Retreats can serve a variety of purposes. For individuals, they offer a way to get away from the stresses of life and find some balance. Businesses have retreats for their employees to help foster unity and cooperation. Families can go on retreats, too. The trick is figuring out how to plan a retreat that will be relaxing, stress-free, and fun for everyone involved. Check out our guide to planning a family retreat before you book your next retreat destination.
Alt Text: Three people standing on a rock looking out over a lake and mountains in the distance
Planning a family retreat
Let’s explore what to look for in a retreat venue and how to go about planning a family retreat your entire family will love.
Why are you going on a family retreat?
Many families go on retreats to get away from it all, but the goal for each family will be different. Some people are looking to find some balance and relaxation, while others are looking to try a new activity, like yoga or ziplining. Some retreats are also religious or spiritual in nature.
As you’re planning your trip, make sure that everyone has an idea of what they hope to gain from this experience and what they want to see and do while they are there. Your motivations for the retreat will help determine which destination to pick.
Things to consider when searching for a retreat venue
As you’re searching for your retreat destination, keep these tips in mind.
First, make sure that it’s not too close to home so that you can really get away from everything. Retreats are much more special if they are a little further away.
Also, make sure that the venue offers enough for your whole family to do. Kids can get bored and antsy if they’re trying to amuse themselves all day long, so choose a place with plenty of activities available. And don’t forget about programming for parents who may need a break from their kids during the stay!
Next, consider your itinerary. Does the retreat venue require you to abide by a strict schedule? Or are you free to do your own thing? Either way, it’s a good idea to create your own itinerary ahead of time to make the most of your experience.
Things you’ll need before planning your retreat
When you’ve narrowed down potential destinations, start thinking through what kind of amenities will best suit everyone in your group. Here are a few questions to inspire your search:
- Will we need childcare for smaller kids?
- Is there a quiet space for reading or a gym?
- Is there an on-site restaurant?
- Does it have any outdoor spaces like pools or gardens?
- Will we need to share a room or space with other people or families?
Once you know where you’re going and what your family might want from their stay, call ahead of time (or go in person) and ask about all the details.
Picking the right venue is likely the hardest part of the whole retreat experience. The best way to get started is with some research into which destinations are available as well as the amenities offered by each one. Then, start narrowing down choices based on the factors that matter most to everyone in your family.
How long should your family retreat be?
There’s no hard and fast rule, but you should try to plan for at least three days for your family retreat. The longer you stay, the more chances you’ll have to enjoy all of its offerings.
If you’re able to spend a week or more (and if finances allow), it might be worth booking an entire house or cabin instead so everybody can spread out and get some space without being stuck in one room together 24 hours a day.
One thing to consider when deciding on the length of your stay is the price. If the venue offers a deal that requires you to stay for seven days, it might not be such a bad idea if the price per night is lower.
If your family retreat only needs to last two or three nights at most, then booking one of those all-inclusive deals where everything from breakfast and lunch to spa treatments are included could work out nicely.
The bottom line? There’s no perfect amount of time for every family; just consider what will make everyone happiest on vacation together!
Is the retreat venue pet-friendly?
If your furry friends have been a part of your kids’ lives from day one, then they deserve their own vacation once in a while too! When it comes to family retreats, one concern that can arise is whether the location you are considering allows pets.
Some pet-friendly locations will allow dogs and cats with certain restrictions. Some venues might not permit any animals under 30 pounds, or they may require you to pay an extra fee or a higher nightly rate.
To find out if your destination will accommodate your four-legged friend as well, check with staff ahead of time about what their policies are before requesting additional information online. You don’t want to book a venue only to find out at the last minute that pets aren’t allowed.
Alt text: A hammock tied up on two palm trees with the ocean and cloudy blue sky in the background
Booking a family retreat: wrapping up
We hope these tips have helped you form a plan for your next big family retreat. Remember to plan ahead and take everyone’s needs into consideration, and you’re well on your way to finding the perfect venue.