Planning family reunion and vacations is not an easy task, especially if it involves medium to large size families. Planning a family reunion or vacation requires so much energy, lots of patience and a great deal of time. Everyone will agree though, that the end result surpasses all the predicaments and difficulties you have to face before the big day. Anyway, who said that planning a family get-together is easy? It has never been.
An Internet poll on the after-effects of family reunions was recently conducted. The results reported that over 90% of family planning functions ended in tension, competition, fights, major conflict and even hostility. In more than 50%, one or more family members cut off relations with other family members. At least 40% said they did not talk to their relatives for a period of more than six months while about 18% remained silent for less than three months. If you come from a big family with very strong personalities, you would understand these figures and hope that your forthcoming event will not be part of statistics.
There are several approaches to planning a family reunion or a family vacation. The most often used is by telephone. Then there is e-mail, which is more economical when communicating with relatives in far away places. Another alternative would be through travel agencies or family travel websites that can help with the planning and do the coordinating for you (and helpfully spare you with the pet peeves of some family members).
There is still another option available, and that is using technology, specifically the Internet. In this digital age, almost all families regularly use the computer and access the Internet. Communication and sharing of information to and from the different parts of the world can be facilitated through a family website. You can use your family website and all its features to plan the details of your family reunion or vacation. As there is no personal interaction between the family members, you can say that this technology can take all the emotional drama out of the planning process. When all is set and ironed out, all that is left is for you and your relatives to attend the affair and enjoy yourselves.
Your family website can have a private and secure section. Using passwords, only family members can log-in to this private section of your family website; and, there are several online tools available so you can all work together during the planning stage. Through the family forum, which is but a virtual message board, family members can post messages to share their thoughts and suggestions for the family reunion or family vacation. And, when you have finally set the date, use the family events calendar to update everyone on the progress of the preparations. You and the other members of the family can even create online polls so everybody gets to vote on games, food and location. If your family website has a chat feature, you can even talk to family members in real time.
A family website has other very useful features. There is the address book that can facilitate sending out invitations for the family reunion and all other announcements. You can also share photos of the proposed locations and then after the event, you can share the pictures and even the video with everybody.
Should you be willing to spend for the little expense for a family website, you will appreciate the cost-effectiveness of this system in planning your family reunions and vacations.
Having a family website, especially for planning family reunions and vacations, presents a number of advantages. However, planning this way has a few disadvantages too. By planning your family reunions and vacations using the Internet, via your family website, you can:
- communicate with each other inexpensively as there are no long distance or overseas phone charges;
- communicate with everyone involved anytime, anywhere;
- keep everyone updated about plans and family reunion/vacation choices as well as create online polls;
- inform family members of the costs of various vacation packages, locations and choices;
- post photos, talk in chat rooms in real time and post deadlines and reminders on the online calendar;
- avoid the unnecessary fuss and emotional tension;
- post post-event photos and videos for the whole family to view.
Keep in mind, too, that since you are planning everything via the Internet, there is no personal interaction and no live voice contact unlike phone calls. This lack of personal interaction may cause friction and misunderstanding among family members. In addition, there is a fee involved by having a family website through an online provider. However, the fee for this may be offset by the money you save on long distance charges and postage. If you have several elderly people in the family, they may be hesitant to use the computer to help out in the planning. You may need to teach them on how to use the computer and navigate your family website and this may take up considerable time.
With all that said, though, the best of luck to you in planning your next family affair!
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