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Organising a large family holiday?????

(22 Posts)
FayaMAMA Wed 13-Jul-16 12:10:22

HOW DO YOU DO IT? That's the question.

Ever since my siblings and I have started having our own children and getting married, we've found it impossible to pull off a big family holiday. My brothers, sisters and I have vowed to try and organise a family trip for September, and because I "don't have a job" (I'm part-time freelance and a student hmm ) I've been given the role of primary organiser, but I have no idea where to start. We've all managed to book time off work so there's no backing out now.

There are 35 of us including babies and children.

Where do I start in terms of bookings? Flights? Hotels?

Should I look at hotels or maybe large villas? Would they be big enough?

Any suggestions for destinations? Anywhere warm and child-friendly!

Any other advice?

We would like to keep in Europe, ideally, 4 hr flight max as there are a lot of littles flying.

I'm definitely not the person to be organising this trip but I'm such a push over, I hope you can help me! Sorry if I've posted in the wrong place... Don't know where else to go! Google was overwhelming!

mrsmortis Wed 13-Jul-16 13:42:08

isn't this where you contact a travel agent? Ask an expert!

concertplayer Wed 13-Jul-16 13:43:12

I would start by seeing if you can get any discounts: with 35 people you should be able to negotiate a block discount with any major firm.
Have a few destinations in mind .The weather will still be good in Sept
anywhere in Southern Europe with a max 2 hour flight.
Self catering apartments or villas should be cheaper but who will do the
cooking? (Check if laundry and cleaning airport transfer provided or not)
Who will be sharing with whom?
Aparthotels are a nice compromise.
With such a range of ages I would choose accommodation near to a
main resort so there is somthing for everyone. If older people then
check it is not too hilly/a flat walk.
Those over 65 may have to pay considerably more insurance

Juliecloud Wed 13-Jul-16 13:45:08

I would look at euro camp, pick a site you like the look of and tell everyone to book their own 😀

DereksGotATail Wed 13-Jul-16 13:47:23

I believe Thompsons have a special department for large bookings and give discounts for such parties.

hardheadedwoman Wed 13-Jul-16 13:49:17

I'd definitely rope a travel agent in

MaybeDoctor Wed 13-Jul-16 20:00:52

I would try a self-catering complex in the Algarve.

bakingaddict Wed 13-Jul-16 20:20:08

Maybe look at places like Tenerife and Lanzarote or Spain and the Balearics. They should have wide appeal to accommodate all ages

FayaMAMA Wed 13-Jul-16 23:31:09

You're all right! I'm calling a travel agent; this is too stressful! I can still pretend I did it all myself, right? We are all under 40 so no need to think about those 65+. Can you get catered villas (like you can get catered chalet's in ski resorts)?

SmallBee Wed 13-Jul-16 23:36:13

I have done it a couple of times and the key things I would suggest is to use a website like Doodle where you set up a date range and send everyone a link. They then log on all tick dates they can do, it cuts out a lot off faff.
In the same email make sure to ask if anyone has any requirements (not requests) that might limit what you can look for in the holiday, ie child/pet friendly, wheelchair accessible etc. Give them a deadline to reply and tell them if you haven't heard anything from them by then you'll assume they're free with no restrictions. Then go to a travel agents and let them do the rest!

NicknameUsed Thu 14-Jul-16 10:16:15

"HOW DO YOU DO IT? That's the question."

We don't. I can't imagine going on holiday with that many people, and still be on speaking terms with them all by the end of it.

Ditto travel agent advice BTW.

NapQueen Thu 14-Jul-16 10:18:13

Find an AI Hotel. Book sufficient rooms for everyone. Ask for them all to be on the ground floor around the pool.

Use a travel agent!

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Thu 14-Jul-16 10:28:39

I'd do Eurocamp in Italy or Croatia.

You'll all be on top of each other in a villa and never speak to each other again when you get home. Lots of little units for each nuclear family but next to/ within a couple of minute's walk of each other will be much more relaxing.

35 people does sound far too many, but I assume that's 5 or 6 families each consisting of one of your siblings, their partner and quite a few children each? In that case it would be OK on a Eurocamp type site or in a cluster of self catering cottages, but chaos and very loud all in one big villa!

Travel agent sounds good if you want a package - otherwise Eurcamp or CEntre park type or self catering cottage all on one site around a pool per family and each book your own flights and hire cars and meet there.

NicknameUsed Thu 14-Jul-16 10:35:06

"You'll all be on top of each other in a villa and never speak to each other again when you get home. Lots of little units for each nuclear family but next to/ within a couple of minute's walk of each other will be much more relaxing."

That sounds like a really sensible idea.

Pootles2010 Thu 14-Jul-16 10:38:24

Center parcs in Europe? If lots of littlies? They have them in France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands. Nowhere mega sunny however, but would be lots for kids to do, plus like PP said, everyone gets their own little house.

Coconutty Thu 14-Jul-16 10:40:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Workinzzz Thu 14-Jul-16 10:49:07

I think somewhere like this where you have lots of individual villas, so each family has their own space and you can meet by the pool would be good. Although you might struggle trying to go out for meals with 35 of you and I'm not sure how you would all eat together in one villa either.

I can't imagine 35 people will want to spend the whole time in each others pockets though.

TBF its sounds like hell to me and I think its really unfair to put all the focus on one person to book as you know when you get there you will be the one expected to know everything and have all the answers about the resort/area/plans/car hire/ restaurants etc

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Thu 14-Jul-16 10:55:40

This is my suggestion - we've stayed there twice with young kids:

www.camping-bellaitalia.it/en/oleandro.php

I've also been to Centreparks and Bella Italia is about 397 times nicer grin

No undercover, but in Italy.

Phone the campsite direct and ask about booking 6 bungalows (or however many families you will be). They have bungalows or apartments (or mobile homes) fantastic swimming pools and entertainment and kids clubs if you want them (easy to avoid if not) and restaurants if you don't want to self cater for lunch and evening meals and have a bigger budget.

DamsonJam Thu 14-Jul-16 11:16:34

Hi - we do this with my family - although there are 25 of us rather than 35! Here's how we do it.

We go for a large self catering villa - it means we get to stay in the sort of place that we would never be able to afford to otherwise - private pools etc - as a large shared house can work out very good value. First off you need to find a place that will take that many of you - try www.ownersdirect.co.uk/search/europe/region:5/minSleeps/35 or www.vrbo.com or homeaway.co.uk. When looking keep in mind the configuration of sleeping arrangements and closeness to airports etc. We usually end up discussing a few options by email before settling on a preferred place - people need to be prepared to compromise! :-)

Then each family organises their own flights and car hire.

In terms of catering, we share the cooking so that each family are responsible for catering on one night (covers 5 nights - we do two sittings - one for children and one for grown ups) and we eat out/ hire caterers on the other 2 nights. But if you prefer to be catered all the time you could probably do that. The owner of any large villa is likely to be able to recommend local caterers. We always eat out on the last night so that there are no leftovers the last day. With a large group you can often hire out an entire restaurant (and that way be more relaxed if kids are a bit lively) so look into that in the first couple of days of your holiday. Everyone is responsible for sorting themselves for breakfast and lunch (although the family who are catering are responsible for shopping that day and keeping the kitchen stocked on their day). We keep receipts so that we can calculate the total food bill at the end and work out if anyone owes anyone anything.

In terms of how we spend the holiday - everybody does their own thing during the day - sometimes that works out as doing things together, other times not, we just go with the flow while we're there.

Hope that helps - enjoy! And remember just because you're organiser - it doesn't mean you actually have to DO everything - it's a co-ordination role rather than a manager role.

I know some people say that it sounds their idea of hell but I love my holidays with my family - the kids get to play with their cousins and we get to hang out with each other as much or as little as we want.

frenchfancy Thu 14-Jul-16 17:51:32

TBH I think your biggest problem is going to be that you have left it too late (unless you are talking about September next year). Big houses book up very early so you are going to be very limited in your choice unless you have a very big budget.

FayaMAMA Sun 31-Jul-16 23:44:55

Yes I know 35 is a lot! Thank you so much for all these responses! I am one of 7 siblings who are all coming with their families or partners, plus a couple of cousins. We've done holidays like this before, but not with quite as many children.

With the help of a travel agent (*obviously*) we have managed to secure a large house with a few renovated out-buildings that sleeps up to 50 (so we are inviting parents now too)! It has been recently renovated and is charging WELL above the average for the area - probably hence the availability, but split between us all it won't be too bad. It's quite remote but there is a swimming pool, a tennis court and extensive grounds to play in (and Wifi) so the kids will be okay. The outhouses will provide some much needed privacy too. The younger among us wanted to be a little closer to a town or city to explore but compromises were made for the quality of family time smile

Thank you so much for all of your advice. I don't know how most of you think going away with your family is hell! We are all so excited. Each to their own!

frenchfancy Mon 01-Aug-16 17:57:12

Sounds ideal Faya Have fun.

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