Dr. Miroslav Koudelka
Ancestry Research, Tours, Translation
Ancestral Trips &
Just for Fun Tours
A trip to your ancestral area is usually the highlight of your ancestral search. We are happy to help you disclose your heritage as your guide, interpreter and driver.
If you like, before your trip, we may also be able to locate your living relatives and make arrangements to meet them. Most of our clients say this is the most meaningful part of their "home coming". And really puts a human face on the history they've spent so much energy in uncovering.
But your trip needn’t be limited only to the places your ancestors lived at. If you want to get acquainted with the Old Fatherland, we can assist you too. The Czech Republic is a country with one of the highest density of tourist attractions. And we will be happy to bring you to the best known historical, cultural and natural sites, as well as those that are not listed in every guide book but yet very enjoyable.
Trips to other countries are possible too. We have already been with our clients to Slovakia, Austria, Italy, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro.
Preparing for the Trip
We can schedule your trip, recommend both ancestral and general tourist sights to visit, and suggest or even arrange lodging, etc. This service usually costs between $10 (a simple one-day trip) and $50 (a week or more).
If we are unable to comply with your wish, we can suggest you a colleague doing the same job with approximately equal rates who will gladly fill in.
Though public transportation is quite good in our country, we recommend for any ancestral trip arranging for a vehicle. If you wish, we can use our MPV, Renault Scenic (five regular seats, spacious trunk, dual air conditioning, ABS, ESP, air bags, GPS, etc), with our driver. Travel expenses are billed according to our price list (see the RATES page). This arrangement would definitely be cheapest, but still safe and convenient.
For groups of 5-7 tour attendees we can hire a van. We can suggest a fair and inexpensive company. Then the client pays the actual car rental plus the cost of fuel. Just be aware that gas in Czechia is around $7 per US gallon and in some other countries even more.
Added benefits include airport or hotel pick-up and return.
We can also suggest or even arrange hotels and/or bed & breakfast places. In Prague, they are on par with hotels in western countries. Outside Prague they are quite cheaper. It is possible to get a bed and breakfast for around $40 to $70 per person/night.
You can consider altogether $30 to $60 per person/day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a fair restaurant. If we accompany you on your trip, our expenses (hotel, meals, parking) are in addition to your other service fees. These can be added to your final bill or paid by you as we go along. Most of my clients prefer to do it this way as they often can charge many of their expenses on their Master Card, Visa or American Express (with a better exchange rate), rather than find the need to change money more often.
We carry cellular phones on guiding trips, which means you can also be reached. Feel free to give our contact numbers as your contact while staying on a trip with us. You can also place calls to any place including the US. The charge for your calls will be added to your final bill.
The Czech Republic has still preserved its own currency (“koruna česká”, i.e. Czech crown), the transfer to Euro is in the mist. It is not necessary, however, to bring Czech currency. Our exchange offices and banks generally offer fairly better rates than those in abroad. The easiest way to get Czech currency is to draw from your Master/Visa Card. ATM’s (cash machines) are in every bigger little town. From this point of view, traveler’s checks are less convenient and usually more expensive. If exchanging cash, private exchange offices mostly offer rates a bit better than banks or hotels. However, this does not refer to Prague. The offices in the city tourist zones (airport, railroad station, Wenceslas Square) charge a premium of up to 10%! Bigger Czech banks are better in that area (premium 2%.)
But the easiest way of payment is with credit cards. Most of our hotels, restaurants and stores accept them. Make sure, before your departure for the trip, if your card has a daily limit for cash withdrawals and/or payments. You may want to temporarily establish a limit somewhat higher than regularly. Also, it is good to inform your bank that you are going to travel to Europe. And last but not least, remember the cards’ PINs.
For our services we charge fees for the actual number of hours, kilometers, etc. according to my price list (see the RATES page). Direct guiding and interpreting usually takes around 10 hours a day. The payment is expected at the end of the trip. PayPal, a personal check, direct deposit to our bank account or cash are the ways to perform the payment.
A kind of common travel insurance is highly recommended.
"I look forward
to welcoming you here
to the Heart of Europe!"