5 Tips to Plan a Budget-Friendly Family Reunion

Posted by Shaun Morgan in BudgetingAugust 8, 2022(Last Updated August 8, 2022)5 min read
Key Takeaways
  • Planning a family reunion can be very rewarding, especially when you haven’t seen family members in a while.
  • When planning a budget-friendly family reunion, take advantage of bulk-buying and embrace DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects.
  • There are plenty of ways to have fun with your family at no cost.
Are you ready to make some real money moves?

A family reunion is a priceless moment. However, the price of planning a family reunion can add up very quickly. Those who have taken the initiative to plan a family reunion can become overwhelmed, especially if they are paying for the bulk of the items.


The price of planning a family reunion can increase drastically by trying to accommodate everyone’s needs. So while fewer people attending might be a plus for you, planning a family reunion on a budget will allow more people to come, which is what family gatherings are all about.

Below are five financial tips to save money on planning the best family reunion that everyone can enjoy.


1. Lodge and Fly Together

Lodge Together

While it is great to have your own space, paying hotel prices for an entire family reunion weekend can get pretty steep, especially if you have to pay for multiple rooms. To reduce lodging costs without camping outside, keep reading for two options to save money.


Look for Group Rates


Book the same hotel and ask for a group rate. The more people that book at one time, the better discount you will receive. So if you know in advance that you will need ten rooms, reach out to the hotel and ask for a group rate. You can get substantial discounts for booking with a group rate.


Short-Term Rental

Look for a spacious short-term rental. Some houses are used for short-term rental with 6, 10, or 12 bedrooms. Some are even bigger than that. While a hefty overnight price tag might be intimidating, splitting the bill five or ten ways can become much more manageable. 


You’ll have your own kitchen, backyard, separate bedrooms, and a place to relax that isn’t a hotel bed. Plus, you get to spend more time with family.


Fly Together

If lodging with your family makes you cringe, consider flying together. This can be tricky, but if you live reasonably close to some of your relatives, coordinating flights to get a group rate discount can put a smaller dent in your bank account.

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Some airlines even offer group discounts directly on their website. The best part is you don’t have to sit next to each other, which is a double win for introverts who need some alone time.


Whether flying together or lodging together, taking advantage of the group discount is a huge benefit for your family reunion on a budget.


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2. DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Projects


If you decide to turn your family reunion into a formal affair, it’s important to note that the price will likely increase exponentially. But if you can DIY (Do-It-Yourself) some things and have fun with your family in the process, it can save a ton of money.


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Eating out is the fastest way to destroy your family reunion budget. Instead of catering, consider a potluck or a cookout. Statistics show that buying food from a grocery store and cooking meals at home can save you tons of money each year. The more food you prepare yourselves, the more money you’ll save.


Happy family eating at dinner table


There is no shame in eating PB&J (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) for lunch. The words “frugal” and “filling” should be your mantra for planning the food budget.




A family reunion shirt is a big deal to many people, but it doesn’t have to be custom-made. Craft supplies and plain white shirts make for a fun activity, unique shirts for everyone, and more money in your pocket.


If having shirts for everyone is still too expensive, why not just give everyone a name tag? You’ll still be easy to identify and won’t forget anyone’s names. Designing badges can also be a fun family activity and a great way to save money.



With cameras getting better on select phones, it hardly makes sense to hire a photographer anymore. So instead, ask some tech-savvy family members, usually the kids and teenagers, to take family group pictures. At most, you may need to buy a cheap tripod to set your phone on to capture everyone in the photo.


Planning a family reunion



Attending events will quickly drive up the cost of your family reunion. Instead, consider having a talent show, playing lawn games, board games, or just talking and getting to know each other. You don’t have to be entertained; you can entertain each other. After all, a family reunion is about spending quality time together. 

3. Free or Cheap Venue


You don’t have to hire an event venue for your family reunion. If you booked a block of rooms at one hotel, the banquet hall at the hotel would probably be available to you for cheap or free. If not, and the weather is nice, why not use a park? Parks are generally free to use and a great place to spread out and have a great time with your loved ones.


4. Avoid Peak Travel Season


During the travel season, the cost of everything increases, and travel is already expensive. But most importantly, the cost of fuel increases. If you are flying or driving to your reunion, going during the off-season is the best bet to get a good deal on fuel prices. The cost of plane tickets and hotel rooms will give you a general idea of what times are in-season and off-season.


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5. Stay Frugal for the Kids


Lastly, kids don’t really care about having expensive things. The adults want fine steak and expensive drinks. Too often, as adults, we combine our wants with what our kids may want. 



Most times, kids are happy with simple food choices like chicken tenders and fries or a handful of healthy fruit options like mangoes, watermelon, and apples. So you can splurge on food for the adults but get something cheap for the kids, and you’ll both be satisfied.

The Money Wrap-Up

Saving money on an event as big as a family reunion can be difficult, but with some decent effort, it shouldn’t be too difficult. Remember, a large group has an advantage; the less you pay someone else to do what you can do, the more money you will save.

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