You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Travel Tips: How to have a destination celebration


Whether it’s a milestone birthday or anniversary or a big work promotion, why not mark the occasion with a destination celebration? “Instead of a three-hour party, you can have a three-day celebration where you connect with your closest family and friends and create everlasting memories,” said Jack Ezon, who plans destination celebrations and is president of the New York City travel consultancy Ovation Vacations. 

Here he offers advice on planning a successful group getaway commemorating a special occasion.  

Know Your Budget: It’s essential, Ezon said, to plan your trip with a budget in mind. “Many people I’ve worked with have no sense of what they want to spend and are surprised at all the associated costs,” he said. In his experience, 25 percent of the budget goes toward accommodations and 40 percent is spent on the events; the rest includes extras such as airport transfers and welcome baskets for guests.  

Be Upfront About Who Pays: Some hosts cover the cost of everything for their guests, including airfare, accommodations and meals not part of celebration events. Others spring only for events associated with their celebration. When you’re inviting guests, clearly convey which costs you’re picking up. “Money is a sensitive matter,” Ezon said, “and I’ve seen instances where some guests assume that every part of the trip is covered but get socked with an unexpected hotel bill. A scenario like that can hurt your valuable relationships.”  

Have a Representative: Destination celebrations involve a lot of logistics, such as travel, the needs of your guests and the details of your different events. Managing all these aspects on your own is a headache and will leave you little room to enjoy your trip, Ezon said. A representative, either from your hotel or from a party planning company, can help lighten your load. Also, some travel agencies, including Ezon’s, have employees who are experts in planning large group getaways and can play the role of a representative. Expect to pay a representative around 10 percent of the celebration cost; hotels usually don’t charge for their representatives.  

Pick the Right Destination: An easy-to-reach location reduces disruptions and is respectful of your guests, Ezon said. You might dream about a party in St. Barts, for example, but the Caribbean island has limited nonstop flights from the United States. Stick to a destination that is within a three-hour drive from where most of your guests live or is a manageable nonstop flight away.  

Consider a Hotel Buyout: Taking over an entire hotel for your celebration has several advantages. “The mood is more intimate, you’ll get better service and you don’t have to worry about disturbing other guests with your festivities,” Ezon said. Whether you have 15 guests or 250, you can find an appropriate hotel, but if a buyout isn’t an option, choose a property with a variety of venues to host multiple events.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

Tracking Twain by the marks he left
Tracking Twain by the marks he left

Who flies to Reno on a spring evening, rents a car and heads into the mountains with no skis, no mountain bike and a backpack full of books? Me. Why? Because in 1861 a 25-year-old Missouri riverboat pilot named Sam Clemens boarded a stagecoach bound for the same territory. He was going to dodge the Civil War for a few months, work for the government...
Talk travel: Tips for gratuities and other travel questions answered

The Washington Post's travel writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: When I order room service, the gratuity (18-20%) and a service charge (up to $10) are already included. There is an additional blank tip line. Are we generally expected to tip more on top of the fees that are already...
A visit to Pandora

Pandora — the World of Avatar opened in May at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, and travel companies that specialize in Disney vacations were ready and waiting with Pandora packages.  Robert Merlin of SmartFlyer received several hundred phone calls in the past few months from people interested in trips to the fictional...
Karaoke coast to coast
Karaoke coast to coast

I was in a friend’s small, bright, WNYC-soundtracked Brooklyn apartment when I first heard about Santa’s in Nashville. They serve only beer because things got too crazy when they served liquor, this friend told me. Yes, it is Santa-themed, and you can still smoke inside. And there is karaoke every night.  My plan was to drive solo...
Hi-yo silver: Hitting the road in an Airstream
Hi-yo silver: Hitting the road in an Airstream

For more than 80 years the Airstream trailer company has been a fixation for American road warriors entranced by its sleek, bullet-shaped aluminum body and the promise of camping in luxury, nowadays known as glamping. The shiny trailers, built in Ohio, cast a strange spell. Smitten by some combination of nostalgia and wanderlust, a cross-generational...
More Stories