Family reunions and summer go together like peanut butter and jelly. Without the time restraints of school, family reunion plans come out in full force.
Family reunions might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are a part of a family that regularly hosts a reunion, get used to it. Attendance is expected, so get on the bandwagon.
Family reunions do not have to be a big to-do at some far away destination. With high travel and food costs, many families are centering their gatherings closer to home to save money. If you are planning a reunion close to home, consider these tips to help keep the reunion inexpensive and chaos free.
- Sleep at home. Yes, the cheapest way to host a family gathering is to stay at home. By staying at home, this will eliminate expensive hotel rates and you will have the everyday luxuries like a closet full of clothes, a full kitchen and hot water whenever you need it. This can also help out of town guests cut costs by couch surfer or staying in extra bedrooms. It creates an easy home base for other activities, but with the ease of having everything that you need.
- Turn family reunion into a stay-cation. Sure, Disneyworld would be nice with all of the family members, but with the increasing entrance fees, that is not reasonable for most families. Pick local events, museums and activities close to home to give your wallet a break.
- Change the definition of family reunion. Family reunions for most people mean spending every waking hour with strange family members (aunts who are too cuddly and cousins with bad breath) with no chance of respite. Who says that family reunions must be an all day affair? An easy way to keep your own personal space and cut down on costs is to do an evening reunion. Plan a week full of evening activities: picnic in the park, murder mystery party, flag football, seeing a play, etc. and ask family members to attend then. This is ideal for families that live close by each other and with members who have a difficult time getting work off. No family overload and no work missed. Win, win.
- Head to the woods. Don’t outdoors and family reunions just go together? If you must go somewhere for the reunion, head to into nature. Camping is a no-frills, cheap alternative for a family reunion. Tell attendees to bring tents, tin-foil dinners and outdoors-y gear (fishing poles, guns, four-wheelers, etc) for activities. And for those needing a little pampering, don’t forget the air mattresses. Since most activities in nature, such as hiking, are free, you can plan a relatively cheap family reunion.
- Host a one-day reunion. If your family is extremely large, host a one-day reunion with a pot-luck lunch and lawn games (think frisbee). Large groups are difficult to accommodate overnight, but are perfect for an afternoon up the canyon or in the park. Do what works for your family.