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Our Members Say...
Making Group Hotel Reservations For Your Family Reunion
by John Prince, Accommodations Expert September 2006
There is no better means to renew old relationships, build new ones and to bring the younger generations into contact with the older ones than for extended family members to gather routinely at a reunion. There's opportunity to obtain important new information about the past from family members, and you can make contact with and learn about a whole new group of descendants. With some advance planning, your reunion will be a goldmine for you and a wonderful memory for everyone who attends. Your family members may be arriving by planes, trains and automobiles from all over the world. With that in mind, here are some ideas to help you plan the perfect Family Reunion for everyone.
Your Accommodations Quest Made Simple
Once you've decided on the date(s) for your gathering, the next thing to think about is reserving rooms at a local hotel for your out-of-town guests. Imagine your guests trying to call around for a hotel room a few months before your family reunion, only to discover all the rooms in town are $500 per room per night or even worse there are no vacancies because of a large convention or sporting event.
That is why it is very important to reserve a block of rooms for your guests at special rates at one or two select hotels with plenty of time before your family's big event. At most hotels, the minimum number of guest rooms required to make a block is 10 rooms per night, but if you are holding the reception or using any banquet space at the hotel sometimes the number of rooms you must reserve may be fewer. If you are reserving for more than 30 rooms per night, another good idea is to split the group blocks among two to three hotels. That way, your guests can have a choice between different locations and a range of prices.
It's also unlikely you'll have all the information about the hotel so it is important to get a detailed descriptions of all amenities before you make any decisions.
And it's not a good idea to reserve rooms upon the first rates the hotel will quote. You and your family could pay more than you need to. Compare rates with other properties in your area using the internet. A great source we have found for easily comparing different hotel room rates is HotelPlanner.com. Their system is free and very easy to use. Just submit your family reunion location options and dates. They do the rest. The site will allow you to search hotel group rates in multiple cities at the same time in a clear and organized manner without hotel bias. It also puts you in control of sorting the information you gather by location, price or hotel brand names. HotelPlanner.com will also assign an account representative to you that will help make sure your hotel deals are not only the best, but they will help with the reservation process as well. The reservation process is very important because, even if the room rate is very low, the deal may include a very strict cancellation policy, a high cash deposit, or other hidden costs such as mandatory resort fees. Your HotelPlanner.com Account Representative will be more than happy to help you navigate through these and all of other issues you may encounter. After choosing your hotel, they will set up a special online booking website just for your family reunion free of charge. This will help you keep track of your family members as they confirm with your hotel.
Take the time while planning to poll your family members' on their interests for your reunion activities. Not only will they likely offer a variety of ideas, the process of discussing the gathering will generate excitement among your guests.
Post a free announcement about your gathering at FamilyReunion.com so family members around the country and even the world may discover you're having an event and, perhaps, make plans to attend!