According to a recent survey by the global independent research company Ipsos, 63 percent of respondents have been to a family reunion, with 29 percent attending a reunion in the past two years.
How We Reunion
- The average length of a family reunion trip is five days and includes eight adults and four children.
- Families’ most cherished reunion memories are simply made of “spending time together” (81 percent), followed by group meals (60 percent). In fact, more than half of respondents also said “cooking great food” is the best way to impress the family.
- The top ways to offend family members are “drinking too much” (28 percent), followed closely by “paying too much attention to your phone or tablet” (26 percent) and “being a cheapskate” (15 percent).
One-third of travelers selected a vacation rental as the ideal accommodation for a family reunion. Vacation rentals are generally twice the space at half the cost of a hotel room, and offer vital amenities for families to spend time, cook, eat, play and make lasting memories together all under the same roof.
How To Plan a Reunion
The survey reveals more than half of reunion-goers begin to plan for their family’s event six to 12 months in advance. Therefore, Edith Wagner, editor of Reunions magazine and www.reunionsmag.com, says it’s never too soon to start organizing your family reunion and offers these five tips to get started:
- Don’t do it alone. Survey the family’s skills and talents, and ask for volunteers. Recruit good cooks to cater a picnic, ask teens to set up and maintain web and Facebook pages and ask a financial whiz to be your treasurer.
- Set a date and stick to it. Check with others to see if there are any calendar conflicts, such as weddings, graduations and trips. Send a save-the-date message as soon as it is set and do not change the date under any circumstances.
- Location, location, location. Like all things in life, location can make or break a reunion. Any spot where families can go on vacation is also suitable for family reunions, as long as there is space to house the attendees. HomeAway.com offers a “sleeps” sort function where you can select the number of people to accommodate, which can help with trip planning.
- Make it affordable. When it comes to family reunions, planners need to take into account the ages, abilities, resources and life stages of attendees. Make your choices with all income levels in mind so that the reunion is affordable for everyone.
- Plan something for everyone … but don’t overplan. Know your reunion members and their interests to plan activities that will involve all ages and passions. For example, if golf is important—as it is to 20 percent of reunions—make sure it is on the agenda. That said, remember to include time to just sit, talk, reminisce and be together.
Whether it’s sharing a favorite family recipe, playing in the swimming pool or yard, or late night conversations in the living room, vacation rentals give families the space to spend quality time and make lasting memories together.