Families always have something to celebrate. Weddings, birthdays, graduations, anniversaries retirements or simply the fact that everyone enjoys spending time together. There’s always a reason to throw a family party.
If you’ve every planned a family party, then you know it’s very time consuming and it creates a lot of extra work. In addition, it can be extremely expensive and at best the party lasts for a few short hours.
Smart party planners know a family travel event means they can be a guest at their own party. It will also save you tons of time, money and hassle. This doesn’t cost more, in fact you can earn travel upgrades, perks and freebies by using group travel benefits to their full advantage. In addition, the entire family gets have fun in a beautiful vacation destination together and you look like a hero.
7 steps to planning a family travel event:
Get Professional Help
Partner with an experienced travel agent who is certified in family travel and group events. An event like this is far more complicated than planning even a typical family vacation. Your travel agent partner will have tools in place to automate group communications, knows important local contacts, understands the fine print and has the experience to create an event that will exceeds everyone’s expectations.
Family Travel Events are not a Democracy
Successful family events need strong leaders. This is not a time to survey people or ask for suggestions from your guests. If you do it will only lead to chaos, confusion and hurt feelings. Let’s take the example of a destination wedding. The couple are the group leaders. They decide where and when the wedding will take place and simply invite family and friends to join them. This is the same approach necessary for all types of family travel events to be successful. Even with family reunions. The family should elect one charismatic and organized individual to make decisions for the entire group.
What’s your “Why”
Is this family travel event a gathering to celebrate a particular person or is this a family reunion? In a perfect world, who will be there and what do you envision this event will be like. Having answers to these questions in advance will help you and your travel planner focus your decisions and make travel planning very easy.
Plan 18 to 12 Months in Advance
This is when availability and pricing is best. You’ll also want to give your guests enough time to plan. They will need to request time off from work, avoid conflicts on their calendar with other events and plan their budgets to pay for this family event vacation. Mail “save the date” invitations at least 1 year in advance. Guests feel like VIPs when they receive a colorful invitation in their mailbox. It makes them feel special.
Follow the 70/30 Rule
Too much togetherness can backfire. Remember this is a fun family vacation event not an over scheduled military maneuver. Give your guests the luxury of plenty of free vacation time. Plan 30% of the time together for activities that require full group participation. For example, say everyone will be traveling together for a week. Plan group dinners, activities or sightseeing for 3 out of the 7 days together. If everyone wants to spend more time together it will happen organically.
Add Special Surprise Details
People never forget feeling special and surprised. Sometimes "special" can cost a little more but "unforgettable" is worth every penny. Plan a special activity, dinner or excursion that is out of the ordinary…something that your guests might not experience on their own. Budget in for surprise welcome gifts that will be a keepsake. This is where having the right Travel Agent partner is so important. They have the expertise, experience, contacts and local insight to add extra touches that you may not even know about. It’s these little details that can turn a party into an extraordinary event.
Capture the Moments
Hire professional photographers and videographers to record these precious family memories. Budgeted properly across the group it’s very inexpensive to be able to remember this important time together. Not only will everyone enjoy bragging rights on social media, it’s a great way to allow guests to reflect, share their experiences and capture fun family memories to look back on years from now.
10 years from now your family may not remember another backyard BBQ party. Guaranteed no one will ever forget the time everyone cruised to the Caribbean to celebrate your kid’s high school graduation or the week everyone spent in Italy to celebrate your parent’s 25th anniversary.
The larger your family travel event the more upgrades, perks and freebies a party planner can earn. We have tools and tips to help insure you get all the travel benefits you deserve. Vacationkids has 20 years of experience helping families create all types of celebration vacations. Let’s connect and turn your next family party into a special family travel event.