Ancestry travel to Poland - how to prepare your perfect heritage tour


03 February 2020

No Comments

Ancestry travel to Poland – how to prepare your perfect heritage tour

Ancestry travel is one of the heaviest trends for 2020. Even us, as a small tour operator, we see a huge interest from people who are looking for their family stories. So today I would like to write something more about planning ancestry tour to Poland. What you should know before you’ll come? What you should do?

Ancestry travel to Poland - why it is so popular?

50% Americans have travelled to a country related to their heritage in few recent years. It is also connected to genetic exploration . Genetic genealogy testing becomes accessible to millions of people now. TV shows promotes ‘digging’ in DNA, so it’s hardly surprising that we can observe boom in ancestry travel.
Tourists claim that heritage trips are more valuable experience that the other type of holidays. Authentic travel experience create a sense of belonging for travelers. Journeying to your roots only extends that sense of belonging.
Many travelers conduct their own research. They visit places of historical significance to family members within the last four generations.

How to start planning your ancestry travel?

Step #1 Research

You may have a family tree showing that your ancestors were from Poland or Prussia. If yes you may continue with some local genealogy experts like us. Before you’ ll do it try to collect all the basic info like photos, dates and addresses. It would help us to start our research.
We provide help on every step of your family adventure. See the offer.
Not sure where you’re from? Check DNA tests. You will read more You will recieve an interesting chart. On this base you can built your genealogy profile and travel to your ancestors homeland.

Picture of the lady

Step #2 Manage your expectations

I know you think that Poland is not a big state. I know you dream to come over and meet someone related to you. It would be like a fairy tale. But this does not happen really often. That’s why I want you to keep your expectations in check. Sometimes after the visit Poland you get the impression that you know less than before your travel. I would give you an example which happened to me:

I’ ve prepared a tour for a lovely couple from US. Bydgoszcz was man’s mom’s motherland. When she passed away, the couple decided to read a story of her life a novel. The novel has become their travel inspiration and a travel diary. Step by step they made all the bookings and came to visit Bydgoszcz, as one of those places. The novel was a romantic story about a girl and American soldier. When they’ve met in Budapest immediately felt in love and lived long and happy life together. But what was before the moment they’ve met?
There was a sentence or two in the book about Bromberg (the old German version of the city name). The secret was that she has never came back to the town.
When the couple contacted me, I was very happy. I’ ve founded records in local civil record office but from the very first moment I felt something is wrong. Not giving you detailed info about the whole process I will just tell you that we’ve founded that the girl was adopted when she was two years old!
This story was not to warn you. It was to show you the consequences of the research. Of course you may be positively surprised.
As one of my beloved tourist from Sweden. She came here to Bydgoszcz to search for any remaining after her grandfather shoe factory. I was very determined to find it. After many hours I’ve founded magnificent advertisement from Bromberger Zeitung – local newspaper.
Her grandpa was a really impressive businessman of his times. His shoe factory “Under Red Heel” was producing dancing shoes, winter and summer shoes.

The owner of the shoe factory

Step #3 Prepare your itinerary

Get your tickets, hotels and guides. My tip: ask local tourist board which tour guide they recommend for heritage tours. Contact your guide long before your journey. That will assure you that he will have time to prepare all possible documents and he will book the time for you.
Many tourist contact me when they are already here in Bydgoszcz (Bromberg). It’s far too late for many activities. And, instead seeing the effect we are sitting long hours in archives (sometimes with no result).
If you are planning to visit the archives, local communities and cemeteries do not pick travel time for: weekends, public holidays etc. It will be all closed.
If you want to rent a car it is good to contact first your guide. Often we (guides in Poland) provide the guide service with transfer included in the price.

Advertisement of the shoe factory in the local newspaper

Step #4 Prepare yourself for walking tour

We do walk a lot in Poland. Prepare comfortable shoes and get ready for a longer distances 🙂 We love walking. If you are not able to walk a lot – inform your guide before your arrival. It will give him time to organize your itinerary as convenient as possible. Not all the places such as local archives are well prepared for disabled people.

Step #5 Experience and remember ...

Remember that even if you won’t meet your family members and won’t find interesting records you will be in your ancestors homeland. Even without this you can smell and taste what your relatives were cooking and eating, you can learn about their culture and much more.
Have any questions? Do not hesitate contacting us. We will be happy to help you on every step of your family journey!

Private ancestry tour in Bydgoszcz