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Planning your destination family reunion

planning a destination family reunion

Granddad loves to fish, Aunt Sally enjoys crafting, and cousin John is a foodie… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your large and diverse family. Planning a successful multigenerational trip can have many complicated layers! If the idea of getting a bunch of personalities on board for a group family vacation makes your palms sweat, you’re not alone.

Once you decide it’s time to get the clan together there are a lot of logistics to put into play; where to go, how to get there, what to do once there. We’ve curated these tips geared to help you get the most out of your destination family reunion.   

Start early

Don’t expect to plan an entire destination family reunion in just a couple of months. Your best bet is to start early; at least six months before the event but ideally closer to one year prior. The bigger your guest list the more time you should allow yourself. Also the earlier you start planning, the cheaper flights and hotels will be.

You may enjoy: Family travel on a budget >>

Pick a location

Your choice of location should be a place that has nice weather, has a lot of things to do in the area and finally it should be in a location that is relatively convenient for all family members. Obviously some people might live closer to the reunion site than others but try to cater to everyone as much as possible and don’t play favorites.

Some of the more popular locations for a destination family reunion include a long weekend at the beach or at a resort in the mountains. The main purpose is the family reunion but often people like to extend their trip and stay in the area for a bit.

You may enjoy: 14 Hot spots to add to your 2014 Travel Bucket List >>

Pick lodging

Pick a one-stop-shop lodging location that will work for everyone in the family. This extends the reunion and time that everyone can spend together. You can choose a local hotel to stay in but you may be able to find something more comfortable like a lodge or big house that you can rent out. Not only will you be able to visit with each other more throughout the visit but you can cook and eat meals together. If there are a lot of children attending the family reunion then you might want to make sure there are playgrounds, pools, etc. nearby.

On the other side of things, some families do better when they are together for the reunion and lodge separately. Too much togetherness for some families just doesn’t work out and that’s ok too.

Don’t forget to consider the elderly family members that maybe won’t be able to climb a lot of stairs to get to their room. You will need accommodate those with special needs or limited budgets.

You may enjoy: Paradise found at The Sheraton Hacienda Del Mar in Cabo San Lucas or this review of The Grand Lucayan Resort, Grand Bahama Island >>

Activities

Once you have the trip location planned, the lodging booked and everybody is informed and has sent in an RSVP, you can begin planning the reunion day’s activities. Include a nice meal where everyone can sit down together and bond. This can be at a restaurant or host a barbeque if you are having your event at a local park.

There are a ton of activities you can plan for the kids in the family. Sports, water balloon fights, hikes and so on. Older family members may enjoy sitting down and reminiscing, looking at old photos, home movies or sharing stories.

Planning a destination family reunion can be a daunting task but a rewarding one. After the event is over and you are all saying goodbye you will be grateful for the time you put into planning the reunion. Whether you plan a reunion each year or every few years, your destination reunion will make great memories for everyone in the family.

You may enjoy: 10 Things to do with kids in Palm Springs >>

What tips do you have for a successful family reunion?

Meet the Author | Susan Tucker


Susan lives with her husband, two young sons, and a new super-cute puppy near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado. When she’s not chasing her boys on the ski slopes or watching them on the sidelines of the soccer fields, she helps start-ups with social media and online marketing. Susan is social media junkie and you can often find her live tweeting from just about everywhere she goes.

2 Comments
  • Sherri Kuhn
    March 30, 2014

    We have done a few trips with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and the location is key. These are great tips, Susan!

  • Susan Author
    March 30, 2014

    Thanks, Sherri!

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