It’s hard to imagine, but summer is right around the corner. With the season, a lot of things come to mind, but let’s not forget the most important – family vacation! I firmly believe that the most fun way to strengthen a family is through vacationing together. Luckily, I’m not the only one who thinks so. In fact, one of the hottest travel trends of 2013 is what’s coming to be known as family gathering vacations.
When I say family gathering vacations, I’m not talking about traditional family reunions where you have over 100 people and can’t possibly connect with everyone—although those can be fun too. Family gathering vacations are right in between the extended family reunion and a standard family vacation, where just grandparents, their adult children and their kids (the grandchildren), or similar family groupings get together for an unforgettable vacation together.
My husband and I have been lucky enough to do a few of these vacations with both sides of our families and I can honestly say that everything is more fun with the ones you love – especially vacations! We have made so many memories that we simply wouldn’t have made otherwise. But, perfect family gatherings don’t just happen. Since Get Away Today is an expert on family vacations, I’ve compiled our best travel tips for planning a successful, stress-free family gathering vacation:
First, choose a destination that everyone will enjoy. Our top recommendations include:
- Cruises are popular because they are affordable and you get to experience multiple destinations while unpacking your bags once! All of your accommodations, onboard activities and dining are included, and everything is taken care of for you. Cruises offer plenty of alone time, but guarantee meal times can be spent together.
- The Disneyland Resort is geared for everyone from tiny tykes to the young at heart and is a clear top choice for families. With such a wide variety of attractions and so many hotels in the area, the Disneyland Resort is an easy pedestrian destination. Plus, it’s within a short drive to Southern California’s best beaches, Universal Studios Hollywood and more.
- San Diego is a relaxing beach vacation and offers attractions like SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo and LEGOLAND. San Diego is also known for its near perfect climate year-round, incredible golf, shopping, dining and activities that everyone can enjoy.
Our next step is simple. Call the experts. Because so much of Get Away Today’s business is family gathering vacations, we coordinate room requests and make itinerary suggestions that will best fit your group. We are a single point of contact and take out all hassle. We can figure out pricing based per family, whether you’re all staying together or are spread apart. We can arrange easy payment plans, itineraries and even restaurant reservations. We do whatever works best for you!
If most of your group is from the same area, we suggest throwing a kick-off party before the vacation to get everyone excited. This gives everyone a general plan of your family vacation. It’s also a great time to distribute vacation documents, Get Away Today’s free gifts (lanyards, backpacks, etc.), matching T-shirts or anything else you want your group to have while on vacation.
While planning a family gathering vacation, schedule enough together time as well as some free time with just your immediate family. You’ll appreciate both – trust us!
This may seem obvious, but take lots of pictures during your family vacation- these are memories that will last a lifetime! Get a variety of different cousin groups, adult siblings, your immediate family and some really great group shots with everyone. I can speak from the perspective of what not to do, as I just went through all of our “group” photos from our last cruise and I couldn’t find a single one of us all together!
Lastly, have a follow-up party about a week or two after you return. Put together a slideshow of the best photos and allow kids to share their favorite memories. You may want to have everyone write a memory and compile it into a book that you pass out at the party, or send to everyone if you live apart, as a perfect vacation memento.
If you want to strengthen family bonds, take a family gathering vacation. I have yet to regret any time or money that I’ve spent making memories with my loved ones on vacation. If you’d like assistance or just have questions about planning your own family vacation, Get Away Today’s reservation specialists would love to help at 855-GET-AWAY. You can also easily book up to four rooms at a time at www.getawaytoday.com.