10 Tips to Making Your Family Reunion a Success

Getting together with family is super fun, but family reunion planning can be overwhelming. Stop stressing and get ready to bond. These tips are sure to make your family reunion a success.

1. Know your family’s budget

 Family reunion expenses can add up quickly. Decide how you are going to split the bill and how much each family can afford. The budget needs to factor in lodging, food, and activities. Keep in mind travel costs to the reunion location as well. For a low-budget family reunion, consider a family campout. Families could split the cost of a group site or each reserve their own. Alternatively, VRBO and HomeAway provide search options to find a budget-friendly home to share. If you are considering a hotel, call around to see which will offer the best group rate. I like Homewood Suites for their free breakfasts, great locations, and full kitchens.

Find the Best Places for a Family Reunion for any budget.

2. Give plenty of advance notice

 Family members need to know what dates to save ASAP. Whatever is on the calendar first usually gets top priority. For a large family reunion, you should give at least 6 months notice. A location may need to be decided before dates. Popular family reunion venues book well in advance.

3. Make sure your accommodations include a gathering place large enough for the whole family

family reunion, family reunion planning

 This could be a large living room, a banquet hall, or even just an outdoor area. The whole point of a family reunion is to be together. Make sure that is possible.

4. Have Family Reunion Shirts

 Matching shirts are a fun tradition AND a cool souvenir. Custom Ink lets you create a t-shirt design, then invite family members to choose shirt size and even pay for their shirts right online. Keep in mind that custom shirts are priced based on quantity, so the more shirts you buy, the cheaper they will be. DIY shirts are a great option to save money. They also provide a family craft to do together. You can use iron-on designs, stencils, or get unique and creative! Family-Reunion-Success.com has some fun homemade shirt ideas, too.

5. Plan fun group activities, but don’t over plan

It’s a good idea to have a mix of organized activities and ongoing activities. Consider the ages and abilities of everyone in your family when planning. Plan downtime to give everyone a chance to chat and reconnect. It’s a good idea to have games around that anyone can do at anytime. Try to find a venue with free onsite activities like swimming, hiking, or even just a playground.

Here are some fun Games for the Beach & Park that are great for family reunion fun.

6. Include family traditions and stories

 Play the games your family always played. Do the activities that are always a hit. Everyone will be looking forward to it. My family loves to have a karaoke night, go fishing, and play our favorite card game, Scum. You should also reminisce about times from your childhood. The new generation loves hearing stories about their parents as kids (especially ones where they were naughty). You can even find family history stories to share. 

Don’t know anything about your ancestors? Try searching ancestry.com or familysearch.org.

7. Don’t spend too much time in the car

Splitting up into cars means less time together. Make sure your family reunion requires minimal travel time for activities. A fun alternative to separate cars is taking a train. Everyone can still visit on the way to your destination, and the transportation is part of the adventure.

A long car ride can still be enjoyable with these printable road trip games.

8. Spread out the food responsibilities

family reunion, family reunion planning

 Assign each family to be in charge of a meal or two.  Some families may choose to cook and others may order food. They can plan what they want and keep it within a price range they can afford.

Check out this Pinterest board with ideas for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that are perfect for feeding a large group.

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9. Be Flexible

family reunion, family reunion planning

Just because you create a schedule, doesn’t mean you need to stick with it. A schedule is a great idea, as long as you think of it as more of a guideline. With so many grandparents, teens, and babies, some activities may take longer than planned. Others may not work out at all, and that’s ok. The most important thing is to make quality memories together.

10. Take lots of pictures


 If you have the budget, consider hiring a photographer, at least for some group pictures. It’s a good idea to have a designated time when everyone will gather for a group photo. That way, everyone can be prepared to look their best and not shy away from picture time. After the reunion, create a photo share site where everyone can upload their family reunion pictures. I like Shutterfly share sites because of the ability to comment on photos, order prints, and create projects.

All photos by Tiffany Vaughn. 

About the author

Tiffany Vaughn is the one of Trekaroo's Travel Experts located in Arizona. She is also an avid explorer of local and remote destinations. She and her five kids enjoy tagging along with Dad on business trips to find new adventures. She believes that there are always new experiences to discover, even in your home town.

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