We're going to South Korea in August and home to UK in September - we live in LA. Return SK trip will be DH, DS (4.8), DD (22months) and me - one stop over, total journey roughly 17hrs.
LA-UK trip just the children and I, direct flight 11hrs.
Would you book the two very close to each other and just get the misery out of the way, or would you give a week to recover from a bit of a big pack packer trip plus flights before getting back on the plane?
Depends how much time you have. I I did the trip home to Australia with DD (then 22 months) DH had to work so i was flying solo with her. Unfortunately I was rushing home to see my grandfather who passed away the evening we arrived. It was 30 hours in transit with a 4 hour stop in Singapore. Going there was hard- coming home was easier as DH let me sleep for England! Make sure they give you a sky cot!
Our LA-UK flight is already booked (we're on a weird system where our return flights are always LHR-LAX-LHR), I looked into us going on to SK direct from LHR but it was exhorbitant to fly direct, I really don't want to do stopovers on my own and now plans have changed that we're going to SK before UK now anyway.
I've done the LAX-LHR a few times on my own with the children so know what I'm letting myself in for (one flight was a piece of piss, the last one was utterly horrific with DD having explosive diarhoea pretty much every 2hours of the flight)...our flight to UK is with Virgin so no sky cot (they only carry infants on bulkheads til about 18lbs, she's twice that now!) but I do have 3 seats booked. LA-Seoul we'll have to have her on our laps as we're paying for the flight.
The good thing is as son as we land my parents pick us up and will then help out as much as poss to help me recover! Main thing is making that LAX-LHR flight as easy as possible, so whether it would be better to give the children a good break back at home (in LA) of say a week or to arrive, stay a night or two at home then get straight back on a plane....
looks like the stopover will be in San Francisco OR Bejing, depending who we fly with...I'm thinking Bejing might be better, two slightly shorter flights rather than one 1hr flight then a reeeeeeeeeeally long one?
Depends on the time of the flight. If you can get the DC's off to sleep on the really long flight, then in a way, there will be less disruption, because on 2 say 8 hour flights, they will definitely be awake for pretty much all of one of them.
Think about getting a row of 4 seats, eg book seat DE*G skip seat F, so that they may block it out for you if the flight is not too busy. I have done that so that DS has 2 seats to stretch out on; better chance of getting him to sleep. You may be able to top and tail your DCs in the middle 2 seats whilst you & DH take the end seats.