Family reunions can be the highlight of the summer months, with people from all over getting together to enjoy a good time and relive memories of the past. However, as people become more and more spread out over the country and the world, making plans for a family reunion becomes more and more complex. Usually, this means you have to pick a destination in advance and people will have to plan for travel to get there.
Here are some tips to help you plan a destination family reunion that everyone can enjoy.
Use vacation rentals instead of hotels
Hotels are the go-to for road trips and quick getaways, but for a family reunion, you need a little bit more than a hotel room. Vacation rentals are a better option for several reasons:
- They often cost less per person than hotel rooms.
- They offer more entertainment options. Many vacation rentals offer plenty of games, a TV room, hot tubs or swimming pools, as well as outdoor play space.
- There are more flexible sleeping arrangements. Children and teens are more easily accommodated with varying bed sizes, bunks, or pull out sofas.
- Many rentals have kitchen and dining areas. Food is one of the main bonding experiences you can have with your family. Rentals may have large, open kitchens so you can cook and enjoy food together as a family without having to rely on restaurants.
Choose a destination that has plenty of methods of travel available
Where you choose to hold the reunion is also of key importance. You want to choose a destination that has a lot of rentals to choose from and plenty of local attractions, including hikes, museums, or children's play spaces.
Most essential, you want it to be accessible to as many of your family members as possible. Some may have the money to fly, while other, especially those with young children, will need to drive. Consider road conditions and whether or not families can make it by bus or by train if they cannot drive or fly.
Plan for essential needs
In all the fuss of planning outings and family activities, it's easy to overlook the daily needs of each family member. Make sure you plan for:
- Showers and baths. Children and teens especially will need to have baths after a day of outdoor activities. Look for a rental that provides enough accessible showers and tubs for family members, regardless of age. Handicap accessible showers and grab bars for elderly member should also be considered.
- Washing clothes and bedding. Those who fly or who have small children will need access to clothes washers and dryers. If you've planned a day at the lake, dripping suits and sandy towels need a place to go. Be sure you know if there is laundry facilities in your booked space and if there isn't, look for a local laundromat and warn family members to bring change.
- Private spaces. A large lodge with community sleeping arrangements may be less expensive, but it's not ideal for family reunions because often children and babies need naps and quiet places to rest in the early evenings. Individual family groups may also need private places to rest and sleep. Don't only look at the number of guests a place can accommodate, but also check for the actual number of private rooms.
Make meals easy
Finally, you'll need to decide how much the time you will spend planning, prepping, and cleaning up from meals. Families who love to cook together may enjoy that time. Others may rely on take-out. You might consider an all-inclusive rental that provides meals and clean up so you can spend as much time together as possible without worrying about chores and hauling in groceries.