Top 10 Tips to Planning a Family Reunion:
Planning a family reunion is a big job and planning ahead is key to success! Below are some tips to help you and your family have a successful family reunion with more time to relax and enjoy your loved ones.
1. Start planning early
Start to plan your family reunion one to two years in advance. It will help with so many factors down the road, especially if you need lodging for a large family reunion.
2. See if there is interest and a few other family members willing to help you plan
Usually if there is a special occasion or a milestone in your family, people are excited to come to the reunion. Once interest is confirmed, ask a few family members to help you plan. Three people is ideal. You can research and plan together or task each person with a certain job. Really there are three main tasks to accomplish; researching and booking, travel arrangements, and lodging and activities. This is also the time to gather ideas, concerns and preferences from family members.
3. Set up a main form of communication and communicate
With so many different ways to communicate you need to let your family members know how they will receive information about the reunion. Email is usually easiest but some families prefer group texts. However, you choose to communicate, stick to the same way the entire time you are planning the reunion. It is also important to let everyone know that their ideas and concerns have been heard. Some families will put decisions to a vote so one person or the planning people are not responsible for all the decisions.
4. Decide on a time frame for the reunion, 5 days, a week etc..
We recommend planning for 5 days up to a week-long vacation for reunions. Three days just is not enough time to spend with family if two of those days are travel days. Sometimes a week can be a bit long for some family members so if your family is arriving or departing on different days, plan the bulk of your activities in the middle of your stay.
5. Set a date
This can be the biggest challenge for some families. If you’re coming together for a special occasion that can somewhat dictate the date however getting multiple people's lives to all stop at the same time to go to a family reunion can be difficult. This is where planning ahead really helps! Sometimes, a holiday such as 4th of July or Labor Day weekend will work, since many will have an extra day off of work.
6. Determine the destination
Things to think about when choosing a destination: travel time and ease for attendees, cost, the size of your reunion, and activities available in the area. This may involve some preliminary research and this is where it is helpful to have other people help you. Once the factors are considered, look at the family's preferences. You can offer choices and hold a vote, or the decision may be clear based on the above factors.
7. Build a budget for travel, lodging and activities
Once a destination is picked it is easier to start pricing travel, lodging and activities. Family members need to know what they are signing up for financially and most need time to save. Again, another reason why planning ahead is so important.
8. Shop for lodging and travel options with reunions discounts
Most lodging companies and some airlines will give discounts for booking multiple properties or flights. For example, SummitCove Lodging offers 10-15% off lodging reservations for family reunions with the Rocky Mountain Reunions program. They also create a custom webpage for your family to refer to and book properties at a discount. SummitCove also keeps track of the lodging reservations and will provide a list of family members that have made reservations and where they are staying. This type of organization is extremely important when looking for lodging options. It helps the organizer(s) keep track of lodging reservations. SummitCove Lodging has all types of options, whether you want a big private home as a central base, or a group on condos all within the building, or a combination of some kind! Also, make sure to check the cancellation policy and the options to buy trip insurance. Be sure to share that information with the rest of your family.
9. Book your lodging and travel arrangements
Once you have shopped your options and got everyone in your family a great deal, book the flights and the lodging! Families all want to stay together or close to each other, that is the point of the family reunion. The earlier you book your lodging the better options you will have for large groups. Plus, once those details are secured, you can start planning on the fun stuff, like meals and activities!
10. Arrange Activities
Not everyone in the family can hike to the top of the mountain or go whitewater rafting, so sometimes there needs to be an alternate activity planned as well. For example, family members that do not want to go on the hike can start a picnic at the trailhead or a nearby lake. Meet-ups for a meal can be for everyone! Or work in a few easier activities such as a pontoon boat ride, scenic gondola rides or a downhill bike ride.
It’s ok to break out and do different activities that fit everyone’s comfort zone. Be sure to make reservations for anything you can!
We hope this tip helps you plan your upcoming family reunion. Keystone Resort, CO is a great place to host a family reunion. It is just a short trip from Denver International Airport and has all kinds of fun activities that can be enjoyed by all ages. Call one of our groups coordinators for assistance in planning your reunion and booking your group reunion lodging today!