Indulge in sibling revelry, not rivalry, for a change! Here are some simple pointers that can help you vacation with them better.
What exactly comes to mind when you think of ‘travelling with siblings’? Does it take you back in time to those summer vacations you took with your family to Shimla or Ooty, where you and your inseparable sibling had a little private gala time of your own? Do you daydream of scenes like Priyanka (Chopra) and Ranveer (Singh) casually cruising along the Mediterranean Sea in Dil Dhadakne Do, or Alia (Bhatt) dancing on a Goan beach with her younger brother (Rohit Saraf) without a care in the world in Dear Zindagi? Or do you prefer recreating moments in your head from fiction novels like The Chronicles of Narnia that tested the sibling bond in a fantasy land inside a closet or the story of detective drama Enola Holmes where a 16-year-old takes off to London to find her missing mother, with her brothers, Mycroft and the mastermind Sherlock, well, chasing her and in a way, joining on her little adventure?
There are endless references like these. My favourite, though, is TVF Tripling, a dramedy series in which three siblings set out on a road trip, to find themselves and their relationships with each other. The best part about is that it gives you a reality check. Travelling with your siblings might sound simple, the most easiest thing to do perhaps.
After all, who knows you better than them, right? But it can be more complicated than that. Silly rivalries, back-seat squabbles, hair-pulling, screaming contests and dreadful silent treatment—all the things you guys did during your childhood vacations can repeat themselves and being adults now, these little disagreements can, at times, get out of hand.
Why go through with it and plan a trip with them then, you think? Simply because it is going to be so worth it, if done right! Fret not. We are here to guide you all along. Here are some surefire tips that will help you plan a smooth, super fun, and memorable trip with your siblings, without you having to strangle each other in the process.
First things first: This isn’t your plate of steaming hot Maggi that you can’t share! Simply put, plan together. Think of it as one of those group projects at school, where sharing responsibilities meant great scores for all. Again, don’t act like the class topper, who loved hijacking the project and don’t be like the careless backbencher either who did nothing at all! The key is to communicate. Don’t let others think that they are doing everything. Brainstorm ideas together, think who is best at what, and divide tasks in a way that nobody feels overwhelmed and everybody feels like they are being useful.
Personal space is a must
You love partying the night away while your sister is an early riser who likes welcoming the dawn? Or you are a no-frills, mountain-climbing, forest-camping kinda soul who lives for adventures, while your brother loves his luxury resorts and art tours? That shouldn’t be a problem, as far as you both understand each other’s travel styles and give each other some space. Lay some ground rules, agree on a schedule and balance it out when it comes to preferences. Most importantly, save space to do your own thing. Understand this—travelling together means being cramped next to each other on long car rides and sleeping in the same hotel rooms (or little pitched tents!). So it is best you take a break and keep some time for your side solo activities, parting ways for a few hours.
If might sound too calculative or petty to talk about money with family. But trust me, a simple conversation about handling finances of the trip can keep a lot of confusion, doubts and resentments at bay. It is really important for you all to get on the same page when it comes to money. Also, while you are enjoying your vacation, don’t slow down to split up the bills each time someone paid for something. Keep a running tab of all the expenses and settle up at the end of the trip. Better yet, use apps like Splitwise that help you create a group and track all the expenses.
Treat them like adults
‘You are not mom!’ If you have heard something like this from your sibling, you know where this is going. Nobody likes to be treated like a baby, constantly being nagged, especially on a vacation. Realise that your sibling is an individual adult, grown up enough to have their own thoughts and make their own choices. Don’t act like parents, expecting them to do as you say. Be a friend to them and respect them as individuals.
Forgive and forget
Disagreements are normal. And they are bound to happen. Don’t go around throwing their stuff out the window in a fit of rage or making faces every time they try to talk after a fight. Realise that often, in the heat of the moment, we say and do things we don’t really mean. And that’s okay. If a conflict happens, remember to forgive and forget. Laugh it off. Go for a long walk. Once things cool off a little, talk it out like adults, without rolling your eyes or worse, bringing up past differences into the conversation.
Family that eats together…
When it comes to siblings, almost everything can be fixed or forgotten in a few hours (or well, few days, at times). But if you feel a situation is tense or things just seem off, eat together. Trust us when we say, good food (and some cocktails to go along with it) always saves the day. Had a fight with your sibling in the hotel lobby? Take them to some fun, local cafe for dinner. Too tired after a long hike in the woods? Order room service and watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S. together— there’s nothing between you guys that can’t be fixed over some juicy burgers and few episodes with the Gellers giving you some #majorsiblinggoals!