Flying to London. I've never been to Europe and I'm really, really excited as it's really a once in a lifetime thing for me (DH is from London, and is very about how excited I've got...)
Due to where we live, we're taking a bus to Guayaquil airport. From where we live, this takes 8hrs (only costs $10 though). Then we're looking at an overnight flight to London. The fights we've looked at, the lowest costs are stopping in Miami, Madrid or Amsterdam, and we've found a couple going to Paris. We've discounted Miami due to time (it takes about four more hours).
Due to flight times (especially after the bus) we're considering scrapping the connection idea, and flying directly to Madrid, Amsterdam or Paris, staying overnight or for a day, then continuing onwards? Is this a stupid idea?
Otherwise, which is best in terms of food, ease to get around/navigate to different terminals and so on? Fr the deals we've looked at, there are about three or four hours, max five, so would be looking to get something to eat there (although would've eaten a meal on the flight over). Also, the DC will probably be snappy and so on, so an airport where it won't be too hard to get around would be the main thing, tbh.
Thanks. I'm concerned because flying to either Paris or Madrid will be up to 11/12hrs, plus the bus to Guayaquil, so that's 19/20hrs. After arriving in Heathrow (most likely?) it will then mean going to Stratford, so with a 1-2hr connection flight, that's already 22hrs, plus an hour at Guayaquil airport and an hour waiting for connection, there will be a day of it all. But probably easier arrangement wise, as less bother and it won't mean wasting another day iyswim. to both of you.
Agreed it will be a massive pain but I would still get it over with in one go. Otherwise you get to Paris/Madrid then have to collect all bags, schlep into the city, then back to the airport next day, re-check in all the bags and you'll be too knackered to appreciate it anyway.
Are you staying with family in England? (Presume you mean Stratford I'm London?)
Not exactly. A cousin of DH's is working abroad and we are staying in his empty house. He is one of two people in the family DH has contact with, and the other lives in Scotland. He will be there when we arrive for a day, thankfully.
We have done this flight with Iberia. Obviously your bus trip is unavoidable. Personally I would stay overnight in Guayaquil before the flight. Much cheaper and easier. I assume you are further away from Quito. The Iberia flight goes to Madrid and then you can get Iberia or BA to Heathrow. (BA is best as you get into T5 in Heathrow). However, Madrid airport is very easy to navigate and this route is the recommended option for most UK based people to get to Ecuador, so definitely do Madrid. You have several eating options at the airport but the connections on this route are good so you should not have too much waiting around. From Heathrow you can get the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station (20 mins) and then go on the Javelin Train to Stratford (5 mins). The trains to this area are good now due to the Olympic Games! This will cost a bit but very quick!
Guayaquil isn't exactly the best/safest place to stay in, but is okay. To get to Quito, we could fly, but that would cost about $85 or so each, although quick I don't think the expense is doable. I think I'll split the trip up, travelling four hours to Cuenca (which is lovely) and then travelling three/four hours onto Guayaquil for the flight?
Quito is about thirteen or so hours away by bus unfortunately.
Madrid seems the best option so far, thank you the Javelin train sounds great!
If paying 85 USD per person for the Quito flight is unaffordable, then I would definitely go to Madrid and then straight to Heathrow. There is no point in saving the money at the beginning of the trip and then wasting it sleeping or eating out in Madrid