How to Plan a Family Reunion

Get organized. At least nine months in advance, start the conversation. Talk to family “thought leaders”—the ones who make the decisions. The earlier the better to coordinate family schedules.

Delegate. Choose a leader to coordinate the event. You’ll need a reservation-keeper, another in charge of meal planning, another for activities. If all of this is starting to sound like work, it is. A reunion requires a staff that works independently and reports to the group regularly.

Make reservations. Reservations can all be made online. Use a reliable service such as Share all important dates, times, and ticket info. Get a head count and make lodging reservations six to nine months in advance. Buy plane tickets four to six months in advance. Book activities about two months in advance. Double-check your head count one month prior to travel. Re-confirm all reservations, airport transportation and car rentals one week in advance.

Don’t forget the swag! A family reunion t-shirt—or tote bag, baseball cap, or custom-made craft—helps keep the memory alive.

Display a family tree. Bring photo albums. But be sure to collect and organize family photos digitally for future reference.

Take a group photo. Book a professional photo session. Pricey? It can be—but it’s worth the quality of the photography, shot composition, and professional printing.
Make a music video. Leave the tech to teens.

Ask kids to make name tags or dinner-table place cards. Pack craft paper and crayons.

From an article by Robert Firpo-Cappiello in Budget Travel Advice.