The easiest way to transfer a vhs tape to a dvd yourself would be with a "vhs/dvd recorder/player" all-in-one. Pop the vhs in, press play on that side and press record on the dvd side with a writable dvd in the drive. You can purchase the equiptment at www.bestbuy.com.
The best way to preserve your tapes is to transfer them to the new age: DVD's. There are many ways to do this process, but you must capture the VHS on your computer. You can find more information here: http://www.signvideo.com/conv-v-to-d.htm