Don’t leave for your heritage trip without these 10 essentials:
• International driver’s license. You’ll likely need this if you plan to drive a car overseas. See AAA for more details and check with your auto insurance provider about coverage.
• Family research. Take your family tree, photographs and other relevant documents in easily accessible digital formats on your laptop or tablet, as well as stored in Evernote or Dropbox. Also take a printed summary in a thin, easy-to-carry folder, in case you can’t access the internet.
• Contact list. Keep addresses and phone numbers of emergency contacts, any travel companions, the local US embassy or consulate, your credit card company, and your bank in print and electronic format.
• Cell phone. You’ll want to communicate with folks at home and make arrangements along the way. Check with your provider about international accessibility and rates where you’re traveling. Companies such as Mobal provide international phones, rentable satellite phones and data-only SIM cards for travelers.
• Laptop or tablet. Take along a laptop, netbook or tablet computer for quick access to websites and research documents.
• Prescriptions and comforts. Along with extra medication (and a copy of the prescription), I suggest a travel flashlight, a small roll of duct tape and a small personal fan (many lodging options lack air conditioning).