I come from a large family; as such, there’s a lot of fun to be had at our family reunions and other family gatherings. That said, these get-togethers can also be a huge source of stress — trying to coordinate everything and keep it affordable isn’t always easy. In the midst of all the planning, it’s easy to get frazzled and end up making costly mistakes.
However, with a little bit of creativity, we’ve been able to find ways to have our family reunions without the crazy expensive price tag. Here are our families best ways to save on these events.
Click through to read more about how to budget if you’re hosting a holiday party.
Where to Stay
When it comes to family unions, typically the biggest expense any family will have will be where the reunion is hosted. I know that our family in the past has had reunions held at hotels, my grandparent’s house and my personal favorite: a KOA (Kampgrounds of America).
The key to figuring out where to host your family reunion is to figure out what the local area offers regarding entertainment and food. From there, deciding where to stay can be as easy as a Google search or finding the lowest group rate at a hotel.
There’s no reason to go out to eat every night during your family reunion. Host a potluck where all of the families bring a dish — or, even better, have a family cook-off. One of my favorite childhood memories is when every family had to make a dish that fit a certain theme (dessert, side dish, pasta, etc.), and then we all held a silent vote on whose was the best.
It was so much fun to help my mom and aunt make the dessert. Honestly, I don’t even remember if we won or not. I just remember all the fun I had in the kitchen. After all, isn’t that the whole point of a family reunion?
As a mom of three little kids, I know how fast boredom can set in. This is the reason why I love staying at a KOA for a family reunion — there is typically no shortage of fun outdoor things for kids of all ages. Most KOAs are by a body of water or incredible hiking trails, so finding exciting stuff to do during a family gathering is super easy.
Even if you’re not staying at a KOA, you can still have an amazing, entertaining time. Try hosting a family game night and pitting the cousins against the aunts and uncles, or even a match of sibling against sibling. For our reunions, we have each family bring their favorite board game and then the battle is on.
Skip a Year
Who says you have to do a family reunion every year? When it comes our family’s reunions, we do them every three years. Yes, we’d all love to see each other more often, but it gets expensive and difficult as our family grows and life changes. By skipping a few years, it makes our reunions more meaningful, and it’s less stress on all of us.
I will tell you that the best thing to do is to set a date and have that be the reoccurring date/weekend to have the reunion, each time you do it. This way, everyone already knows when it’ll be, eliminating confusion. Plus, it gives you a date to look forward to on the calendar.
Keep It Simple
Remember what makes a family. It’s not about a perfectly designed gathering with gourmet food, magazine-worthy decor or matching T-shirts. It’s about spending face-to-face time with the ones you love the most. So, don’t worry about things like decorations, goody bags or catering.
Get everyone involved to help and before long, you’ll have a fun and cost-effective family reunion that you’re sure to remember for years to come.
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