You did it! You worked hard over the course of the past few years to learn, acquire skills, and now you get to walk across a stage and into the “real world.” Except, the biggest challenge of your college days is still ahead of you:
Organizing and playing host to your entire family when they come into town for your graduation.
This is no task to take lightly, especially if you’ve got a large group coming to support you! Since you’re the accomplished soon-to-be-grad, Aunt Ellen is going to be texting you with questions about where to eat, Grandma will be squeezing you with hugs and a barrage of questions about your “next steps,” and mom will be… well, you know mom!
For Your Graduation in Vermont, We Have Some Tips
Actually, we don’t know your family so we can’t say what they’ll say or do, but we can give you a few quick tips on how to manage stress-free group travel. You are already familiar with the area, so in the eyes of your relatives, you’re the go-to source for everything. Here’s how to prepare.
Create a Rough Itinerary For The Group
If there’s just a few of you, this may not be needed. If you have more than four people, for example, it’s wise to assemble a general itinerary of what is happening when. Some grads have more than one event to attend, and of those, not all are open to the entire extended family. In the itinerary indicate when and where the group can join you, and when the group “free time” is, for example. Use email, text, or printed copies (whatever works for everyone in your family) to distribute the itinerary.
Assemble a List of Recommended Places
In those “free time” slots, your family may need some guidance and since you are the expert, who do you think they’ll turn to? Once again, you can be super prepared by having a list of recommendations. Add in your favorite restaurants, both sit-down and quick. List some easy and fun activities that can be done in a few hours or less. For those members who crave being active, add in the best local gyms or running trails. Whatever needs you predict your family will have, add it to the list!
Make Reservations in Advance
Whether you want to be celebrated in a big way or not is beside the point as your family can’t wait to shower you with praise! A graduation dinner, luncheon, or brunch will be in order, for which you should make a reservation. Choose a restaurant that can comfortably seat your group and accepts reservations. Trust us; your family will be super appreciative of your planning. If you don’t have time, delegate this task to a sibling or parent!
Provide Accommodation Recommendations
Likely, you haven’t stayed in a hotel or resort in your college town since you live there. You’ve been in the area long enough, though, to have heard of different hotel options and gather an idea of which are suitable to recommend to your family. Add them to your recommendations list!
Designate a Communication Channel
To help everyone stay on the same page, it’s wise to designate a communication channel. For example, a group text. It doesn’t matter what the channel is, as long as everyone has it and knows to use it.
Keep a Spacious Schedule
If you enjoy being the family tour guide and can’t wait to show everyone around, heed this advice, keep plenty of space in the schedule. Graduations often have a lot packed into a short period of time, and ensuring your entire group gets where they need to be on time won’t be pleasant in a rush. By all means, play the tour guide and shuffle the group around, but be sure to allow plenty of time.
Consider Everyone’s Needs
The primary challenge of group travel lies in allowing everyone to get his or her way. Kids want to play; young adults may want to shop, cousins are ready to hit the bar scene, so on and so forth. To avoid conflict, gather your group at the onset of the trip and have a quick meeting. Ask everyone to share what they wish to experience, see, eat, etc. Compare that with the itinerary and known free time, and work as a group to meet everyone’s needs.
We’ve all been through a graduation or two, and we know how hectic it can become while it’s happening. That is precisely why we want to help, through the above tips and insights for your consideration and, hopefully, advance execution! Take a moment to do a little pre-planning, and we know you, and your family, will have an exceptional time together.
If it just so happens you’ll be graduating in Burlington, consider a luxurious stay at The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa for you and your loved ones!