With the hustle and bustle of modern day living, family time usually gets pushed aside. If you ask most families, it’s highly likely that the classic sit-down family dinner has been replaced with quick meals on-the-go, sandwiches, or everyone eating at their convenience. I know I hit the local Chick-fil-a way too often.
Not only is designating family time with immediate family important, extended family should also be considered in this mix. The importance of this has been shown in research time and time again. It’s been proven that a close family support structure can offer time to share worries and responsibilities with other family members. This can form close support systems for those who genuinely care for each other’s well being, resulting in more happiness and a reduction in stress levels.
But how can this be accomplished when these days families often live so far apart? Easy! With proper planning and organizing, family reunions can be the highlight of the year for everyone. The main goal is to find the ideal family reunion location suitable for all, as the location plays the most significant part in the success of the event.
Here are the top things to consider when planning your family reunion:
1. Is this the first annual family reunion or the 10th gathering?
If this is your first family reunion, it’s highly recommended to plan it wherever home base is located for the majority of the people attending. Most of the family will enjoy rediscovering their roots, seeing people from their past, or visiting locations that they may not have seen in many years.
Now if there have already been several reunions, statistics show that attendees will be more willing to travel to unknown or farther away destinations. Go ahead and get crazy! After a few years time, your family reunions may change from local camping excursions to European river cruises. You never know!
2. Keep it affordable.
Make sure the trip fits everyone’s budget. Take into consideration the price of the hotel, rental fees, parking costs, and flight expenses. They all add up. A great idea is to look for group rates whenever possible. They exist in airfare, hotel, and even car rentals.
3. Research the destination area.
Find local events and activities that the family could attend and enjoy together. Many cities have an abundance of museums, parks, festivals, and attractions to offer that can be taken advantage of.
4. Duration and time of the event.
Can Uncle Joe take two weeks off from work? Can the kids skip school? Be sure to plan the trip according to family schedules. Whether it be a day reunion or a week-long cruise, the length of time and time of the year could be a determining factor for many family members. Although summertime may be best for the kids, often ticket prices and hotel rates soar. Take a vote and go with the majority on when the best time would be to travel, and for how long.
5. Everyone should agree on the destination.
Destination reunions have been on the rise for many years now. Although exotic locations such as Hawaii or Greece would be an exquisite place to meet, is it an ideal spot for everyone? Can the family with four kids travel easily and “sanely” across the seas? Keep the location easy access for the majority of the family. Great etiquette would be a location that is a halfway point for everyone.
Planning a family reunion can take time and effort. It is great if the family has a designated “team” of planners for this. All factors must be kept in mind to make the event fair for all, and with a great turn out. Put in the extra effort to research locations, and speak with family members for input before finalizing anything. You will create memories and bonds that will last a lifetime.