After two years of little to no travel at all, people are continuing to seek out opportunities for more “meaningful travel” — trips with a point, a deeper meaning. There’s been an incredible uptick in polar travel, for example, presumably because of the ephemeral nature of certain landscapes like Antarctica, and in voluntourism, presumably in an effort to reverse said ephemeralness.
But 2022 has also given way to another travel trend, albeit in the same vein. Per a report from TravelPulse, heritage travel, too, is on the rise.
“[Heritage] travel is defined as travel that brings someone closer to their roots,” Lacey Pfalz wrote at the outlet. “Whether it be traveling to a country that a traveler’s grandparents or even parents were born and grew up in or traveling to a country that a traveler has little knowledge about but knows it was where their ancestors came from, heritage travel is a deeply emotional experience that combines cultural immersion with a traveler’s own heritage.”
It’s especially pertinent among Americans, as most are descendants of immigrants, yet only 22% have taken a heritage trip to date. That’s despite the fact that, per a new study from Priceline, one in three believe that it is a vessel for more meaningful travel, and one in five consider it to be a bucket list item. Further, 60% expressed interest in wanting to travel abroad to explore their heritage, while another 60% planned to do so domestically.
And while travel agents are being advised to inform themselves of the trend, there are several companies who already cater to those looking to plan a heritage trip. Just last month, Airbnb announced that it would be partnering with 23andMe to incorporate heritage travel into their product experiences.
Should you be taking a heritage trip this year? Well — if it’s any indication — 49% of Americans reported feeling a deeper connection to their roots as a direct result of having taken one. It certainly stands to reason that coming home from a trip with an enhanced understanding of one’s ancestry would leave that person feeling far more fulfilled than, for argument’s sake, a few strategically shot Instagrams.
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