If you’ve ever tried to bring all your family members together, you know how it can be a huge task. In a recent Bollywood movie, they took years to click a family photograph. But as we all know, things are often exaggerated there. You don’t have to wait for years or even months if you want to take your Indian joint family for an epic vacation.
Here are a few tips to make it work:
Divide the activities
At home, you may be the decision maker, but does that mean you do everything yourself? Make a list of things to be done and ask people for help. Let your nephew do the packing since he’s known for making the best use of limited space. Leave shopping to your mother as she’s so good at bargaining. Got the point, right?
Decide on a budget and look for deals around how much you want to spend. One advantage of being in a big group is bigger discounts. Get hold of that cousin who has more ‘apps’ than ‘contacts’ on her phone. Ask her to dig out the best deals and discount coupons for holiday packages. Make use of it.
Book a villa
When twelve of you are going together, it doesn’t really make sense for everyone to lock themselves up in their hotel rooms. Book a private bungalow, a Haveli or a villa. You don’t have to break the bank for that. It may actually equalize the amount you’d spend on a hotel or a resort, sometimes even lesser.
Create a Whatsapp group
We all have those family groups where uncles can’t stop sending husband-wife jokes and aunties don’t get tired of sharing home remedies. So, why not one more for the vacation! For regular discussions from planning the trip to sharing pictures after coming back. It’ll help everyone to pitch their ideas. You may even get a feel of how it’s going to be on the trip.
Plan the activities
Depending on everyone’s interests, plan some activities in advance. For example – visiting the amusement park, ancient museums or colorful markets. If you all agree on a common point, great! If not, no need to worry. Let the kids go for Bungee jump and the rest of you can relax at the Spa. But make sure to plan it ahead so that there aren’t any unwanted surprises at last moment.
Simplify the money matters
It could be one person sponsoring everyone or each individual paying for themselves. However it is, keep it clear from the beginning. Make some rules around it, and follow them. You don’t want relationships to be spoiled just because someone else paid for your extravagant meal, and you didn’t even know that.
Spot one or two photographers
Trust us when we say it doesn’t look nice when 12 out 12 people in a family stand outside a building, each one of them clicking it away. You don’t need multiple copies of the same photograph, all too blurred because everyone was in a hurry to make space for the next one. Choose one or two people who love to click pictures and let them do it. You are anyway going to share the folders later.
Count the luggage
It’s an excellent practice to follow while travelling in a big group. Count the number of giant suitcases, handbags and laptop bags that you are carrying. Again, all of you don’t have to do it. Assign a person who would take the responsibility to ensure that nothing goes missing.
Stay together but be considerate
Just because you all have traveled together doesn’t mean you need to stick to each other 24*7. Of course, you are going to share most of the time but give space to each other. It’s perfectly alright if your sister doesn’t want to join you at the church or the newly married couple wants to go for a late night walk.
Don’t forget to have fun
Amidst all the planning, decision-making and managing the group, remember to have fun. That’s the whole point of taking a vacation, isn’t it? At the end it should be worth all the effort. The sense of satisfaction on their faces, the smiles and giggles you hadn’t heard together, for a long time. All of it will come alive in those few days, along with memories for a lifetime.
Have more tips? Please share in comments below.
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