Planning a family reunion getaway? Here's your...
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Apr 26, 2016  |  Vote 0    0

Planning a family reunion getaway? Here's your property rental checklist

Metroland Media


Finding the perfect vacation property for your family reunion is not simply a matter of finding enough bedrooms to accommodate all the guests. As with planning any getaway, the devil is in the details.

A large gathering of extended family and friends requires a space where loved ones of all ages can gather, stretch out, play, and get cleaned up without feeling cramped in.

Here are 11 things to keep in mind when searching for the perfect family reunion vacation property:
 

1. How much space do you need?


roomy kitchen
Muskoka Vista Lake House - Hunstville, ON

Of course, the search for a family vacation property will start with the number the home or cottage sleeps. After all, no one wants to bunk with your uncle who snores (perhaps not even your aunt). But the most important spaces of a large vacation property are the common areas where your family will spend the majority of their time:

• kitchen

• living room or den

• dining area

• patio or deck

A family reunion will surely bring out more than one family chef, so a roomy kitchen will go a long way in preventing any unnecessary flare-ups between the cooks during food prep. You might not necessarily need a large room and table for formal dining, but space to lay out food or play board games during inclement weather is essential for a reunion.
 

2. Have you started planning early enough?


rochemaure
Au Pied Du Lac Rochemaure -- Saint-Donat-de-Montcalm, QC

The early bird gets the worm, and in the case of vacation rentals, the early planner gets the pick of the lot! Many cottages in prime locations book up for the summer well before the winter snow has even melted. Coordinate with family members regarding schedules and bookmark filtered searches on sites like CanadaStays.com up to a year in advance to find the perfect property for your party of 10 or more.
 

3. Does the property have bunkies?


bunkie
Skeleton Lake Cottage - Utterson, ON

While some vacation homes provide enough sleeping quarters for 10 or more guests under the same roof, many cottages in Ontario offer bunkies on the property. Bunkies, for the uninitiated, are sleeping quarters separate from the main building. They're great for additional sleeping space or housing the early risers, night owls, or snorers of the group.

While they offer privacy at bedtime, bunkies are seldom equipped with private washrooms. For that reason, it might be a good idea to keep families with small children or older guests in the main house so that they don't need to fumble outside in the dark to use the bathroom at night.
 

4. Is there safe access to recreational areas?


water access
Oxtongue Lake Retreat - Algonquin Park, ON

A large cottage near the water might seem appealing, but for families with young children in tow, it's important to do some additional research to suss out whether access to the lake or river is via a shallow sandy beach or past a steep pile of boulders.

Similarly, if you're planning on doing some boating or swimming, check if the property offers appropriately-sized life jackets and other safety equipment. If not, update your packing list to include them.
 

5. Is there enough parking for the guests?


parking
Domaine Sugar Hill - Knowlton, QC

For most gatherings, a venue needs to be able to accommodate the guests' vehicles, and a family reunion getaway is no exception.

Unless each family is planning on arriving at the property by train, plane or boat together, make sure that all vehicles can be parked safely nearby without eating up too much space on the grounds, or blocking the way in or out of the property.

 

6. What other amenities are onsite?


bbq
Chandos Lake, ON

It'd be a shame to bring to the cottage all the accoutrements for a cookout only to discover that there's no bbq onsite.

Do you your due diligence and find out exactly which onsite amenities -- think internet access, hot tubs, outdoor seating, etc. -- are available and in good condition to avoid disappointment.

 

7. Does the location work for everyone?


central location
Luxury Georgian Bay Cottage - Penetanguishene, ON

Location, location, location.

It's important to be considerate when selecting a destination for your family reunion. A location convenient for one family may either be too far or prohibitively expensive to get to for the rest.

 

8. Does the property match the family's interests and hobbies?


personality
Riverstone - Port Severn, ON

A beautiful lakefront property with unguarded access to deep water, picturesque as it may be, doesn't make sense for a family of non-swimmers and might also be quite dangerous.

Don't underestimate the importance of matching the vacation property's amenities and nearby attractions to your family's personality and interests. This rule applies whether your family enjoys raucous play outside or quiet seclusion indoors.
 

9. Is the property accessible?


accessibility
Les Terrasses Louisa Chalet - Wentworth-Nord, QC

Consider those members of your family who may have mobility challenges before signing any rental agreements. This might mean narrowing down the search to properties that have a ramp out front and have access to bedrooms and bathrooms on the main floor.
 

10. Is the property campfire friendly?


campfire
Bluehaven Cottage - Grand Bend, ON

Always double check if the property is campfire-friendly, preferably well before you set out to gather kindling. Don't assume that all properties have fire pits as campfires may be prohibited in certain jurisdictions and during certain times of the year.
 

11. Are there enough bathrooms?


bathroom
Luxury Vacation Home - Richmond, BC

Last, but certainly not least, a rental with a sufficient number of bathrooms is essential to successful reunion. While it's unreasonable to expect to find a 1:1 guest to bathroom ratio in a cottage, one full bathroom per family of four might do the trick.

CanadaStays logo

This list has been brought to you by CanadaStays. With over 50,000 cottages, cabins, chalets, resorts, lodges, B&Bs and unique country accommodations available for rent across the country, CanadaStays.com is Canada's largest vacation rental resource.

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