Destination Family Reunion
Family Reunions More Popular Than Ever
Family Reunion Planning Survival Tips
What better way to gather loved ones than at a family
reunion? Whether your family is large or small, consider
getting help from the start by calling in the experts.
Travel agents can take care of details ranging from
recommending appropriate destinations to arranging for
cruise tickets, and making air or car rental reservations.
They are well acquainted with cruise ships that specialize
in family travel. Travel agents can help families with last
minute itinerary changes and cancelled flights, as well as
arranging for family members with special needs. For large
groups, a travel agent may have access to pre-negotiated
cruise, airfare and car rental rates otherwise unavailable.
And, a travel agent can serve as a friendly and patient
third party to help prod those family members who may not be
quick to decide on travel plans.
START PLANNING EARLY
Planning a family reunion can become complicated, especially
a large reunion involving lots of people. Experienced
reunion planners recommend that families begin planning up
to two years in advance.
» Allow time for your guests to plan. Give them enough
advance notice to adjust their own schedules in order to
attend. If you are planning a reunion that involves
traveling long distances, or an adventure like a cruise or a
trip out of the country, many family members may need time
to save money and make special arrangements for extended
leave from work.
» Be prepared for guests who require special consideration.
Everyone has different needs and it is important to the
success of your event to be aware of those needs and have
adequate time to plan accordingly. Disabled guests may need
special equipment or accommodations. Others may need to
arrange for pet care. Whatever the circumstances, leave
yourself enough time to ensure suitable arrangements can be
made to accommodate everyone.
For more family reunion advice, including avoiding payment
headaches, check out Royal Caribbean's "Top Three Tips for
Planning a Family Reunion"
SELECT A DATE AND STICK WITH IT
Picking a date that works for everyone can be one of the
most difficult—but one of the most important—steps in
planning a family reunion.
» Avoid the obvious busy times of the year. Try not to
schedule your family reunion on major holidays, or during
prom and graduation season.
» Ask for suggestions and select a date that will work for
» Communicate plans to host a family reunion far enough in
advance that attendees will be able to avoid conflicting
» Avoid changing the date. Once you announce the date to
family members, they will immediately begin planning other
activities around it. Changing the date mid-stream, even
once, will affect everyone and some guests may be forced to
COMMUNICATE EARLY AND OFTEN
By communicating your plans to organize a family reunion
early, your guests will have adequate time to plan to
attend, and you can generate interest in catching up with
family and creating new family memories at the reunion.
» Distribute a newsletter. A reunion newsletter is an
excellent way to keep the family up-to-date on the planning
process, who will be attending and what activities are
» Use e-mail to keep guests informed and interested. E-mail
is an inexpensive way to maintain communications with
reunion guests and provides an easy way for guests to ask
questions and provide feedback.
» Solicit ideas from guests. To keep everyone involved and
excited about attending the reunion, allow family members
the opportunity to submit ideas for planned activities,
venues and menu options.
PLAN ACTIVITIES FOR EVERYONE
Family reunions are unique in that they can involve people
from all over the world, each with different interests. Your
guests may span up to four generations and it is important
to consider ages and physical limitations when planning
activities. Grandparents may not want to participate in
activities like scuba diving or water-skiing. Likewise,
children may not enjoy ballroom dancing or a mahjong
» Consider holding the family reunion on a cruise ship or at
an all-inclusive resort. Each offers entertainment options
for every generation and can take much of the stress out of
planning activities around varying interests.
» Ask your guests. Since they will likely have different
interests, you will be better able to plan activities if you
know what they enjoy doing.
» Choose a venue that is large enough to accommodate
activities for everyone and offers a variety of things to
BE SURE TO ENJOY YOUR OWN PARTY
The best reward for organizing a large get-together is being
able to enjoy the day when it arrives. Planning a family
reunion can be a stressful endeavor. Ask for help so it does
not become so burdensome that you are not able to spend time
with your guests and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
» Recruit helping hands. One way to ensure you have time to
enjoy the reunion is to recruit willing family members to
take care of last minute details. You will be surprised how
much help is available if you just ask.
End of article