Published January 2015

A Family Reunion with Flare

Tips on planning a multi-generational gathering

A family reunion is a time to create memories and connect with distant relatives (just how are you related to that second cousin once removed, anyway?). As with many things, the success of this event depends on proper planning.
When choosing a destination, there are as many possibilities as there are family members. Here are some criteria to consider:
Convenience. Select a location near a major airport, so it’s easily accessible and offers service from a variety of airlines.
Activities. Choose an area that offers sightseeing and options for activities for all ages and fitness levels. There may be family members who will want to extend their vacations beyond the reunion or take side trips to local attractions.
Price. Exotic locations may be nice, but they aren’t practical for a wide range of budgets, ages, and interests. Choose an area with a price most families can afford. Cruise ships and resorts are popular for reunions because of their all-inclusive pricing packages.
Preferences. The family hometown can be a wonderful site for a reunion. So can a resort by the ocean, one in the mountains, or a big hotel in a major metropolitan area. Developing a consensus among relatives will help broaden participation.
Flexibility. Look for a location that can accommodate various sizes of groups. You’ll likely want to gather for at least one reunion dinner, but throughout the gathering relatives will also look for smaller places to congregate as tighter parties.
Memories. To remember your gathering for years to come, make a family reunion T-shirt or another memorable souvenir. While you have multiple generations in one place, group up for a family photo (bonus points for wearing your matching T-shirts in the picture!).
Share the love. Planning the entire gathering will likely be overwhelming for one lone family member. Share the duties, from ordering T-shirts before the trip to cooking meals and cleaning up when the whole group is together. If family members don’t volunteer to help, make sure someone is charged with assigning duties.
Set a budget. Let family members know what to expect by setting a per-person budget for shared expenses such as mementos and meals. 
Seek professional help. Let an experienced travel agent (like those at AAA) do the trip planning for you, from hotel to flight arrangements, so you can enjoy what matters most — the actual vacation with your family.
Don’t forget to pack your good humor for this family event — with that in tow your reunion is sure to be a success.
For More Information
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