KidMag’s Top Tips On Surviving Travel With Siblings

As you probably know, KidMag has already posted one article about road trips. But, because it is summer and prime time for long road trips, flights, and ferry rides, we decided to post some more tips on traveling. Specifically, tips on travelling with siblings and learning how to stay calm and avoid fighting with your brothers and sisters during these long, boring trips.

  1. Tell your siblings a made-up story to distract everyone from fighting and the long journey ahead of them. Younger siblings love to hear stories from their older brother or sister, and it should keep them entertained for a while. This is also fun for the sibling telling the made-up story if they enjoy writing or telling stories! Or, if you don’t like making things up as you go along, you could tell your siblings a classic story like “The Three Little Pigs” or “Little Red Riding Hood”. You could also read them a book if it doesn’t make you too car sick.
  2. Listen to an audiobook as a family. This is a great way to keep everyone in the car entertained. It’s great because no one has to read anything, which can get tiring or cause car sickness. To avoid fighting in the car, select which book you are going to listen to as a family prior to your trip.
  3. Play the “DJ” Game. Lots of families listen to music in the car, however, it can be difficult to agree on what music to listen to because in most families, everyone has different taste in music. This often causes fighting among siblings, which you probably don’t want.
    However, if you could agree on what to listen to, hearing music would be great entertainment for long trips.
    Unfortunately, your whole family will probably never agree on what song they want to hear. So, try this system to keep everyone happy about the music selection playing in the car:
    Assign one person to become the “DJ”. The DJ’s job is to play the songs on whatever device that your family uses to listen to music. Beginning with the youngest person in the car, the DJ asks for requests in order of age (youngest to oldest) around the car and plays the song that each person wants to hear. This a very fun and easy way for everyone to hear the music that they like!
  4. Schedule some quiet time during your journey. It can be difficult to keep calm when your whole family is loud, your older sister is blasting her favourite music beside you and your brother and sister are squabbling in the backseat, so it’s important to have some time for everyone to calm down and just be silent for ten or fifteen minutes. 
  5. Zone out and listen to your own music. Long trips in the car, air plane, or ferry with your family can sometimes be overwhelming. It can start to drive you crazy after a while, and you often feel like you just need some alone time. However, this isn’t really possible while you are in a car, plane or ferry surrounded by other people. The closest you can get is to just put on some headphones and listen to your favourite music for half an hour or so. This will help you calm down and feel better. It may not help as much as much as alone time in your room, but it’s about the best that you can get until you get out of the car, plane or ferry. Once you get to your final destination, you can really have alone time!
  6. Get a good sleep the night before leaving on your trip. Being tired often makes it feel as if everything is much worse than it really is. Fights with siblings get more dramatic and are sparked more easily when you are tired. It can be very difficult to fall asleep the night before a trip, because often excitement or even stress causes us to become restless. To help you fall asleep, try some of KidMag’s tips for having a restful night.
  7. Plan out some entertainment for you and your siblings. The biggest cause of sibling arguments while travelling is boredom. This is because without any distractions, you and your siblings have nothing to do but argue. Boredom can also make you and your siblings feel grumpy, which can also make it easier for everyone to start fighting.
    This can be solved by packing some entertainment for you and your siblings. Pack colouring books and markers, some books, a word search (you can make your own here!), headphones (pack enough for each of your siblings to avoid arguments), and some figurines or dolls for younger siblings. Check out KidMag’s Road Trip Essentials  for a detailed article on what entertainment to bring! 
  8. Play the quiet game. If your siblings are being noisy and it’s bothering you, teach them how to play “The Quiet Game”. You have probably played versions of this before, and it’s sometimes called “Ghost Town.” The goal of the game is to be the quietest for the longest amount of time. At the beginning of the game, everyone playing says together, “3…2…1… Quiet!” (Or “3…2…1… Ghost Town!”) From that point on, everyone playing must stay as silent as possible. However, often kids will lose on purpose so that they can be loud again. The easiest way to stop this from happening is to provide a prize for the winner. This way everyone will actually try to win the game. The prize could be anything from candy to a little toy to a small amount of money, just as long as your parents are OK with the prize and you are willing to provide one.
  9. Try not to get involved in fights that your siblings may be having. If anything, getting involved in a fight will just make it worse. Just ignore them and try to distract yourself from what is going on around you.
    And, if you are the one fighting with a sibling, simply let them have their way. This can be extremely difficult, but, obviously you don’t want to be bothering those around you. If it’s important to you, you can resolve these fights once you get to your destination using KidMag’s tips on how to solve conflict with friends and family.

Have fun on your trips!

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