The main draw of a heritage trip is the chance it offers to experience the same sights, sounds, and tastes as your ancestors. But for many of us without a tangible family tree, piecing together an accurate itinerary can be challenging. Now, Expedia is teaming up with MyHeritage, one of the world’s largest DNA databases, to solve that problem.
On Monday, the two companies launched the Heritage Travel Hub, an interactive way for travelers to plan vacations in top destinations based on their family roots — and potentially win the heritage trip of a lifetime.
Visitors to the hub can order a MyHeritage DNA test (if they haven’t already), build their family tree, and enter to win a heritage vacation for two (valued at $2,378).
Those looking for extra inspiration can read personal accounts of genealogy enthusiasts who have traveled to trace the paths of their great-great-great-grandparents. And once you’re ready to book, you can create an itinerary filled with historical places, cultural landmarks, and culinary experiences suggested to you based on your ancestry.
So far, the hub focuses on 10 destinations: the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway. According to MyHeritage data, these are the most popular countries to pop up in gene pools for the majority of Americans and Canadians.
With family travel trending, the move comes at a good time. This holiday season, roughly 65% of parents with children under age five plan to travel, compared to 42% of non-parents, according to Vacasa’s 2021 Holiday Forecast and Winter Travel Trends report.
“Taking a trip to explore your roots can be a transformative experience,” Aviram Levi, chief marketing officer of MyHeritage, said in a press release. “It creates an opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of your ancestors and gain a better understanding of who you are and where you come from. The legacy we inherited from our ancestors forms the basis of who we are, and we hope that our partnership with Expedia will enable people to visit the places their ancestors lived and forge a deeper connection to that legacy.”
Looking to win a heritage trip for two? Visit the Heritage Travel Hub website to enter their latest sweepstakes before Dec. 20, 2021.
Julia Eskins is a Toronto-based writer and editor who covers travel, design, arts and culture, wellness, and the outdoors. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.