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Tips for Planning a Genealogy Research Trip

Though the Internet provides multiple opportunities for doing online ancestry research from the comfort of your home, at some point many genealogists realize they want to visit their family’s homeland. If you are one of those genealogists, keep reading this article. You will learn how to plan the genealogy trip of your dreams.  

  1. Plan in AdvancePlanning ahead lets you get the proper traveling documents and other travel necessities. Besides that, you will need a lot of time to plan the logistics of your genealogy research trip. Arrange an itinerary and think about what you want to accomplish: visit relatives, do library research, or explore a cemetery. Don’t forget to make a list of people – a tour guide or an archive director – you will need to contact them. 

  2. Book EarlyIf you’ve already decided on your destination, book plane tickets and accommodation as soon as possible. Thus you will have a chance to find some discounts and save extra dollars. If you feel some obstacles may force you to change travel dates, select the tickets that are flexible in arrival and departure dates. Paying extra for flexibility is better than buying one more pair of tickets.

  3. Make a Financial PlanEveryone has their own budget estimate and it’s important to list potential expenditures like meals, transportation, and fees to make sure you don’t run out of money in a foreign country. It’s better to overestimate than underestimate.

  4. Do Advance Genealogy ResearchCarry out some preliminary research and try to find out as much as you can about your relatives. Thus you won’t have to waste time searching for the wrong people in the wrong places. Try to contact some officials or locals from the town you’re visiting to figure out additional information.

  5. Find a GuideNo matter how thoroughly you’ve planned your genealogy research trip, a local guide may know something you might have missed. Because they’d been to many archives, they know how to call ahead and arrange the stuff. Besides, if you’re traveling to a country with a different national language, the guide will help you translate records and may even interpret for you. Sure, this option isn’t cheap but it’s definitely worth every dollar.

  6.  Set Realistic GoalsWe all think positively and hope that our genealogy research trip will end with a joyous family reunion. However, it might happen that you won’t find exactly what you’re looking for. You may make some sad discoveries so it’s important to be prepared for that emotionally. 

  7. Be FlexibleSure, when on a trip we want to see as much as possible but doing so may leave you exhausted and not able to enjoy yourself. It’s impossible to see everything so prioritize your goals and decide what’s most important for you. For example, you can visit a cemetery instead of going to an archive – you can find those records online or make a request for it later.  

  8. Have Fun and Share Your Experiences

Don’t forget to share your discoveries with family members and friends. You can use an online family tree generator to capture feelings while they’re fresh. You can start creating your family tree before your genealogy research trip and keep adding family members and facts about them as you discover things. Besides, a family tree is a great way to organize the data you managed to collect and make sure you haven’t missed anything.

Whether you are searching for specific family lines or visiting the places your ancestors lived, a genealogy trip is a great way to break through research problems. Planning ahead is the best way to make sure your genealogy trip is successful. Follow the tips mentioned above and rest assured your family research vacation will pay off.

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