I am one of those extremely lucky, rare people, who has a huge close knit family on paternal and maternal sides. I have a total of 18 first cousins and all of us are as thick as ice in Antartica. And with such a precious wealth of an amazing family, comes the responsibility of keeping the bonding going – across generations.
One of the most foolproof ways is to have family gatherings in the form of trips. As much as we love our individual freedom and hate having too many people around, the real fun of knowing each other can only be experienced when you are bound together, away from your usual atmosphere and routines.
One such fun trip is what we planned for our extended family of 28 people to Goa. Yep, Goa. We had elderly ranging from 72 years to kids right up to 4 years. And a lot of us were working – and took time out to make this happen! Here’s what we did to ensure we had a kickass trip – full of solid bonding:
- We announced our intention for a trip and destination almost a year in advance. Everyone had an idea of it and everyone could block their dates without a doubt.
- We booked our flight tickets and hotels almost 6 months prior – so even though our dates coincided with Diwali, we got the best deals!
- Closer to the event, we did a massive build up of sending out teaser whatsapp images to everyone on the group 🙂 It created massive excitement. We also divided roles and responsibilities amongst elders and youngsters
- We planned an itinerary – a fashion show for kids, water sports for the younger lot, shack enjoyment and dolphin sighting for the elderly and last but not the least, late night clubbing and Goa exploration for the younger generation! There was a little bit of fun for everyone!
- In Goa, we booked ourselves cars like Thars for the younger gang and Innova for elderly. This ensured hassle free self drive travel 🙂 It was an amazing experience
- We distributed happening merchandize such as personalized branded hoodies for youngsters with their personality and name written on it – i.e. Dashing Deepak, Musical Monali. Kids got tees with pics of all their cousins printed on it.
- We got elderly some lovely diwali lamps and some fun gifts which they loved
- As the case with any gujju family, we had carried tons of diwali snacks to keep our tummy full no matter where we were 🙂
A well planned trip like this helped the elderly enjoy a destination which usually they’d be ignored for, most of the times. From their perspective, this was an absolute fun and change. From our perspective, we youngsters got time to spend with everyone – and got to live the goa life in the night ;), the kids who are technically second cousins, got to bond like first cousins!
We spent approx 16/17k per person for 3 nights and 4 days of a complete itinerary. Not bad eh? And what we found was priceless fun.
And when you have made precious memories, it is only fair to capture it in physical form. So to add sheen to the entire event I even got this sleekly printed photo album made – 2 days after the trip capturing all those happy memories!
So next time you are doubting whether you should go out on a massive family trip, just chin up, plan well (with elderly in your group – planning is essential – they hate unplanned excursions), block your dates in advance and just go for it 🙂