I'm considering a trip Down Under. DD will be 4. I have some quesitons...

(6 Posts)
Poppanicolino Mon 02-Sep-13 17:25:59

Hi.
I would like to go to Australia, for about a month, probably early next summer. It will be me and DD who will be 4 by then and possibly my bf (although no guarantee at this stage).

-My biggest concern at the moment is the flight and how to time it. I have just been looking online and one of the flights listed had an overnight stop on the outbound journey. Would it be beneficial or more problematic to have this kind of stop over? (presumably it would be down to me to arrange for airport accommodation?)

-Some of the return flights had two stops; is this normal?

-Can anyone recommend a particular airline or should I just go through a cheap flights website and see who I get?

-I'm thinking in terms of one month for a visit so we can really make the most of being there. My best friend is in Queensland and I have a cousin in South Australia so I'm thinking of spending about a week with each, giving us two weeks to do other stuff/travel between the two. Any suggestions as to where to go and how to get around would be very gratefully received.

TIA smile

JassyRadlett Tue 03-Sep-13 08:49:38

I think a month sounds just about the right amount of time.

Given the distances and age of your DD, I'd limit yourself to one other destination (eg Sydney or Melbourne). Where in Qld is your friend? Am assuming your cousin is in/near Adelaide. You will also need to give yourself time to deal with jetlag - at least two days of not sticking to a tight or taxing schedule.

For flights, I'd advise against flying through Dubai - the length of the two legs is really unbalanced, especially with a little kid. Singapore Airport is great for kids, and also has an airside hotel you can book in 8 hour chunks if you decide you need a longer layover. I've always gone straight through - it's tough but absolutely doable - but am considering a longer (eg 10 hour) stop in Singapore this time around.

The two stop flights will generally either be with European carriers (so via eg Paris or Frankfurt) which does make for a longer and more hassled trip, or via Sydney/Melbourne then on to Brisbane/Adelaide. That means clearing customs, transferring to the domestic terminal and getting on a plane when you have just spent 24 hrs on a plane. I've done it, but I try to avoid it.

With a 4yo, make sure the airline has top notch in flight entertainment.

I've always liked Qantas but am breaking up with them as they've changed their main hub to Dubai and having tried it once, never again. So I'm aiming for Singapore/Cathay/poss BA for my next trip.

Poppanicolino Tue 03-Sep-13 15:31:03

Brilliant information, thank you. Friend is about 4 hours south of Cairns, so quite far up and yes, my cousin is in Adelaide. I feel a bit nervous of spending additional time alone with DD in such a big place so I'll give it all some serious thought with regards to where we go when we're not staying with people.

Thank you again smile

yetanotherworry Tue 03-Sep-13 15:41:40

We've done the journey a few times with 2 kids from about 11 months onwards. We used to fly via Singapore and have a 1 night stopover in 1 of their hotels, so we had sightseeing time. The Zoo is great! It breaks up the journey a little and helps with the jet lag. We used Singapore Airlines flying into Adelaide and they were great. I think it was cheaper to book directly though their website (and you can use Quidco although clear your cookies first to get it to track).

trackydacks Tue 03-Sep-13 15:54:13

Echoing Jassy's advice on flight connections. Check options carefully to make sure you minimise stops and connections, especially the nasty one via Sydney/Melbourne where you have to collect bags, clear immigration etc. It is less of an issue outbound, as you will be checked all the way through to your international stopover.

And ditto on Qantas - as part of their Dubai changes they've also axed their international flights in and out of Adelaide (where my parents live).

Personally, I would consider a stopover and Singapore is lovely for a day or two. The zoo, Night Safari etc would be fantastic for your dd. Singapore airlines are great to fly with, and offer their own stopover packages including accommodation, transfers etc. They are on their website but can be tricky to find.

I'd suggest having a chat to a travel agent as they might be able to assist in planning and putting options together. Trailfinders specialise in long haul and have been fab for our latest trip (complicated, multiple stop trip to Oz)

JellyTopicecreamisthebest Wed 04-Sep-13 03:36:16

slightly different but we flew with Singapore to Nz. We had a 12hr stop over in Singapore before flew to New Zealand. It did seam to mean that jet lag was over very quickly. we did have someone pick us up at the airport. I have very little memory of that first journey in the car. We had a good time went on the coach tour in Singapore then went swimming. I would do it again but only if we could get picked up. I think we also had to much hand luggage next time we would plan to have less. We had planed to go on the slide at t3 but that is Singapore side so we should of go to t3 while we were in Singapore. Not sure about the other way we have only done one long-hall flight smile

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