Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! What a week it’s been since my last newsletter.
With the recent news of the CDC requiring proof of a negative COVID test result or recovery for all airline passengers arriving into the US (link below) and everything else going on in our country, I’m looking forward to returning to some semblance of normalcy in the near future (fingers crossed). How are you feeling?
Rest assured that I’m keeping a close eye on the changes in travel as they occur, and my network allows me to keep abreast of the most accurate information of the moment. Reach out to me anytime with questions.
With the theme of this month’s newsletters being ‘what’s new in travel,’ I had to include an incredible new opportunity with Ancestry® and one of my favorite travel suppliers, Kensington Tours. The partnership was created to facilitate heritage journeys where travelers not only trace their roots but have experiences that deepen their understanding of their lineage.
Cool idea, right? What’s your heritage story and does experiencing your roots intrigue you? If so, read on for information and inspiration about designing your heritage journey…
What’s a Heritage Journey?
A heritage journey is a vacation where you explore your lineage and family history in a destination where your ancestors lived. This vacation type isn’t new, but what is new and improved is the partnership of Kensington Tours with Ancestry® which will take these journeys to a more meaningful and experiential level.
If you’re not familiar with Ancestry®, they’re the industry leader in family history with deep genealogical expertise and the world’s largest collection of online family history records. Kensington Tours crafts unique private-guided travel itineraries to over 100 countries. Add the expertise of your trusted travel advisor, and your heritage journey is sure to be a phenomenal success.
The program includes Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Italy (including Sicily), and Poland with many more destinations possible, including the USA!
Note – Follow the Facebook page over the next week for more details www.facebook.com/hiddengemtravelconsulting.
Heritage Journey Example
With an Ancestry® genealogist and a private guide, you’ll walk the same streets as your ancestors and hear stories from local experts. It’s a profoundly meaningful experience!
There are three package choices when designing your heritage journey – bronze, silver, and gold. The level varies based upon the amount of research desired by your assigned Ancestry® genealogist.
For example, the bronze experience includes a private driver and is fully customizable to your interests outside of your heritage exploration. An Ireland itinerary might look like this:
> Dublin to Cork (with Dublin city tour with dockhands, EPIC Emigration Museum, Kilkenny Castle, Rock of Cashel)
> Cork to Killarney (with Titanic Trail Tour, Blarney Castle, Muckross House, Killarney at Leisure)
> Killarney to Newmarket on Fergus (with Slea Head, Conor Pass, and the Dingle Peninsula)
> Newmarket on Fergus to Shannon (with The Burren, Cliffs of Moher, and Dromoland Castle)
*Examples of optional add-on experiences are a connoisseur experience at the Guinness storehouse, a round of golf at an iconic course, and a traditional Irish musical night out.
Your itinerary will be customized by your Ancestry® genealogist, so you’re seeing Ireland’s iconic sites and experiencing your roots.
For more details visit: http://bit.ly/PHJIreland
Note: You may choose from a variety of accommodations from 5-star to boutique hotels.
Family Groups & Heritage Journeys
If you love the idea of traveling with extended family, I’m happy to tell you that it’s very doable! As your personal travel advisor, I do the heavy lifting with designing your heritage journey, as well as the planning and organizing, for your family group. That’s a big stress reducer so you all can focus on the fun!
This winter is a perfect time to chat with extended family about taking a heritage journey. Since these trips take longer to plan and coordinate than other trips, I suggest scheduling a family Zoom to brainstorm and gauge interest in a 2022 trip.
Of course, capturing the memories from this trip is of paramount importance. Enter Karen Sakowitz of Your Stories Ink, www.yourstoriesink.com, who can create a family heirloom, keepsake book from the cherished stories and photographs from your trip.
Bonus – there are perks as a Virtuoso client that I will access for you wherever available. Perks vary by itinerary but rest assured you will be a VIP when you travel. I call that the “Hidden Gem-Virtuoso Effect.”
Whether it’s just your nuclear family or the extended group interested in going on a heritage journey, NOW is the time to plan for a future trip. Why now? Because the best rates and availability are accessed a year or so in advance. Due to the highly customized nature of a heritage journey and the full rebound for travel expected in 2022, this point can’t be stressed enough.
What’s the next step? Schedule a call with me to begin the brainstorming process. I have a list of thought-provoking questions that will help you make important decisions. Some of the questions might not occur to you! And I work very closely with Kensington Tours and other high-quality travel suppliers, so you travel as a VIP.
Inspired? Are you ready to learn more about designing your heritage journey? If so, here’s the direct link to my calendar to schedule a chat: https://calendly.com/hiddengemtravelconsulting/45min
💎 Hidden Gem Tip: For a limited time, Kensington Tours is offering a very generous policy of 100% travel credit for trips cancelled up to 7 days prior to departure for 2021 trips. By booking now, your heritage journey is confirmed but flexible should your dates need to change last minute.
Final note: here’s the link to the new CDC rules for airline passengers arriving into the US effective January, 26, 2021: here http://bit.ly/CDC012621).
Wishing you and your family continued good health,