By Aimee Heckel
With spring break and Easter coming up, many people take time off from work in early spring. This may be the ideal time to organize a family reunion.
Yet, trying to herd cats — rabid, blind, grumpy cats in heat — is probably easier than trying to herd relatives. Everyone has different schedules, budget concerns and expectations — not to mention relationship dynamics that can complicate things emotionally (to put it politely).
Organizing a family reunion is hard enough if everyone lives in the same state, but let’s face it, that’s a rarity these days. A family reunion means airfare or road trips, booking hotels, renting cars, finding places to eat and meet and entertaining a large group of people — much like a wedding, without the beautiful dress or fancy cake.
If you’re the sucker in charge of organizing the gathering this year, here are some tips to help make it through without disowning someone — or yourself:
1. Pick the right location. Budgettravel.com recommends sending out an email to everyone with a handful of suggestions and going with the democratic vote. Look for places with plenty of activities to entertain a wide variety of interests.
2. Be creative with the lodging. Look for a large cabin or house you can split between everyone. A great place to find inexpensive houses to rent is Airbnb.com. How about renting a private island (you read that right) in East Hampton, Conn., for 36 people starting at $210 per night? Or a rustic private island cabin for 13 on a lake in Rhode Island starting at $200 a night?
A reunion isn’t sounding so bad after all, now is it?
3. If you are going with a hotel, book in bulk for better deals. Check Groople.com to get group hotel rates. Groople also can help you find a meeting space. Select your day, location, how long you want to meet, the style of facility (from banquet to board room), and the website will offer suggestions, so you don’t have to waste time scouring the Web.
Tip: ShopAtHome.com offers various Groople coupons, such as get a free group event website to help coordinate your plans.
4. Utilize other helpful websites, such as familyreunion.com, the world’s largest family social network. Here, you can submit a free reunion announcement, share pictures and check out recommended providers, products and services.
You might also enjoy:
Photo of Connecticut cabin courtesy of AirBNB.com.