If you haven’t yet read part 1 in this blog series, you can do that here!
There’s so much on your to-do list when planning a heritage trip, but there are also important to-dos to remember while you’re on your heritage trip, meaning during your travels. Here are my top 5 steps to make sure everything goes smoothly!
When you are on your trip, you’ll want to have backup hard copies of your family tree and the people you are researching along with all your details. Why? Because there’s nothing more frustrating to be someplace exploring and then needing to stop to open your computer and check something, or even your phone for that matter. Stay in the moment!
Technology is great but when you are immersed in an experience, having the paperwork instead is actually more helpful. That way you don’t have to worry about battery power and outlets either. You don’t want to get stuck because your computer died or you don’t have internet. You can absolutely bring your technology, but there should be a back up plan in place in case that’s not working.
Along those same lines, bring a notepad and pen for taking notes on the go. This is helpful when you need to record new details as you are visiting a place or interviewing the locals. Again, stay in the moment! A notepad let you jot things down so you can remember it later rather than relying on just a photo or worse, your memory, to get it right.
Speaking of battery power, if there’s want thing you want extra of, it’s batteries. You want to make sure everything you have – cameras, computers, adapters, and so on – are all in working order and charged by the time you need them. If you have the ability to plug things in, that is often useful when you need a full day’s worth of power, for example at archives.
Cameras and phones are notorious for being low on batter when you need them the most, so if you need to buy a car charger or bring a few extra batteries, do it so it’s not an issue. Keep in mind that if you travel by air, you may have to keep a lot of your gear, especially batteries, in your carry-on bag, so think about being as efficient as possible with this. If you’re checking anything, make sure you have protective cases for those things too.
Something that does double duty for you is a travel journal. While you are on your trip, at the end of your day, write down about a paragraph of where you went, why you went there, and how you felt.
Doing this will serve you really well in two ways: 1 – it will reinforce the experience for you and let you reflect on what you learn, which often leads to a deeper connection, and 2 – it will let you repurpose that diary later into a photo book about your experience. Often times, the hardest part is sitting down to write afterwards, but if you keep a travel journal, you don’t have to – it’s already done!
Finally, on your trip, remember to take lots of photos and refer to the list you made ahead of time of what photos or videos that you wanted. And then take lots and lots from all different angles. When we are on the trip, it’s OK to take too much because when you get back from your trip, you’ll cull that collection. It’s worse to come back home and not have enough!
I hope this was a good look at what to do during your trip! These 5 to-dos will help you make the most of it!
If you need to refresh your memory on what to do before your trip (planning and packing, etc.), check out part 1 in this series.
And next, you’ll want to read my checklist about what to do after your trip – it’s available here!
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