5 Tips for a Successful Family Reunion or Large Family Vacation
“Off to Grandmother’s house we go…” is no longer the standard of a kid’s summer vacation. Today’s grandparents are ON the go - many of them with their own children as well as the grandkids. According to the U.S. Census, there will be 80 million grandparents by 2020, accounting for nearly one-in-three adults. These grandparents are expected to work longer, have higher incomes, and spend more on travel and leisure than grandparents before them.
Family travel takes on a whole new meaning when “family” means 10+ people. So how can you pull off a successful vacation or destination family reunion for everyone involved? Is it possible to make all family members happy and not end up worse off than the Griswolds? Here are some points to consider when planning a family reunion or large family trip.
1. Choose the best accomodation. Can’t imagine everyone cramming into 2 hotel rooms and being stuck in the room after the kids go to bed? Perhaps a kid-friendly vacation rental home is the right solution for your family reunion or large family vacation. That way, the parents have all the amenities of home and the kids can actually nap and keep the bedtime routine. Family members can take turn cooking in gourmet kitchens and not have to spend money eating out everyday or taking the kids to crowded restaurants. Clanventure’s homes have a gear guarantee for parents stating exactly what they can expect for babies, toddlers and bigger kids.
2. Let everyone suggest a daily outing or activity and plan accordingly. Unless you are at a theme park destination where you will spend most of your time, there are plenty of family friendly activities in most places. Grandpa may want an afternoon at a museum after the kids spend the morning at a nearby park. Offer playtime for the little kids so they can unwind after sightseeing or waiting in lines.
3. Compromise is key when traveling with a group. Quality family time is the obvious benefit of having a large family vacation but an added bonus of having siblings, cousins and grandparents with you is that it gives mommy and daddy a break from everyday bathtime and bedtime routines - maybe even a dinner out alone. On the other hand, probably not a great idea to assume that having granny and grandpa around equates to a nightly babysitter. Everyone is on vacation and deserves to have their own relaxation time.
4. Decide the financial and logistical information early on. Who is going to pay for the reunion or family vacation? How many bedrooms will be needed? One house or two? Some families decide to split the cost of the entire trip evenly and others base the decision on how many rooms their immediate family will need. These are decisions that should be made up front and stated clearly so there won’t be any arguments from Aunt Carol later on when she has to share a bunk room with 3 kids.
5. Choose the right destination. Grandpa loves to golf but daddy wants to fish and mommy would like to sip a cocktail in a tropical location. One suggestion would be the beautiful 30-A area of Florida. 30 miles of pristine beaches and superior golf courses, lovely family-friendly vacation homes to rent and plenty of natural bay areas for the avid fisherman. Mountain vacations can also be perfect for large groups with plenty of outdoor activities year round. Big Sky, Montana and Breckenridge, Colorado are two family friendly favorites.
Several of Clanventure's family-friendly vacation rental homes are large enough to accomodate large family reunions and vacations. Here are a few of those larger homes.
House images: Clanventure
All images: Jamie Wise Werner