How to Plan a Multi-Family Vacation

How to Plan a Multi-Family Vacation


Have you ever wanted to get your family together for a fun vacation everyone will enjoy?

Well, I have always wanted to do this. A multi-family vacation was something I talked about for a long time, and last fall, as I was putting my dates together for my family’s trip back to the US, I thought about how perfect the timing was for a big family cabin trip in Colorado. So I planned it! And I will share everything I did with you so you can plan a successful multi-family trip too!

Assign A Point Person

The point person will be the person who is responsible for planning and coordinating the whole trip.

As the point person, if you need help, you need to be responsible for asking for it and knowing how to ask for it so you don’t make things more complicated for yourself or cause drama.

I ran my ideas by my mom at first. But then I also wanted her to feel like a guest, so I only went into detail about some things.

I wanted my guests to feel like they didn’t have to do much before the trip, so I stayed as organized as possible. I tried to plan efficiently and communicate, so all they had to do was show up.

Point-person tasks included researching, finding the property, taking payments, securing the property, communicating with the property managers, taking and relaying questions, meal planning, shopping, driving, planning activities, and sharing information with the family.

It was a lot, but with the effort in the end.

Gain Interest Among Those You Want to Invite

Discuss your ideas with your family and get their input on the location, activities, and dates. Doing this will help ensure everyone is excited about the trip and invested in its success.

Additionally, consider creating a shared Pinterest board or Google Doc where everyone can contribute ideas and suggestions for the trip.


Do your research and pick lodging that will suit the many personalities, ages, preferences, disabilities, and more of your guests. You want people to envision themselves in the plans so they can feel comfortable initially.

When picking a location, consider factors such as proximity to activities or attractions, availability of amenities, and the size and layout of the lodging to accommodate everyone comfortably.

Meal Planning

Proper meal planning will ensure everyone’s dietary needs and preferences are considered. For example, assign or have people sign up to make meals or contribute potluck-style meals to make sure everyone is involved and has the opportunity to contribute.

A meal planning app or a Google sheet can make it easy for everyone to see what meals are planned and what ingredients are needed. Remember to account for snacks and drinks throughout the trip.

It’s also a good idea to plan for some meals out or takeout options in case cooking for a large group becomes overwhelming.


Agree on a communication plan before the trip, such as a group chat or shared itinerary, to ensure everyone is informed about plans and changes.

We used email, and a group chat to communicate. I also created an itinerary with everything laid out to clarify things. I wanted to make sure everyone was informed, felt included, and knew of any changes made.

About two months before the trip, I created a Google form that asked questions about everything! Things from allergies, dietary restrictions, activity preferences/ideas, information about covid and testing, level of participation in tasks like cooking, carpooling, and much more.


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    About a month before the trip, I held a webinar with a PowerPoint-style presentation. It was beneficial and informative. It was also helpful to speak to the group and answer their questions so everyone could hear the answers.

    Everything I am saying I did for this trip may seem like a lot, especially to those of you that have done this before. But because I was responsible for people, food, money, and more, I had to make sure I was clear and doing things as organized as possible, even when dealing with family.

    Budget & Additional Costs

    You want to create a budget that will be reasonable for everyone to share. A good budget can include lodging, food, activities, and transportation.

    You also want to have an easy way for people to submit payments. So, consider methods like PayPal, Apple Pay, or Zelle. I like Zelle for its secure banking options, which seemed simple for everyone in the group.


    Plan group activities that cater to everyone’s interests and abilities, such as hiking, board games, or movie nights.

    Consider setting up a shared calendar or schedule so everyone knows what’s going on and can plan their free time accordingly. And don’t forget to build in some downtime for relaxation and socializing!

    Expectations and Behavior

    Establish clear rules and expectations for behavior, such as quiet hours or shared spaces, to ensure everyone has an enjoyable experience. Sharing expectations goes back to having clear communication.

    We needed to discuss the rules of discipline because children of different ages were attending the trip. For example, those with children were asked a question on the Google form about who should discipline their children if they are not around and their child is misbehaving. Knowing the answer to this type of question ahead of time from different people allowed us to act according to the preferences shared when needed.

    We had quiet hours starting at 10 pm, but there wasn’t a bedtime. Parents were able to establish that on their own for their family unit.

    We also had rules on shared spaces, cleaning, shoes in the house, and more. These were rules and norms made up by the group, so we would all be accountable for them, versus just me making up rules for the group and making people feel like the trip would be too strict or not fun from the start.

    I created the documents I needed from scratch for this trip to make things easier during the planning process. and because I don’t want you to have to start planning your multi-family trip from square one, I have created a free bundle of the documents I used to help you plan the best trip you can for your loved ones.

    I hope what I shared in today’s post helps you plan your multi-family vacation! Please let me know if there is anything else you need or if you have questions I can answer below.

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