As DNA testing from companies like 23andMe and Ancestry.com helps consumers learn more about their genealogy, more people will travel to explore their newfound heritage or meet relatives as travel restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic ease.
But international travel can be expensive, and with gasoline prices soaring and rental cars scarce, even a trip to a local heritage site can become expensive. Here you can find out how to organize cultural trips and how to prepare financially for a trip.
Types of genealogy trips
To find out how much your trip could cost, consider what purpose it is supposed to be. Here are some reasons you might want to travel:
Do genealogy research
In addition to what a DNA test tells you about your parentage, you can visit a library, district court, or national archive to learn more. Please note any admission fees that may apply.
Visiting distant relatives
If you are planning to visit more than one distant relative, how many stops will you need to make and in which cities and countries? You want to find out how much it would normally cost in one place hotel or Airbnb in any travel destination.
Visiting the ancestors’ houses
Perhaps you have found out that you have a half-famous ancestor or a handful of relatives who made significant contributions to the city they lived in. If you plan to visit your ancestors’ cities, homes, or burial sites, plan your trip accordingly, including the cost of historical site entrance fees.
Take a heritage tour
If you’d rather take a heritage tour curated by professionals, find out how much the package costs. You also want to know what’s included in the price, such as: B. Transportation, room and board so you can budget for the expenses you will pay out of pocket while on vacation.
Tips to prepare for a genealogy trip
Here are a few ways you can prepare for your cultural vacation:
Do your homework
When you know where you want to go, do your research. Look for notable landmarks and community events or festivals that the destination is known for.
Also, determine if there are any cultural expectations or requirements that you need to adhere to. For example, you might be expected to adhere to a culture’s dress code, basic etiquette, or speak the local language.
Make a detailed itinerary
The more detailed your itinerary, the less likely you will be surprised by unexpected costs during your travels. Make sure you plan exactly where you want to go, what time of day and where you will be staying. If you want some flexibility in your schedule, leave room in your budget for unplanned stops or meals.
If necessary, work with a professional travel agent
If, after doing your own research, you still have questions, it may be worth hiring a professional travel agent that specializes in the places you want to visit.
They have the most up-to-date information and can have the inside knowledge that is generally only available to locals or be the experts on heritage tours. If the travel agent is part of a larger agency network, you may be able to get discounts on certain parts of your trip.
Think about what to pack
In addition to clothing and the necessary toiletries, you may also want to bring research materials with you. That can be a laptop or physical maps to navigate your destination.
Extra carry-on baggage could be useful for bringing along meaningful souvenirs that you collected during your ancestral vacation.
How to pay for your heritage trip
Here are a few ways you can pay for your genealogy vacation:
Determine your target date for your trip and how much you need to save. If possible, set an amount to automatically save on a regular basis.
Keep in mind that you may need some cash a few months in advance to pay a deposit for your accommodation and book a flight.
Get a travel loan
If your credit isn’t outstanding, there is Travel loans available to those with poor credit ratings. Compare loan amounts, rates and terms from banks, credit unions and online lenders.
Redeem reward points on your travel credit card
If you have plans outside of your trip for a while, compare travel award credit cards to find the one with the best redemption options. As soon as you have collected enough Reward points, you can redeem them to book a flight, rental car or hotel.
Open a personal line of credit
The bottom line
No matter where you plan to go for your heritage trip, your research and financial preparation can help you turn it into a reality.
If the cost of your trip is greater than your savings, there are funding options available to help you pay for the trip. Just keep in mind that if you can’t settle your balance quickly, it could cost you quite a bit of interest.