Vacation Genealogist Style

The summer can be quite busy with family vacations but there’s always time & ways to get in a little research!

1. Plan the family vacation around historic sights like Music Row in Nashville. The family can be preoccupied…um…visit the cool retro shops. (Psst, the Nashville Public Library is just a few blocks away. Preorder & pickup pizza on your way back to meet back up with the family.)

2. Make your connecting flight be at an airport that offers free wifi or upgrade your family plan to one with lots of data. (While the family is engrossed in their phones and playing games, stream some Pandora while visiting online library catalog and databases to build your research checklist. There’s nothing better than listening to my “Sailing” channel of 70′s classics while surfing the net for ancestors.)

3. You promised to leave the genealogy at home. (Yeah right! Pack a thin folder to store source document photocopies and slip on a few paper clips. Or better yet, pack a flashdrive to go paperless. They’ll never suspect a thing. My favorite kinds have metal casings like the Kingston Data Traveler. It’s reasonably priced, has lots of storage, and are a bit sturdier for travel.)

4. Choose a hotel near the sites. There’s a Bestwestern Hotel several blocks up from Music Row. This’ll make walking about Nashville down to Music Row easy peasy. (The State Archives is right nearby. You could probably sneak in and out without a problem. Just say you left something down in the car.)

5. The second or third day, let the family sleep in. (Now’s your chance to sneak away. You’ll have a good 2-4 hours of early morning research time at the archives! Just remember to bring back donuts.)

6. Offer to go for ice cream and snacks from the hotel lounge while everyone takes a break in the hotel room. (This is a good time to sneak into the business center and upload your source findings to a Dropbox account.) Word of caution: get the ice cream “after” the business center stop as the hotel staff may not be too keen about sticky computer keyboards.

See, there’s always time for some genealogical adventures! Plus, you can see the theme here right? Food. When their mouths are full they forget you took too long to come back from getting the yummies. ;)

Have a great research trip…uhm…family vacation!

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