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|August Is Family Reunion Month - Make Plans for Next Time.
As the summer season winds down and most family vacations and corresponding reunions have been concluded, it is time for parents, grandparents, siblings, and cousins to begin thinking about next year and where to meet for family reunion. Same time next year, maybe?
Having just returned from a family reunion myself, I know how important it is to get things rolling for next year. Vacation time is precious and often in short supply so enticing family members to commit takes sensitivity and focus. On our last night together we talked about next year – the when, and where. And I was pleasantly surprised as my niece suggested ways to ensure those missing from this year’s get together would not miss next year. Our family mix spans time zones and continents not just generations so it takes planning.
If you are in family reunion plannning mode like i am then the following information from about family reunions posted by the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). I am in family reunion planning mode so their “Time for Togetherness”
tips and techniques caught my attention. I had never thought of timeshare properties as family reunion possibilities. But do you have to own a timeshare to take advantage of the family reunion benefits? Nope. As it turns out many of the ARDA coalition members have vacation rental programs which means it is possible to go, stay and play with your family even if you do not own.
Here’s the scoop. The popularity of our family reunion folder proves the importance of family time. We know togethering is on the increase. According to a June 2014 AAA survey, many vacationers will use the summer vacation time to connect with extended family members. The fact is that more than one-third (36 percent) are planning to take a multi-generational trip in the next 12 months.
What is the ARDA connection? In the simplest terms, ARDA is a coalition of more than 1,600 resorts spanning 120 countries. Many of the members offer unique benefits to families on vacation and hundreds have the means to easily support family reunions. In support of their family reunion connections ARDA has posted “how-to” travel options to help make family reunions more affordable, fun, and stress-free suggesting reunion activities, location ideas and success tips.
“Family reunions have become more than a picnic in the park—people want to spend quality time with their extended families,” said Howard Nusbaum, ARDA president and CEO. “From spacious accommodations to activities for everyone, many travelers are turning to timeshare products as great vacation options for family reunions. Timeshare continues to provide an experience for large families to be together, while still having some personal space.”
ARDA’s family reunion planning guide may be viewed at “Time for Togetherness” (PDF). It reveals planning tips for togethering including managing invitations, selecting a location, ice-breaker games, decorations and ways to stay in touch all year long.
Even though I learned that it is not essential to own a timeshare at the resort in order to vacation there, I still had difficulty zeroing in on family reunion locations. So I asked the folks at ARDA to provide a few examples of resorts with family reunion potential. The short list provides a few possibilities and there hundreds of other locations from which to choose.
Wyndham Locations: Spacious two-bedroom villas with kitchens, patios and space to share make togethering possible. Game rooms, playgrounds, and swimming pools vary by locations and family specials are featured in their Extra Holidays Program. Family Connections: Organized activities including BBQ dinners, kid's crafts, pool parties, ice cream socials, yoga, bingo, water aerobics are part of the vacation mix.
Bluegreen Rentals: The Club at Big Bear Village in Southern California. Arrange an active family vacation/reunion at Big Bear Lake. Family Connections: Bored no more describes the number of outdoor activities available from water skiing, kayaking and pontoon boat excursions to ziplining, horseback riding, and snow skiing. There is something for everyone to enjoy.
Welk Resorts: Located in San Diego, Palm Springs, Tahoe, Branson and Cabos, Welk Resorts offer extra family benefits to guests. There most exotic location is likely to be attractive to active families. Sirena Del Mar, overlooking the Cortez Sea, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico has potential. The five-star property offers suites with full kitchens, living and dining areas, and private bedrooms. Family Connections: Swim with dolphins or take a mini submarine dive. Explore the area on horseback, go ziplining or ride camels along the beach.
Make it happen.
For the bigger picture go to www.vacationbetter.org
Procrastinators and planners will find more inspiration and concrete ideas in our Family Reunion Folder
Content posted by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files based on information provided by ARDA. Images courtesy ARDA and Wyndham Kauai, Hawaii. Copyright 2016.