| A family reunion is like a multigenerational trip on steroids. Mounting the perfect reunion is a big task — but one that's in no way insurmountable. If you start early, you'll have plenty of time to research, plan and delegate so that your event is as stress-free as possible.
Let the emailing begin!
As soon as you know you want to plan a reunion, get the get-together word out! Throw out some dates, paying close attention to school holidays, summer programs and already-scheduled family vacations.
Obviously, you'll want to contact each and every member of the family. So at the same time you start spreading the word, begin the all-important "are we forgetting anyone?" list (in fact, make that the subject line for your email), and send it to everyone.
Where the heck can we do this?
Budget is a key issue for family reunions, as the various generations are sure to represent various financial situations. And you definitely don't want to leave people out by driving costs too high.
The best bet for an affordable family reunion is your house. Did I just say that? I did. Consider this if you live in or near the family's historic hometown — and especially if you live in an old family home where relatives grew up or gathered for holidays. Just breathe and delegate. And consider hiring a helper. I'm not saying to have the whole event catered, which can run up the cost considerably. But you might consider hiring local businesses that help with parties: setup, preparing food, serving, bartending and cleanup.
Forget the house. Why not the YMCA?
For the budget-conscious, it doesn't get better than YMCA family camps. Not just for 8-year-olds anymore, YMCA family camps can be found all over the United States — from Lake George, New York, to Estes Park, Colorado. They offer affordable accommodations, from camping grounds and lodges to cabins. These camps are extremely popular with the multigenerational traveling set because they offer activities ranging from horseback riding and fishing to canoeing and rival-family tug-of-war games. It's the type of stuff with that yesteryear allure — perfect for reconnecting with the whole family. A word to the wise: The most popular camps fill up at least a year in advance.
How about a hotel?
Take a look at hotels chains like Hilton and Marriott, where business travelers meet for conferences. Rates are cheaper on the weekends when the poor road warriors finally get to go home.