Heritage travel is the latest jet-setting trend you’ll want to add to your bucket list. Jetting off to another country to meet distant relatives or simply explore your family’s history is a great way to make those stories you heard growing up really come to life. In the past, these trips were something you researched and booked yourself. But now, Airbnb and 23andMe are teaming up to make the process so much easier.
According to Airbnb, interest in heritage travel is on the rise, with a 500 percent increase in travelers using the service to trace their roots since 2014. Working with 23andMe, Airbnb’s hope is to make it even easier for you to “travel the world based on your DNA.”
“At Airbnb, we believe that authentic travel experiences help you connect with local cultures and create a sense of belonging anywhere in the world—and what better way to do that than traveling to your roots?” said Joe Gebbia, Airbnb cofounder and chief product officer, per a press release. “We’re proud to team up with 23andMe, the leader in helping people learn about their genes and ancestry, to make it easier for travelers to plan trips as unique as their DNA.”
So, how exactly does it work? There are two ways you can go about planning heritage travel. If you want to use 23andMe, you can click through to a specific geographic locations based on ancestry. And if you already have a good understanding of your background (or don’t want provide access to your family’s DNA), guide your planning with Airbnb’s new pages informed by the 23andMe results of others, including East Asia, Northwestern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and beyond.
When you book your heritage travel through Airbnb, you’re provided with suggestions for where to stay, what to do, and where to eat—basically everything you need to make it a life-changing experience. If you don’t have time to travel the world, tracking down your family history just yet, there are still meaningful ways to connect to your roots. You can use Airbnb Experiences to book something that connects you to your family history, like cooking class in your area.
Whether it’s through an hour-long class five minutes away from home or an adventure clear across the globe, heritage travel might help you get to know yourself on a deeper level.
Before you book your next flight, find out the best time to hit that “buy” button for the biggest savings. Then, jot down these must-know travel hacks from Well+Good readers.
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