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21 family members in one house!?

NY
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21 family members in one house!?

We are an extended family of 21 planning our first OBX trip for next summer (2009). We're hoping to rent a 9 bedroom oceanfront in either Duck or Corolla. We'll have a total of 6 families (9 kids) under one roof. We know we need to set up some house rules with regard to meals, cleaning etc. Any tips on this type of vacation would be welcome!

Virginia Beach...
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for Ocracoke
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1. Re: 21 family members in one house!?

You are wise to set up some guidelines, that way everyone has fun.

Here are some things we did:

Each family kicks in $50 to put in a house pot-that $$ is there to go shopping, pick up ice, and other group essentials-this ensures no one person is always paying when running out to the store. When it runs out-each puts in more $$$

Not sure of the age group, but make sure everything is fair with the kids-all eat the same foods, snacks, sodas etc... In the house we labeled cups with their names for juice etc... We would find 1/2 drunk soda cans all over the house, so we resorted to only cups in the house.

Plan activities for the kids-they will get bored at some point, plus too much sun one day means inside for the next day of two. Board games are great-but each mom in our group came up with a craft or similar activity to do during the week. Can be simple as collecting shells and painting them, make popscicle stick frames and glue shells on it, use dollar store paintbrushes and a bucket of water to paint the deck etc...If kids are older, plan age appropriate outings.

As for meals-each family took a night and prepared the meal. From prep to clean up. You can also do the same for cleaning-split up the house or identify the day each family is responsible for picking up.

The moms in our group sat down before the trip and divided up all the items we needed- toilet paper, snacks, detergent etc...we kept receipts from it all and then settled up at the end of the trip so we each spent the same $$$

I am sure I and others will think of more ideas, but that should get you started thinking!

Virginia Beach...
Destination Expert
for Ocracoke
Level Contributor
1,355 posts
118 reviews
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2. Re: 21 family members in one house!?

You are wise to set up some guidelines, that way everyone has fun.

Here are some things we did:

Each family kicks in $50 to put in a house pot-that $$ is there to go shopping, pick up ice, and other group essentials-this ensures no one person is always paying when running out to the store. When it runs out-each puts in more $$$

Not sure of the age group, but make sure everything is fair with the kids-all eat the same foods, snacks, sodas etc... In the house we labeled cups with their names for juice etc... We would find 1/2 drunk soda cans all over the house, so we resorted to only cups in the house.

Plan activities for the kids-they will get bored at some point, plus too much sun one day means inside for the next day of two. Board games are great-but each mom in our group came up with a craft or similar activity to do during the week. Can be simple as collecting shells and painting them, make popscicle stick frames and glue shells on it, use dollar store paintbrushes and a bucket of water to paint the deck etc...If kids are older, plan age appropriate outings.

As for meals-each family took a night and prepared the meal. From prep to clean up. You can also do the same for cleaning-split up the house or identify the day each family is responsible for picking up.

The moms in our group sat down before the trip and divided up all the items we needed- toilet paper, snacks, detergent etc...we kept receipts from it all and then settled up at the end of the trip so we each spent the same $$$

I am sure I and others will think of more ideas, but that should get you started thinking!

Upstate New York
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483 posts
12 reviews
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3. Re: 21 family members in one house!?

Have a couple of dinners catered.

Leave some dinners for each family to do their own thing.

Make sure each family cleans up after their own kids -- the kitchen can be chaos with everyone eating at different times, different stuff, etc. You don't want to be the person stuck in the kitchen preparing and cleaning up breakfast from 8:00am to noon (when the teens get up)...

Make sure everyone brings their own beach towels, and possibly chairs/umbrellas for the beach. (You can reserve and rent extra chairs/umbrellas if you need them.)

Use the outdoor shower all the time.

Have fun.

Key Colony Beach...
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for Florida Keys
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4. Re: 21 family members in one house!?

We just got back from a family trip with 21 of us. 5 families, ages 5 - 75. We shared the cooking responsibilities. Each family had 1 night to cook, we had 1 meal catered, and had leftovers one night.

We were up north of Corolla. IT WAS A BLAST.

As far as cleaning. Each person was responsible for keeping his / her bedroom clean. Lunch and breakfast was your own responsibility. If you were hungry, you cooked AND CLEANED it up.

Get plastic cups, write your name on it. You lose your cup, sucks to be you. No cans or bottles allowed.

For dinner clean up, we had "slaves". Each child had 2 nights they had to clean up the kitchen after dinner - in groups of 3 per night. The listing of slaves was written down and posted, so there were no questions - no arguments - no trading.

Set up a "quiet time" where the music is off and TV's quiet.

Too many rules, and it'll take the fun out.

VA
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88 posts
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5. Re: 21 family members in one house!?

We have been going with a large group for many years. Some years we have 1 house, sometimes 2. I would suggest booking your trip very early as the homes in Duck book up early and we have not found very many 9 bedroom houses in Duck. A pool at the house is a must for us. Also be sure to confirm the number of parking places your home has. We like to go to the Black Pelican for dinner one night...they are kid friendly and can handle large groups. We are going to try ordering groceries for delivery this year based on feedback from another TA poster. We too all put in $ at the beginning of the week to have available for food/beverage runs.

Key Colony Beach...
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for Florida Keys
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6. Re: 21 family members in one house!?

Another thing I meant to post, but forgot.

If everyone is going to be worried that I paid $xx.xx and someone else ate 50 cents more than I ate, there will be a problem.

Everyone should go into the week thinking that they are going to end up paying 25% more than they are going to get.

It will ruin your week if you are going to count pennies - even dollars.

NY
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20 posts
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7. Re: 21 family members in one house!?

Thank you all so much for your tips! It's a little scary thinking about so many people under one roof, but I think it will be an amazing vacation with tons of memories! I plan on sharing all your ideas with our group!

East Coast
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8. Re: 21 family members in one house!?

You are going to have a blast as long as you let things roll that really don't matter, remember that everyone has to pitch in more than their fair share and that you are there to have fun! I have been with as few as 8 and as many as 17. Definitely split up the cooking. But - If you have young kids as our group has had many times, make sure everyone gets a night out to eat in peace sans the children. We did this by letting the guys go out one night and the girls another. At first we really had to sell this idea to the men, but it worked out really well as they all had each other to help with the kids when it was their night to stay home and everyone got to eat a great restaurant that they would not have gone to with children.

Another super idea is to make a casserole or two (lasagna, etc.) and freeze it a week or so ahead of time, pack it in the bottom of your cooler and take it/them with you. Then when its your night to cook, you just pop it in the oven, heat up some fresh bread, throw a salad together and for a nice touch open up a bottle of wine. Everyone will think your the best and you will literally pull the whole thing off with minimal effort. Just make sure if its still frozen that you put it in at least 1.5 hours ahead of meal time. Learned the timing thing the hard way my first go round.

Its ok and probably for the best, if everyone does their own thing during the day, whether it be the beach, crabbing, fishing, etc. You don't have to drag everyone along or be drug along with the overly ambitious cousin who wants to go to Jockey's Ridge with an infant at 2:00 in the afternoon in the middle of August. :)

Lastly, make safety a priority! Its real easy to think someone else is watching the pool/ ocean when there are so many other adults. Communication is key. Before you turn your back, tell another adult you expect them to watch until you return. Also, go over what to do in a rip-tide with everyone! The area is notorious for them.

With a few ground rules and a little planning you all will have a super time!

EMPORIA, va
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9. Re: 21 family members in one house!?

We always go as a big group and every family cooks one night. Plus pays there share for the house and chip in for the food. we have been do this every time we go. We have a blast everytime. I hope you enjoy it.

Heart of it all
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577 posts
15 reviews
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10. Re: 21 family members in one house!?

We just got back from a very fun week in Corolla with 21 people. It was great! Be sure to check out Corolla Village BBQ. We got enough food there for $47 to feed the whole gang. YUMMY!

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