family reunion 2017KENTUCKY (4/23/17) — In many families, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles once lived in close proximity to one another. But modern families have spread their wings a little further. Having relatives around the country or even the world can create challenges when it comes to seeing family. Although social media and video chats have presented viable ways to keep in touch, there's nothing quite like getting together in person.

Family reunions are nothing new, but the trend for "mega" reunions has recently emerged. Rather than one day spent at someone's home, campsite or park, these mega reunions are major events that can span several days at a resort and include relatives across multiple generations. Such gatherings are a fun way for distant relatives to reconnect and enjoy each other's company.

Tourism experts say large family reunions, which may not occur every year, are a growing trend. They may coincide with other milestone events, such as a relative's birthday or retirement. Warm weather seasons are a popular time for these family reunions because of peak vacation opportunities.

Mega reunions have become a great way to preserve family history and get to know relatives better while letting loose and having fun. Because such reunions are large undertakings, the following tips can get families started.

Gather knowledgeable family members

Some family members may be better at keeping in touch, managing family trees and continuing to update family address databases. These are the people to have on your reunion team. They can offer a wealth of information and help get the wheels in motion.

Choose a creative reunion site

Consider all-inclusive resorts, cruises, hotels, ranches, and beach clubs to host the reunion. According to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, family reunions are popular in their region of Florida thanks to the balmy weather and proximity to plenty of attractions. Choose a location that has a solid transportation hub to facilitate travel. Traveling during off-peak times of the year can help you save your family money, which might make it easier for more members of the family to join in the festivities. In addition, when choosing a host site, keep in mind that domestic locations may work better, particularly for those family members who do not have passports.

Use technology to stay organized

Communicating with potential reunion attendees takes creativity. One of the easier ways to do so is through a reunion website. Social media sites also have event functions, wherein a person can create an event, invite a select number of people, and then communicate among those who participate.

Work well in advance

Give family plenty of lead time. Plan the reunion as one would plan a wedding, sending out save-the-date notices at least a year in advance. This will increase the likelihood that people will be able to take time off from work or school and be able to schedule the trip. It also helps individuals price shop for transportation deals.

Invest in a party planner

A party planner can take the brunt of the responsibility off of one or more individuals. It's well worth the expense to build into the family reunion budget for peace of mind and added organization.

Mega family reunions bring together large families. Such gatherings are a growing trend in the travel industry and fun for families who may not get to see each other as often as they would like.

SurfKY News

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