Jan Risher -

Taking a big vacation with friends or family can be good for one and all, but there are also serious logistics involved in the organization process. Trips can get complicated. My parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next year and have requested that our extended, mega-family take a trip together. Getting us all to agree on where to go to dinner is a challenge. Ironing down the details of a week-long vacation is overwhelming. Even still, this weekend we made real headway.


Based on our experience, here are a few tips:

  • Get the group together for a planning session. Having everyone in the same room works wonders.
  • Determine a budget. To avoid some discomfort, you may consider having everyone write what they’d like to spend on a piece of paper and anonymously putting the slips of paper in a hat. However you go about it, you’ll have to discuss real numbers openly and have a means and dates and deadlines for everyone to contribute their amount. Also, it’s best from the start to come up with consequences if people don’t pay — and a way to back out.
  • Divvy up responsibilities. For the trip planning and the on-site responsibilities and excursions, allow different people to take charge of different duties. Depending on how specific you'd like to get, you might consider having some people decide menus or restaurants and others various group activities.
  • Have a pre-trip party. The journey’s anticipation is half the fun.
  • Don’t over-plan. Allow plenty of flexibility for people to just chill out. Sometimes the most fun and memorable times happen when people are just sitting around talking.