Nothing seems more attractive than the idea of having your family reunion in paradise. It certainly beats the typical alternatives: asking your relatives to host the event at one of their homes… or forcing everyone to travel somewhere they really don’t want to go.
By hosting your event in a place like Koh Samui instead, you’ll easily take the typical, mundane family reunion that people feel obliged to attend and turn it into something truly memorable that your guests will breathlessly anticipate.
That said, while getting the family together on Koh Samui is an exciting idea, it does take some planning. Not only will you have to choose a family-friendly resort, you’ll need to create an itinerary that offers something for everyone. Here’s what you need to know to get started planning your perfect family reunion on Koh Samui:
One of the first things you’ll need to do when planning your Koh Samui reunion is to make sure everyone’s travel documents are in order. The last thing you want is to have to leave Uncle Joe behind because he didn’t apply for his passport until it was too late!
Depending on where you’re from, it can take up to two or three months to get a passport. That means making sure that everyone who needs one has applied at least 10-12 weeks before departure.
Though there’s not such a time-crunch for getting immunizations and necessary medications, everyone should be up-to-date on their health needs before departure. There are really no special immunizations requirements for traveling to Koh Samui (and the island has a negligible risk for malaria as well), but you’ll still want to check that your relatives are all current with standard vaccinations.
Travel insurance can be a good idea for a family reunion on Koh Samui. With insurance, your guests can get a full or partial refund if they have to cancel or change their plans for any reason. This can be very useful for making sure that everyone is included in the reunion. If someone gets the flu, for example, they can push their ticket back a few days and still get to enjoy the reunion – instead of being forced to cancel their trip altogether.
Once everyone is aware of these pre-travel basics, you can move on to buying airline tickets, reserving accommodations, and planning your itinerary.
CHOOSING A RESORT
When it comes to family reunions on Koh Samui, one thing is paramount: flexibility. You want everyone who attends to be able to enjoy themselves to the fullest degree. That means giving everyone a number of different entertainment options to enjoy on their own and then planning special times when everyone in the family can be together (such as at dinnertime).
Many resorts on Koh Samui offer special family reunion packages. However, not all of these packages are created equal – some will require everyone to follow the same schedule and partake in the same activities. Different options are usually available, but at an extra cost that isn’t covered in the package.
The best resorts offer flexibility and allow you to enjoy Samui’s attractions on your own schedule. Don’t be afraid to request special scheduling and special catering alternatives – a good resort will immediately take your requests into consideration.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
One of the reasons that Koh Samui is an attractive family reunion destination is that it truly does offer something for everyone. Younger visitors might enjoy attractions like the Samui Butterfly Garden. Older, more adventurous family members can try snorkeling or diving, or they can head inland and take a trek through the jungle.
There are also a number of different beach choices and, of course, plenty of shopping and restaurant options.
WHAT ABOUT A VILLA?
One experience many families enjoy is renting a family-style private villa instead of choosing a resort. This option allows for a lot of flexibility, and it can actually save you money through self-catering options.
The best villas on Koh Samui have all the features of a luxury resort – and then some. Some villas have private pools that will only be used by your family; you won’t have to share with any other guests. Some have expansive grounds and private beachfront land as well. You can also hire a cook to come in and cater your meals whenever you need – instead of whenever the resort tells you that it’s meal time.
The best thing about renting a private villa, though, is that it allows family bonding times to happen naturally. People can gather in the private living room in the evening and spend time together. The reunion will flow without needing to schedule special “togetherness times.”
Good rental villas will also be able to provide access to all the Koh Samui experience that a good resort can offer. Plus, you can choose what activities your family wants to partake in on an a la carte basis, instead of as a package.
BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT
Koh Samui is driest from January through March. April through September, when the rest of Thailand is experiencing monsoon season, Koh Samui experiences relatively light rains. However, heavier rains do affect the island occasionally. The wettest season is from October through the New Year. Even during the wet season, though, rain is intermittent – so your vacation won’t be a total washout, even if you choose to come in December.
With the right planning, your family can have a reunion on Koh Samui that everyone will enjoy and look back fondly on for years to come. Your relatives will leave with only one question: when can we come back again?