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Top Tips for Planning the Perfect Family Reunion

Written by Sally Sims on

A happy family

There are some great holiday cottages ideal for getting people together and holding the perfect family reunion.  Are you going on holiday together because you just want a family gathering or is it to celebrate a significant date? Perhaps family members are coming from abroad and you want to make it special? Whatever the reason, like any event, a family reunion holiday requires planning and a lot of forethought. Here are some top tips to help make your family reunion unforgettable for all the right reasons: 

Plan ahead

If you are organising a holiday with lots of people you should try and ensure you start your planning a long time ahead of the big date – at least six months before, maybe even a year. Are you hoping your holiday incorporates a specific date?  If so, then you need to inform family members a soon as possible. People will inevitably need a good notice period for lots of reasons – including to organise the time off work and to save the money.

Location 

The location of your holiday cottage for the reunion could depend on a number of factors. If you are looking for convenience – maybe some of the older members of the your family don’t want to drive too far – then you might be wise to choose a venue that is central to most parties or nearer to members not keen on too much travel. Maybe you want to return as a family to a place you all enjoyed going to years ago or have decided to choose somewhere special that no-one has visited. You might just want to take a look through the website and find a property that inspires you and that would be ideal for the type of holiday you are planning.

Duration

How long is your family reunion holiday going to be? A long weekend? Can you stretch to a week? Think through the things  different sets of people will want to do – will there be enough to keep everyone happy? Maybe if you are staying for a week you could a plan a few optional ‘days out’ so people can give each other space. If some people want to go away for a week and some can’t manage that, perhaps you could arrange for some members to stay three days and then be replaced by a new incoming group. 

Consider all ages 

Different age groups will want to do different things on their holiday. While older members of the family will be happy to sit around and chat, younger participants will soon get bored and want to get out mountain-biking or to visit the beach. Does your venue make this possible? Are there separate areas in the property where younger members can lounge around watching movies while the grown-ups enjoy a glass of wine and conversation in their part of the house?

Work together

Don’t take on all the work of organising the reunion yourself – delegate. Not only will it mean less work for you but it will bring in other people and make them more involved in the holiday. Ask family members with particular interests or skills to take on related tasks – a good cook could be responsible for the food; someone with a passion for property could research the holiday home; a party enthusiast could come up with a few ideas for activities both for during the day and in the evening. Try and involve the children in this part of the process as well – as they will enjoy making their contribution. Make use of email and Skype to keep in touch with distant family members and share your ideas.

Don’t forget the mementos  

If you are getting the family together for a reunion and even a significant date then you should plan to spend some time indulging in family history. Ask different members to bring along old photograph albums and any videos they have.  It is sure to make the holiday feel more special and will certainly bring back some happy memories. It’s very easy these days to create a video of pics and clips and set them to music – take your laptop and create a video of your holiday and present it on your last night together.   

Be flexible

Your holiday may have been a long time in the planning, but make sure you leave space for spur-of-the-moment activities. While some structure is good, avoid being too prescriptive. People will have different ideas about what they will want to do and inevitably you will discover great things about your holiday destination you never knew existed. Keeps things fun and spontaneous – all the best holidays are.  

Sally Sims

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