Saving Your “Roots” Trip Memories

You’ve planned every facet of your ancestral trip:  where to go, what to do, who to meet, how to get around, where to stay, plus interesting tours.  But have you planned how you are going to record all those discoveries you are bound to make on your “Roots Journey?”

Prague Castle, Czech Republic


When we travel, we often get caught up in the moment, as it should be.  We go from place to place visiting never-to-be-forgotten sights, eating wonderful cuisine, talking to the locals, perusing museums, listening to music, walking through the old cities and all the other amazing experiences we engulf.  Every day experiences delight our souls and at the end of the day, we fall asleep dreaming about those encounters.

Famous building over river in Bamburg

Bamburg, Germany

Keeping Track of Pictures

All the sites invite us to take a multitude of pictures.  And once we’re home it seems like each day runs together into the other day.  We try to remember where we took those lovely pictures and what they were.  We vaguely remember our guide talking about this site or that and now as we review the pics, we’re not sure which building, artifact, castle, home, river, or mountain is which.


Kitzingen, Germany

I, too, have had this foggy memory moment upon my return when I couldn’t remember where I was or what my picture represented.  So here are six tips you can incorporate into your trip to jog your memory or record those discoveries while they are happening!


  1. Print out your itinerary with room to add notes.  Take one day’s itinerary with you as you travel and write down the things you saw, experienced and felt during that day’s travels.  Be sure to record the highlights of the day.

2. Write a journal each day of that day’s discoveries.  I like to do this before I go to bed, that way the images are fresh in my mind.  I often refer to the itinerary for specific details about a place.  I also like to include my impressions, how I felt about visiting sites, eating local cuisine, what the weather was like and other factors that I might want to remember when I get home.

3. If you’re traveling with your significant other, you may choose to be the photographer while he or she keeps a log of all the photos you take.  When you get home, you will have a great list.  This only works if you use one camera, but it can be very effective.

Wales, UK

Bondant Garden, Wales

4. I take pictures of the signs that tell you what you are about to see, if they are available.  When I get home, I know exactly where I’ve been and I have the correct spelling if I want to learn more about the place.

5. Record your discoveries on a video camera.  For the best quality audio, I recommend you purchase a portable microphone for your phone, camera or video camera.  This helps with background noises, including wind.  It’s also helpful if you want to interview relatives, guides or others who will enhance your trip.

6. Purchase post cards of favorite locations, especially where you are not able to take photographs, such as museums and palaces.  These can be a great addition to your mementos.

Dromoland Castle, Ireland

Learning about birds in Ireland

When you have completed your story, put it all together and share with your family.  You can do this digitally or in print.  Imagine how meaningful your creation will be with your loved ones?  Maybe not today, but someday.

When you are ready to embark on that Roots Trip, we’re here to help you plan every detail. Give us a call for more information.