Ninety-nine tears of joy, a cup of fighting, two dashes of drama and about a basket full of hugs and laughs. Let rest for three-four days and voila! Your family reunion is ready to serve. Coordinating dozens of schedules, finding activities fit for all ages, and managing complex itineraries–planning a family reunion is no jog in the park! And if not meticulously planned, your vacation can easily turn into a recipe for disaster. But that’s why you have us!

From finding the perfect destination to booking the right round trip flights and accommodation to fit your family’s needs, we’re serving up the five key steps to planning the ultimate family reunion abroad. Check it out!

Set the Date in Advance…

…like WAY in advance. Imagine what it’s like to plan a big birthday bash for yourself at that hip new beer hall down the street. Guest lists, reservations, cost estimates — the list goes on and on. Now try planning that, but with more people from different parts of the world and of all ages, in a foreign destination.

It’s no secret that getting together a large group of people takes a whole lot of coordination, so your best bet to make sure the reunion you’ve planned can, well, actually happen, is to plan it at least a year in advance. The sooner you confirm the dates, the sooner everyone can book their round trip flights and accommodations. And, don’t forget; the closer you get to the date, the slimmer the choices and higher the prices!

Pro-tip: Do you have a particularly large extended family? Why not mail out some send-the-dates for your family reunion? Yep, just like for a wedding, confirmations and headcounts are imperative when it comes to coordinating those big group vacations. There’s nothing that screams “respond ASAP” more than a nice postcard with Uncle Bobby, sunburned and in a Hawaiian shirt, smiling back at you every time you go to get something from the fridge.

The clock’s ticking! Book your round trip flights today and check that to-do off your list!  

Choose Your Destination Wisely

Timbuktu to Thailand, wherever you decide to go for your family reunion, remember to choose a destination where everyone can have a good time. When choosing a spot, look for places that have lots of activities for all ages and make sure you pick accommodation that is in a central location close to these activities or has many amenities right on their premises like pools, bike rentals, spas, etc. Similarly, try and avoid choosing destinations that experience extreme weather conditions. Unless everyone’s on board for it, you’re going to have some pretty unhappy family members when they’re ready for some ski-slope action, but instead, have to opt for day-long sunbathing sessions.

Book ASAP!

We’ve all been there. You forgot to book in advance and then end up scrambling to grab whatever you can find last-minute. Round trip flights aren’t always the easiest to come by when it comes to trying to book a large group to an international destination and similarly, you don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re too late to find group accommodation. As soon as the dates and location are set for the reunion, book away! Booking quickly, early and all together can ensure that you’ll be able to all stay at the same place, coordinate to arrive and leave at similar times, and most importantly, maximize your budget! And while you’re at it — don’t forget to check on your passport expiration date and visa information for the destination you’re traveling to!

Plan Your Meals

Aunt Sally wants tacos, little Louis wants mac and cheese, grandpa Morris wants steak…and you? You’re playing referee so that the hungry mob of family members in front doesn’t turn hangry (hungry + angry = hangry) while you all are trying to decide where to go. If you plan on eating together throughout your family reunion, arrange the details and make your reservations ahead of your trip. At a resort or staying in a place that includes meals? Ask if they have buffet options. Not only will this help you avoid the stress of trying to put in many orders at once, but you’ll also be able to better enjoy your time together when you’re not all ravenously waiting for your tall order of food to come out. And don’t forget to call ahead and let them know that you’re going to be a big group coming in so that the restaurant can properly accommodate you.

Make an Itinerary

And be prepared to only really get to half of it. Planning a family reunion itinerary is imperative. While going with the flow seems relaxing on the outset, when you’re trying to wrangle a big crowd to get to do something together, it’s not going to be an easy feat to accomplish if it’s unplanned. Fun and spontaneous midnight ice cream runs are one thing, but if you’re trying to get everyone to participate in a group activity, between varied budgets, interests, and ages, coordinating it all last-minute is going to be pretty difficult.

That being said, don’t forget that you’re on vacation! Your family members are probably going to want to get their own share of downtime, so just keep in mind that there are going to be activities, outings and dinners that people will miss out on, or that might not even happen at all. Having a loose itinerary ahead of time will allow you and your loved ones to see what plans they want to join in on, and which ones they don’t — something especially helpful for activities that require advanced bookings.

 

Have any tips on planning a family reunion abroad? Tell us in the comments section!

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About The Author

Tasmiah Rashid

In a past life, Tasmiah was either a Bollywood actress, renowned ethnographer or master chef; no questions asked. In this one, she is a shower-singing, croissant enthusiast, who also writes content for Fareportal, in that order.