Need some help planning your
family reunion?
» plan smart
» stretch your budget
» what to bring
» on the road
» survive the relatives


Planning smart for a family reunion  
The good news is that everyone in the family agrees – for once. Maybe it’s Grandma’s 75th birthday. Or a 25th or 50th wedding anniversary. The occasion doesn’t really matter – what’s important is getting the whole gang together to connect as an extended family. Of course, these days, when family members often live so far apart, a reunion involves meeting someplace fun for a few days of quality time. The better you plan, the better your reunion will be!  


Here are 10 ways to plan smart:

  • Lock in the dates as far ahead as you can, even up to a year in advance, so that everybody can plan their schedules. You don’t want to find out at the last minute that your niece is signed up for summer camp that week, or your brother can’t take time off from work.
  • Pick an affordable place easy for all guests to reach.  Select a destination that offers fun activities for everyone, including toddlers and seniors.
  • Who’s in charge?  Designate one person to coordinate all trip details with travel agents and suppliers, and to communicate schedules and activities to the family.
  • You’ve got mail!  Now’s the time to encourage your whole family – including Grandma and Grandpa – to get online. With, reunion planning is a lot easier!
  • Get comfortable. Be sure to book enough rooms so everyone has plenty of sleeping and bathing space. Even if it costs a little more, you’ll have a much happier group if your family can spread out a little.
  • Ask the kids. Find out what the kids want to do, and consider their needs for naps, pool time, and regular meals. If young children are part of the equation, don’t plan late dinners unless you’ve arranged for babysitters. Remember that teens will require their own activities because they won’t want to spend all their free time with younger children or adults.
  • All together now. Schedule time each day for your entire group to meet at the pool or share a meal so that everyone has plenty of time to visit. Remember to schedule a group photo.
  • Money talks. Before the trip begins, be absolutely clear about who's paying for what.  Are Grandma and Grandpa picking up part of the tab?  Is each family responsible for their own hotel bill?  What about the dinner tab each night?  How can you ensure that each family pays their fair share?
  • Don’t forget the souvenirs! Arrange for customized reunion T-shirts or caps.  Have these produced long before the trip, or purchase the items on site.  Either way, coordinated caps and shirts will look great for your family photo!  Pick up inexpensive souvenirs like holiday ornaments to remember the places you’ve visited together.
  • Say “cheese!” You’ll want lots of photos for the album, so stock up on film and batteries.  Consider giving each family member a disposable camera as soon as they arrive.  After the trip, everyone can swap pictures and re-live their memories!