Roots travel takes planning. You need to at least know where your relatives lived, of course. You might also want details of what church they were christened or married in, what street they lived on, or any number of other interesting tidbits.
So if you are planning an ancestral trip, you'll want to ask yourself a few things:
1. Do you plan on researching on the trip?
Roots travel can be for research purposes or it can be just to get a feel for the area your ancestor lived.
2. Will your roots travel be the main focus of your trip, or will it be a side trip during your vacation?
Be realistic when planning your vacation --do you have enough information to keep yourself busy for the whole trip? If not, can you plan it as a side trip (i.e. vacation to London, but with a side trip to Steeple Ashton).
3. Will you be specific or general?
Do you want to get an overview of the country, county, city and culture? Do you want to visit specific places connected with your relatives or ancestors, such as a specific house, street or church. You need to decide before you leave on your vacation what you want to see so you can plan ahead. For example, if you want to visit a specific church, you might want to find out when it is open.
4. What are your expectations?
You may find that the street your family lived on is now a factory. Will you still feel fulfilled? Do you have more general places you can visit if the specific places are not available.
5. Are you ready to immerse yourself in the culture?
Some people travel without ever immersing themselves in the culture. As a roots traveler, you don't want that to happen. You want to immerse yourself in the culture, warts and all. You want to take the opportunity to eat with the locals, etc. Whether it is the Southern U.S., England, Germany, or Japan, remember that your ancestors came from the place you are visiting. You have a heritage in that culture. Make it part of your own inner cultural self.