Have Your Reunion In Paradise

Family reunions have recently emerged as the new trend in travel.

Travel and Leisure Magazine's Laura Begley visited The Early Show on Friday to discuss ways that families can take a vacation and reunite with relatives simultaneously. .

To determine the best type of vacation for your family reunion, consider five factors: the size of the group, ages of attendees, the budget, travel time, and specific activities for the group. While some families may want to go on an adventure-type trip, others may prefer a resort, Begley said.

Begley suggested having your reunion on a cruise. Cruises offer all of the activities for your family and take care of your meals. They also will add an element of simplicity to your vacation.

When planning your reunion on a cruise or any other destination, you should inquire about a group rate. A lot of companies will offer discounts for larger groups. They are excited to get your business, so they are more willing to negotiate within your budget, Begley said.

Using fun and convenient websites has become an easy way to help organize a reunion with relatives around the world. Sites such as familyunion.com, myfamily.com and triphub.com allow you to build a page specifically for your family. You will be able to post items such as planned events, family news, and trip updates on these personal pages.

For the technologically challenged, families should look to travel agents. They will help with everything from the airfare to the hotel and they can give recommendations, Begley said.

Begley proposes booking a Hawaiian vacation for families who might not mind longer travel times. Begley said, the Conte Village Resort is an all-inclusive resort with countless activities for everyone, such as canoe rides and surfing lessons.

On the East Coast, you can look to the Chatham Bars Inn in Chatham, Mass. for a quaint vacation. At this seaside resort, you can stay in one of their scenic cottages along the ocean. You can do anything here from fishing to boating to any number of other aquatic activities.

Don't forget about Colorado Dude Ranches for families desiring a trip closer to the West Coast. In Lane Ranch, Colo. you can ride horses, rope cattle, and even go to the spa, Begley said.

But make sure you don't overlook the importance of travel time when planning your reunion.

"Consider a shorter family reunion. After a few days, you might get a little tired of being together," Begley said.

For more information on how to gather your gang and hit the road, visit the Travel + Leisure website.

Family Reunion Resources

Travel + Leisure Magazine: http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/all-together-now

The American Society of Travel Agents: www.travelsense.org

Travel + Leisure also has al list of travel agents that specialize in family travel and, specifically, multi-generational travel: http://www.travelandleisure.com/alist/2006/specialties.cfm?area=12&by=type

The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel has an on-staff sales manager who can help coordinate family reunions: http://www.fairmontmeetings.com/banffsprings/property_01.html

Hilton has a special e-events web site to help book group events at their properties: http://www.hiltonfamily.com/en/ww/promotions/learneevents/?WT.srch=1.

Some trip planning sites do a lot of the work for you and make it easy to set up a page --: http://www.triphub.com/usered/tour.aspx

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