Recommend September 2012 - (Page 42)

ANCESTRY TRAVEL: family roots & routes GERMAN NATIONAL TOURIST BOARD/TORSTEN KRUGER europe F carla hunt Europe beckons multi-generational travelers seeking to retrace their family roots. Family trips are all about having fun and creating memories. And certainly those families taking trips abroad to unearth records, visit ancestral homes and meet what may be long-lost relatives fill a memory niche of their own. That grandparents and parents, often with kids in tow, are increasingly retracing family roots and routes is evident in the growing niche of travel companies and genealogical experts who specialize in heritage or ancestral trips. hometown calling And there may be no group of Americans who go “home” as often as those who are of Greek descent. Not only do they go to Greece every other year or so, but according to Kathy Pantazopoulos, senior travel consultant at Vista Travel in Cambridge, MA, “They usually go in summer for a month or two, and when possible, all family members go, primarily to be with their relatives.” And Pantazopoulos—whose father’s side is from Athens and mother’s from Lesbos Island—is no exception: she’s just back. Her clientele is a mix of American-Greek families and academics from Harvard and M.I.T., and she tells us that “even with all the economic woes in both Greece and the U.S., there has been no fall-off in bookings this year.” Italy, another former emigration hotspot, presents a slightly different picture, according to TourCrafters’ president, Mauro Gallo, who reports that family travel in the Italian-American community is definitely on the rise, and most of the heritage travel is to the south: Puglia, Sicily and Calabria—poorer parts of Italy—as well as from around Venice, which was also quite poor in the 19th and early-20th centuries. Interestingly, Gallo points out that parents and kids traveling today want to not only visit their grandparents’ hometown, but want to learn more about Italy. “Italian communities nowadays mostly think of themselves as American-Italians, not Italian-Americans, and while they may want to go back to their ancestral town for a few days, they really want to go touring, taking pride in seeing the “new” Italy—a land of great antiquities as well as fine food, great wine, coveted couture and design.” TourCrafters’ average family trips are 10 days, and says Gallo, the group bookings can be 20 or more people, made up of a family or two, plus friends who want to see where friends are from. exploring one’s heritage In fact, with all the attention on tracing one’s roots—from popular TV shows such as NBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” and the PBS series, “Finding Your Roots” with Henry Louis Gates Jr., to tours in Kenya that follow in the steps of President Obama—the family travel set is getting more serious about its actual genealogy. In arranging travel for families in search of Irish-born relatives, for example, travel agents have a friend at the Aer Lingus Vacation 42 september 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend September 2012

Editor's Notes
Hotel Desk: Omni Hotels & Resorts
Tour Talk: Adventures by Disney
Disney Fantasy
Atlantis, The Bahamas
Beaches Turks & Caicos
Great Kid-Friendly Resorts
Mexico with Kids in Mind
Belize + Costa Rica = Family-Friendly
Ancestry Travel: Family Roots & Routes
Hotel-Free Stays for Ski + Beach Escapes
Kidding Around in Asia
It's All in the Family Israel

Recommend September 2012