A London cabbie told me during my second pregnancy “oh, it’s good to have two children so that they’ll play together on holiday”. Here are some of the things I discovered in the past two years of raising siblings who are now burgeoning travel buddies.
Remind the Siblings That They Are a Team
Much of our parenting philosophy revolves around our family being a team. Many days at home are spent trying to build the relationship between our boys in the most collaborative way possible. It’s yet to be seen whether any of this will pan out and we’re certainly not experts. We have started to notice that our sons are becoming friends at home and we’re trying to translate that into doing so on the road.
What Age Will The Siblings (Finally) Become Travel Buddies
My sons are 25 months apart. As they approached two and four they finally started to play together at home and away. Their friendship developing is the greatest shift in my experience as a mother and as a parent who travels. I took them to Spain to test out my theory that they are travel buddies. I also wanted to get the baby on one last flight on a lap infant ticket. I travelled alone with them so it was imperative that they play together so that I could get work done. ⠀
When Travel Buddies Team up on You
The goal of this trip to Spain was to see if these two could now travel well together as friends rather than as the baby brother and big brother. I wanted to see what I was signing myself up for when we would be heading out on a longer trip for summer holidays.
And they did play together. However, now I’m the mother of “those rowdy boys”. I was summons for the boys throwing rocks at a window, trying to scare the animals, throwing items in the pool, and the toddler biting the other guests’ children.
So beware that once they become a tight unit (yay!) they can start ganging up on you and everyone else (whoops!). Suddenly the other guests were looking at me like “can’t that woman control her children?” instead of “oh, isn’t it amazing that she travels alone with her two well-behaved boys”. Be careful what you wish for!
Triplepassport Tips For Raising Sibling Travel Buddies
- Make sure your children have time to play together alone at home without other friends and not just on holiday – we do two afternoons per week and at least one weekend day.
- Things do improve once the baby is old enough to join in and not just destroy/eat the older one’s toys
- Let the older one know he or she is helping you, give them more responsibility on the trip such as being in charge of the hotel keycard (always replaceable) or given a small amount of local currency
- Do lots of prep ahead of time about how they will play together, talk about the trip, reinforce that they are a team and can look out for each other
- Buy them matching things for the flight such as a backpack or pajamas