Are you frustrated with using snail mail and long distance to get family members together? Is it hard to obtain updates on relatives that may have moved or changed phone numbers? Summer is a time for fun and leisure, not frustration and limits imposed by time and distance.
If you’re planning for your group, don’t underestimate the Internet as a valuable tool for providing information to attendees, gathering and updating contact data, RSVPs, arranging travel, reservations for activities, sending surveys and more. More group travelers are using the Web to arrange their plans, thus reducing, time, postage and phone costs. The Internet is also a valuable tool in shopping for keepsake items, and custom printed shirts.
According to an industry survey of consumers and travel professionals, family reunions are the most popular type of group leisure gathering, with 55 percent of respondents saying they had planned one in the previous year; these were followed by sports outings, 29 percent; reunions of friends, 26 percent; wedding parties, 22 percent; and association or community group gatherings, 20 percent.
Two top online group travel companies — Groople and GroupAbout — offer information on hotels, transportation, activities, cruises and packages. They have tools that help groups of five or more set up Web sites that can be customized for their trips; group members can share information and book and pay for travel. The companies also offer discounted rates, particularly for hotel rooms.
Hotel Planner is a little different. Groups provide information on the site, like the city they want to visit, their needs and other requirements; the site then collects online bids from hotels in that city. Once the group accepts a bid, HotelPlanner.com creates a customized Web site for the group that allows individuals to book rooms.
There are a number of other online options available that may be a good fit for your reunion. For more information read the NY Times article “Reservations for 38, With an Online Travel Planner” for information on how one family reunion planner arranged his reunion using online tools. For more information on custom printed t-shirts for your reunion, visit us online or call 1-800-295-5184. Download our product quote form for a detailed quote with complete pricing on a shirt for your next event!