as 23andme, Ancestory.com, and others is on the rise. According to technologyreview.com, the number of tests doubled in 2017 – over 12 million people participated. These DNA services provide different reports on where your ancestors came from. Ancestry DNA provides national results, breaking down the countries of origin for each person while 23 and Me provides regional results, providing general descriptions of the regions where your ancestors came from. This information has inspired many to make the trek to where their ancestors once lived. They are often called heritage tours, ancestry trips, genealogy tours, or DNA travel.
If your budget allows for it, consider booking a luxury group trip. These trips are a great way to explore your area of choice with professionals: no research required! These trips include hotel accommodations, meals, experienced historians, private transportation, and the DNA kit. They also offer the opportunity to go over your family history prior to your trip with a genealogist. These adventures allow you to explore many different areas of your region. GoAhead Tours offers ancestry tours to a specific country, for example, Ireland. Over 11 days, you get to visit four different cities – Dublin, Galway, Country Cork and Country Kerry – to discover the regional differences and what makes each city unique. These trips start at $3,000.
Perhaps you are looking for a more affordable option to connect with your family history. If your family hails from Wales, you may consider a few days in a more popular tourist city in addition to your family’s hometown. Professional Genealogists can help with the research prior to your trip. APGen offers a list of professional genealogists, where they have completed the majority of their research, and an overview of their project. Genealogists live worldwide and are incredibly passionate historians. Depending on your location, you may be able to book a private tour with one. These tours can be tailored to your personal needs and the availability of your tour guide. Shorter tours are wonderful for families traveling with children.
You’ve taken the test. You have matched with a location of interest, but you do not have the available funds for a fancy vacation. No worries! Ancestry travel was born many years before DNA tests. Travel to the town of your choice and pay a visit to the local library or courthouse. Both locations will provide access to public records. These public records can better help you pinpoint the exact residence of your relatives. You may be able to find which local cemetery they were laid to rest. Forgo staying in a chain hotel for a more “local” experience. Staying at a bed and breakfast provides a personal introduction to the locals. Ask for advice on the oldest local eateries. Try whatever dish is most popular for the region! Go into this trip as open minded as possible and make this a fun adventure!
No matter which level of trip you choose, it’s important to protect your trip. No one plans on canceling their trip, losing their luggage, or being delayed, but these things happen. IMG offers different plans based on your trip type.
For luxury tours, we recommend our iTravelInsured product line. Depending on the plan you choose, iTI can cover travel expenses and pre-booked experiences. If you book a trip that includes a pre-paid guided tour, meals, or accommodations – we likely have a plan that fits your needs. ITravelInsured Travel SE is our most popular plan for both domestic and international travelers.
For affordable and budget trips, Patriot Travel Medical Insurance is a great option. Patriot Travel is specifically designed for international travelers. Don’t let an unexpected illness or injury overrule your special trip. Patriot Travel is designed to provide the coverage and peace of mind that you need.
Regardless of the tier you select, your ancestry trip will be one to remember. The chance to get a personal perspective to see the world as our ancestors lived is priceless. If you have any other questions regarding travel insurance for your trip, please contact IMG at 1-800-628-4664.
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