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Travel - Planning Family Reunions

Planning a family reunion can be a huge task. When that many people are coming together having a plan of action smoothes out some of the potential problems that a large number of people create. This page specifically addresses a 15 - 20 member gathering where all of the people are staying under one roof. Our family reunion occurs every other summer on the Atlantic Ocean in South Carolina.


The driving force behind every gathering tends to be the food. What, when and where we will eat next can be a cause of frustration or a seamless issue.

  1. Make a meal plan. Prior to the vacation solicit meal ideas from each of the families and compile a list.
  2. Plot out a meal list for the week. Example: Monday - hamburgers, Tuesday - Spaghetti, ….
  3. Once everyone has agreed to the list, you can make a master grocery list.
  4. Plan to eat out the first night or first day. Give yourself time to get to the grocery store.
  5. Determine in advance how the food will be paid for. When someone buys food for the kitchen, have them place their receipt with their name on in it an envelope in a designated spot in the kitchen. At the end of the trip, divide the amount among paying parties.
  6. If one of the families lives close enough to drive, have them bring staples, cokes, snacks, paper products, chips, etc. As above, have them place receipts in the envelope. You will save money not shopping right off the beach.
  7. Consider having each family be responsible for one nights meal. That means getting all their ingredients on the grocery list, food prep, serving and cleanup. That way it can be a real vacation for you on the other nights - you just show up and eat.
  8. A family could also elect to taking everyone out to eat one night.
  9. Remember to over buy the snacks. You are at the ocean swimming all day and people get hungry!!! If you end up with leftovers they can be taken home. The driving family can add it to the total they owe and the others deduct it.
  10. The main idea is to have a plan that everyone understands and agrees with.


Want to do some sightseeing while you are there? Put one person in charge of researching all of the things there are to do close by. Email this list out to all of the families to see what the interest is in each activity.

  1. Pick the top two or three and decide what day each is going to be visited.
  2. Put a sign up sheet and time by the phone at the vacation house so that you can plan for the number of cars needed, etc.
  3. Not every person needs to go to each event. Uncle Joe may want to spend everyday at the beach and that is just fine.
  4. At dinner discuss and confirm the next day’s plans.
  5. Have a backup or rain plan available.


A large group needs a large space. Remember this is supposed to be a vacation. One room per family should be the minimum, but do your research and see if you can get as much space as your dollar will afford. Here are some things to consider when booking your rental house:

  1. Is there enough chairs or bar top counter space for each of your family members to have a seat?
  2. Make sure there is a large great room or family room that will accommodate the whole group.
  3. Be sure of the check in time
  4. Be sure of the check out time
  5. Understand the cleaning procedures
  6. Understand your responsibility for damages that may occur
  7. What items can you leave in the refrigerator
  8. Are the pictures you are looking at online or in the catalog updated?
  9. Distance to the beach
  10. Access to the beach - public walkway or private
  11. How do you get the keys to your rental
  12. Where do you return the keys
  13. Is the kitchen well stocked with pots, pans, plates, silverware, etc.
  14. Are there homeowners rules concerning the parking of cars etc.



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