Genealogy Vacations - dummies

By April Leigh Helm, Matthew L. Helm

Are you trying to choose between taking a vacation and spending the extra time researching your genealogy? Why not mix the two together? There are a few ways to enjoy genealogy while vacationing, including setting sail with a genealogy cruise, taking a trip to an ancestral homeland, and going on a genealogical road trip.

Genealogy cruises have become very popular over the past few years. Cruises include the usual ports of call but have the added features of genealogical presentations and classes taught at sea. These presentations and classes are often taught by some of the top genealogists in the field, and the cruises often allow opportunities for hobnobbing with the experts. A popular destination for these cruises is the Caribbean, but there have also been cruises to other parts of the world.

Another vacation destination for those interested in genealogy is an ancestral homeland. You can do this through a genealogical tour company or on your own. Genealogical tour companies provide a wide range of services for genealogists. Although some companies follow a standard tour to popular destinations in the ancestral homeland, others will plan research intensive itineraries to archives and churches.

If a more informal trip is what you’re looking for, then perhaps a genealogical road trip is more your style. Some genealogists plan a route that takes them to several archives, courthouses, cemeteries, and libraries for researching one or multiple families. Others try to concentrate their research in a single area or archive. Whichever you choose, plan ahead on the particular ancestors and record sets that you want to research. You might also research the repositories that you plan to visit. Look at floor plans and record locations, for example. Doing so can reduce the amount of time it takes you to orient yourself with the repository.