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Travelling with siblings: is it worth it?

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Travelling can bring out the best in people - the joy of leaving the monotonous day-to-day behind can give you a new lease of life, refresh you and coax you out of a funk.

However, I think most people will agree that travelling can bring out the worst in people. 


For everything good that travel brings, it can also involve a lot of stress and angst. Long journeys, tiredness and nervous travellers combined with unfamiliar destinations, language barriers and different budgets can be a recipe for disaster. 

You've probably heard the phrase 'if you want to get to know someone, travel together.' I've had friends that have known each other for years, then they go away together and end up arguing about the price of a tomato and I'm sure that many a new relationship's 'honeymoon phase' has been shattered after a week away together. 

Don't get me wrong, I have had great holidays with friends: from weekends away in the UK to a huge post A Level celebration when all 30 girls in our year travelled to Magaluf for four days of dancing, celebrations and regret. These trips allowed me make some of my favourite memories, ever.

For me, travelling isn't always easy. The night before I flew to Australia I was lying on my bedroom floor, my wonderful and ever patient mother reminding me to breathe in and out in case I started hyperventilating again after a huge meltdown. There have been other times when my Mum has been on the receiving end of a hysterical phone call with me saying that I'm cancelling my flights to Jersey in case something happens and I get trapped on the island (despite knowing that there are at least 10 flights/ferries going to and from the island each day.) Spoiler alert - I went on both of those trips. Then at other times, I've hardly thought about trips to the point where it's the night before and I'm desperately trying to pack and find my passport. 

One thing that I recognise I need is a good travel buddy. Somebody who you can have fun with but can also be there for you during the aforementioned meltdowns. Thanks to my parents, I have found the perfect travel buddy - my sister, Emily. 

I am incredibly lucky to have a wonderful family that all get on. As much as I love family holidays, so much so that I've made my parents promise that they'll never make us all stop sponging off them going on them, everybody wants something different. Whilst my siblings and I would happily go out to bars or do some of the 'younger' stuff, the places that my parents would choose to visit won't necessarily have the same attraction for us. With your siblings, your interests are more likely to align. 

The beauty of travelling with a sibling is that they've seen you at your worst (again, see the above, pre-Australia meltdown) and they still love you regardless. You can be short and snappy with them one minute and then laughing hysterically the next. Arguments can be settled over the age old threat 'I'm telling Mum' (we're both in our twenties, and yes, Mum still mediates from halfway across the world). Having someone that knows you well, and is on your side, can be a comfort that you crave when you're out of your comfort zone. My sister has been there for me through homesick wobbles and I've sat in doctor's waiting rooms when she was ill in Australia (having left her in bed to go out partying the night before). 

Travelling can leave you with the most wonderful memories: the sort of memories that you can look back on weeks, months, even years later and appreciate more and more. What's better than sharing that with a sibling? We'll often talk about the characters we've met on our travels, Smokey from Australia, the cowboy in Dublin, the boys in Bermuda who invited us back on their 'boat' (which was a shipping container - please note we did not go with them).

So, in short, I'd say that travelling with your siblings is so worth it. Plus, if there was one person who I'd be comfortable falling asleep on during a 14 hour coach journey, it's my sister.











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