In today's fast paced life when people most tend to connect via phone and social networking websites, face-to-face interactions are desperately desired and needed to keep emotional connections intact. To get a feeling of being connected and strengthen the emotional bond with blood relatives, family reunions are a great idea.
In fact the concept of family reunion vacations is gradually gaining lot of popularity as people feel the need to spend some quality and enjoyable time with people that matter in their lives.
However, as good as it may sound, it is not so easy to plan an extended family reunion. Lot of things need to be taken into account to make family reunion vacation a success.
Here are some tips and ideas that will motivate you to plan a family reunion that will be fruitful and memorable.
You may need to inform people at least 18 months in advance so that they can get in the mood and manage their schedule and finances accordingly. You can request people to inform about their convenient date for reunion. Accordingly, you can choose a date which is acceptable to most people. Summer or winter break can be ideal time as children too can participate.
After all, it is a family reunion hence everybody should participate. In fact some people may feel ignored if you do not offer them a responsibility. So harp on your family members talents and designate the jobs of catering, bookings, communicating, arranging souvenirs and documenting the reunion by way of albums, videos etc.
Keep in mind interests of all generations
While elders may just want to hang out, women may need to shop and kids may desire some adventure. So you need to plan a reunion that keeps everyone's interest in mind.
Keep alive the interest of family members
You can take help of technology to generate interest and excitement among family members for the reunion. Send teasers, updates as the time for reunion comes closer. If there are tech savvy people in the family, you may as well create a family website where people can post their photos and profiles. You can also post pictures and tidbits of the reunion on the site.
Prepare your kids in advance
While you may be excited to meet your uncles, aunts and cousins, your kids may face difficulty to find a reason to feel good about the reunion. A good idea would be to prepare them by showing pictures of your family members and also telling a bit about their personality and why they are special to you. This will help them feel some connection when they finally meet them at the reunion.
Be polite and don't hold grudges
Reunions are meant to help you get connected with your family members and not annoy someone. So be nice and polite to your family members. Leave attitude and arrogance at home. Have a chat with people you have not had a chance to talk for years. Also, if you had a problem with a family member in the past, reunions is not a time to sort grudges. Enjoy your time building bonds.
Keep your cool
If there are family members who don't remember you, don't feel offended. Perhaps you have changed a lot over the years or it may have happened because your family members may be ageing and their memory may not be that sharp.
Also, don't lose patience with kids if they have trouble connecting with family members. You have always taught them to be aloof with strangers so now they may be having difficulty connecting with them. Give them some time and help them bond with kids of their age.
Always thank the organizer / host
Even if you feel that some things were not organized the way it should have been, you must always thank the person organizing the event.
Choosing the best location for reunion
When choosing a location for family reunions, you should keep in mind choices of all participating generations. If there are family members that enjoy adventure activities, you must choose a destination that also offers something for those who prefer calm and relaxation. Also, the place should be safe and convenient for kids. Some of the options you can choose for a family reunion vacation are discussed below.
Beaches are of course a widely popular choice for spending holidays and hence it is possible to have a larger number of family members agreeing for a beach family reunion vacation. A reunion over an exotic beach destination can help people indulge in water sports, simply relax while reading a book, play beach volleyball, swim or enjoy barbeques. Book a vacation home in advance for your family reunion to have a gala time with your dear ones.
Reunions over a cruise ship are gaining much popularity these days. Though these are bit expensive, the idea will be cherished by family members. Cruise vacations offer all sorts of entertainment activity so there will something to look forward to by each of your family member.
Touring a State Park
State Parks also promise to be a great destination for family reunions. Reach about state parks in your state and find out what all it offers. Also check out the accommodation options available. Many state parks offers lodges or chateaus that can be booked for an extended stay thereby helping you bond with your family members amidst lush green surroundings.
Visiting a Theme Park
If there is a major theme park close to your city, then that could be a perfect location for organizing a family reunion vacation. The idea would sound exciting for most of your family members making them keen to be a part of the reunion. However, keep in mind that organizing a reunion in theme parks will not be so economical.