For years my sisters and I dreamed of travelling across Europe together. We’d sit up late at night talking of the cities we’d visit, the trains we’d ride and the things we’d see. Well, a few summers ago we finally made it happen with a whirlwind trip across England, France, Germany, and Switzerland!
Travelling with sisters can be the trip of a lifetime, but it also has the potential for major disagreements if you don’t set a few ground rules. Having travelled with my two sisters extensively across Europe and Latin America, we have learned a thing or two about how to make our travels work. And sure, there have been a few minor disagreements along the way, but nothing that hasn’t been forgotten a few hours (ahem, and occasionally days) later. So here are my tips for travelling with sisters:
When it comes to sightseeing, my sisters and I are quite different. I prefer exploring back alleys, outdoor markets, rundown neighbourhoods (read shantytowns), and a lot of other places that don’t sound very appealing to the the average holiday maker. Given our varying interests, we have learned to compromise. Sometimes in order to do things together we have to be willing to try things we wouldn’t normally consider. I may drag them on a hike through the Sacred Valley (I made them suffer during a trip to Peru!) and they may in turn take me someplace they find interesting. Part of the experience of travelling together is that you get to see a new country through someone else’s eyes.
The Early Birds vs. the Sleepy Heads
Fortunately, when we’re on the road the three of us are early risers. There is no sense in wasting precious daylight in a new city. However, having travelled with friends who enjoy sleeping in past midday, I know bedtimes can be grounds for trouble. Agree on a schedule before you get there. This may mean someone has to set their alarm to get up earlier than they normally would, or perhaps the early riser can go exploring on their own while the other person catches up on some much needed rest.
Sometimes you just need to go your separate ways for a couple of hours. Travelling together means you will be spending more time with each other than you normally would; sitting next to each other on long winding bus rides, walking under the scorching sun, and perhaps even sleeping in a cramped hostel dorm. Taking out your aggravations on your siblings (of which I am guilty!) probably isn’t the best idea. The road can take its toll, and sometimes it’s best to take a break and part ways for a few hours.
Food Will Save the Day
Walking around a new city for hours on end can be exhausting and that can cause tempers to flare. I’ll be the first to admit that I get quite moody when I haven’t eaten, and my sisters are usually the first to notice. Food breaks keep my stomach happy and in turn I am a more pleasant person to be around! Whether it’s a simple baguette lunch at the park, or a stop at a little ice cream shop to indulge in some gelato, a food break and a chance to rest my weary feet are always a good idea.
Now that I’m feeling all sentimental from looking at these photos, I’d like to say that I really do have the best sisters ever! Now I’m just waiting for the months to fly by till they come visit me in Asia!
What are your tips for travelling with sisters?