to go to Australia for the weekend?!(921 Posts)
My best friend (male if relevant) is getting married in the autumn. I'm in the UK (where we both grew up) he now lives in Australia.
I desperately want to go to the wedding.
It will cost £1000 for the flight plus accomodation etc over there which is in no way small money.
I have 4DC so would be asking my parents (very hands on babysitters, have had them for me and DH to go on holiday etc) to have the DC (all under 10) while DH is at work.
I would leave on a thursday AM flight and get back tuesday pm. SO literally fly in for the wedding, the day after and then back home.
Am I being totally crazy to consider this?! (Haven't actually asked DH yet!!)
Leaving aside the cost because I'm assuming you can afford it, of course it's crazy, but so what? JFDI.
Tricky one! I now live back in UK after living in aus and NZ for best part of twenty years. Apart from expense.....will you really get to enjoy it, as the jetlag is a killer?! If jetlag was not a factor of say 'go for it' though.
i can afford it in that i would have to 'borrow' it from our savings and pay it back over the coming year.
Slightly but I would if I really wanted to go and couldn’t get any extra time than that. If parents were willing I would try and go a few days earlier or return later but if they couldn’t then yes I’d just go for the wedding.
Caveats are can you afford it (if £1,000 is acceptable to you that’s fine) and how does distance travel impact you (I happily sleep on planes and jump around time zones will no effect, some people need time to acclimatise).
carebear yes i'm wondering if i will be able to cope with the jet lag - i like my sleep!!
Anyone ever done something like this?!
What if there were delays to the flights out? Have you factored in time to still make it? Does sound crazy but if you have the money why not?! If the grandparents are great babysitters could you stay a bit longer?
No way! The total journey would be longer than the time in Australia! You won’t get much face to face time with the groom either.
I think it’s doable depending on how well you fly and how much you like airports. I live in NZ and often fly out Friday, arriving Saturday to spend the weekend with family, then attend a 2-3 day course in London and leave the UK Thursday night, coming back home Saturday. It’s tiring, and that’s spending 6 days in the UK to just about get into the timezone.
My best friend flew out to NZ for 4 days for my 40th which was lovely. Again, doable but tiring
Will you be going straight back to work? Suggest you ask the GP for some melatonin to sleep on the flight, or a low dose of steroids for your first couple of mornings back to try and combat the jet lag.
meak the short visit is because it will obviously put a lot of pressure on my DH and parents with the children (I am a SAHM) so dont want to go for longer than i have to for that reason. plus every extra day costs more in accomodation etc.
Are you good at sleeping in planes? Will you be able to take a day off after you come back?
My husband used to do those kind of trips all the time for work (once flew to NY just for lunch). Sounds like you are up for it so go book that flight!
I know at least two people who’ve done that, another who went for only a day or two more. None of them expressed any regrets!
How long did you go on holiday for before? Why wouldn’t you just go for longer? Use other babysitters if needed. Or DH? They are his kids too.
It's not crazy at all. Lots of people who have family this far away do the same thing. One thing with weddings - if you are really close the person and you miss the wedding its not something you can ever take back. Weddings usually have this wonderful loved up feel and being part of that is something that will further help cement your friendship. £1k to travel to and from Oz plus accomodation is alot but its also very cheap for a trip to Oz.
hic i love airports! and travel fine, not my favourite occupation but it doesn't bother me.
I struggle a bit when not enough sleep but surely adrenaline will help?
bike wedding on a beach, in a dodgy signal area - live feed not practical
You will be jet lagged during the wedding. Jet lag is far worse flying to Australia from the UK than vice versa
The last time my parents flew out here, to Australia for a visit their luggage took ages to come out, probably because they checked in super early. And they missed their train, so I would be worried about delays in your shoes.
Have you ever flown to Australia before?
As someone who’s been to NZ a fair bit, the flight alone is an absolute killer - 24 hours of travelling (plus stopover) means you end up a complete dehydrated zombie by the end of it.
The jetlag is also completely sapping - not just something you can ‘power through’ while feeling a bit tired, it takes a good couple of days to adjust.
In all likelihood you’ll spend the wedding feeling shattered and manage to power through to about 8pm before you fall asleep - and that is already accounting for wedding excitement/happiness sustaining you through that long! You would also only manage to speak to your friend for a few minutes as he’d have to speak/spend time with all his other guests as well.
And that’s completely putting aside the cost aspect of it.
myfoolish i know no-one else over there and obviously dont want to cramp their honemoon time!! I just would love to see my best friend get married. Staying longer would feel like a 'jolly' and i wouldnt choose to do a jolly like that. Yes they are DHs kids, he is a very hands on father but he has no leave left to use this year and would be juggling a high pressure job with ferrying kids etc. and whilst my parents are great and very able to look after DC it is of course tiring for them and i dont want to take the mick.
Go for it. Melatonin to sleep on the flights and low dose steroids at either end to get your diurnal cycle into sync faster.
My brother did this once. Went to Australia and back for the weekend. I think it's utter madness myself, but to each his own. He had the benefit of flying first class so had one of those bed things you get on luxury long haul. The thought of sitting in a standard airline seat for the best part of 24 hours each way sounds horrific to me.
For the jetlag you can get melatonin. You can't buy it over the counter in the UK but you can get it on mail order I think plus if you stopover enroute to Oz in an Asian country you can get it from the chemist in the airport. Its considered a 'vitamin' or something and you don't need a prescription. But you need to google whether you are OK to take it ie from memory you can't take it if you have had certain cancers (like breast cancer) or if you have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea - I never take it when drinking. Melatonin helps you reset your sleep clock.
I’ve got a friend who went to Australia for one day / night, for his brothers graduation (a big thing for his family for various reasons), crazy but he managed it ok. Was very jet lagged/ disorientated for days after.
I’ve been to SE Asia for 1 night for work (last minute emergency, couldn’t be done via Skype etc). Was a bit of a nightmare, especially as I had to be fully alert for work issues when I got there. Again, managed ok, and helped that I flew business class so could get decent amount of sleep on the plane home, enough that I could go to work okay when I got back. Again, was jet lagged and disorientated for a few days after.
wedding is his parents, her parents, her brother, and one other friend of the groom who is also flying from the uk. i would get to spend a good bit of time with my friend i expect.
Meh, when I used to book people on business travel for work, I booked a few times for senior partners to go to Sydney out sunday night /monday morning and fly back in on friday night, literally only going for a meeting but booking a couple of days either side to squeeze some other meetings in.
If you can afford it, do it.
Would your dh not want to go too though?
i have flown to NZ before (with a toddler!) so i know the realities of a flight of that length. would be ecnomy, no way can i afford business!!
My experience was that jet lag flying to Australia wasn't too bad. Within 24 hours we'd all adjusted. However, coming back to the UK was a killer and we all felt ill for about a week. I wouldn't make that journey for such a short visit.
When I went it took 4 days to get over the jet lag. The day after I arrived I was dead to the world, don't remember day 2, day 3 and 4 were a blur. It does sound quite insane if I'm honest.
If you want to, do it. Life’s too short. My oh did return trip to nz for family birthday, 7 days including there and back.
Try and grab an extra day? I think jet lag out there will be fine, might feel like hell when you get back.
DH wouldn't be bothered about going. this is my friend from childhood, he gets on fine with DH but they are not close.
DH will of course think i'm mad but if i really want it he will help make it happen.
I didn't styruggle with jet lag too nuch on the way out to NZ, it was worse coming back.
It's really up to you. If it were me I wouldn't bother. Weddings are crap on your own and you'll probably speak to the groom for about 2 minutes, just doesn't seem worth it to me. I'd rather go when you can make a family holiday of it and spend quality time with your friend and his partner.
I know someone at the gym who did this! I thought she was mad but she had a great time
I've done this for a wedding in UK while I was living in Asia - slightly shorter journey but I found the jet lag actually didn't hit as badly because I didn't have chance to adjust to the local time zone! I just felt a bit disorientated for the length of the trip. But everyone suffers jet lag differently so I'd be a bit wary unless you know how well you deal with it and how you are with sleeping on planes. I'd be inclined to say you only live once, seize the day and just deal with the exhaustion when you get home!
He has no leave left in July? Although many people manage to work and look after children, maybe it would be good for him? You could still use other babysitters. Just go, it would be fun.
Can you get there a day earlier? That way if there are any delays you won't risk missing the wedding.
You only live once. You have kids so the flight without them will feel like luxury ! Reading, watching films, sleeping !
I wouldn’t want to do it, you’ll feel rubbish while you’re there due to jet lag, dehydration and lack of time to acclimatise. Could you miss the wedding but go out for a family holiday in 6 months time when your DH has some holiday to use. You could then spend some quality time with your friend and his wife.
I would. I actually really like flying and love reading trashy novels, watching chick flicks and pressing the button for more mini wines! no phone signal so work and my clients can't get hold of me: BLISS!
Try and look at the flight as two days of peace and quiet rather than a chore. Noise cancelling comfy headphones in case of screechy child nearby.
Granted I am glad to be off the plane after an Australia duration flight but unless you're a bad traveller (can't sleep, nauseous, long legs or dodgy hips) there's nothing to get in a tizz about.
You MUST book a flight that arrives local time after 6pm, and you must force yourself awake for the last 5 hours or so of the flight into Oz. Same on the way home. That way by the time you clear immigration and cab to the hotel/home you only need to grab a shower, a bite and a wine to knock yourself out and then you immediately settle yourself into the new timezone. Trust me it works.
But jet lag and and especially lack of sleep effect me terribly. I feel physically sick, headache, exhausted, confused. In no state to enjoy a wedding.
But everyone is different. You will know yourself how long haul travel effects you.
It's crazy. Do it. Life is for living and loving.
Go live your life, and love your friend on their special day.
I'd stretch it to 6 days OP. You don't need to spend time with your mate if he's on his Honeymoon...but you'll get to recover from the flight and see a little bit.
I live in Iz so fly to the UK often and it's HARD> I recently went to the UK for 9 days and that seemed very hard work. Just arrived and had to go back.
I'd go for it! Sure you will be tired but actually I don't think you're there long enough for proper jet lag to set in as you won't be settling within the different time zone for long enough! And I bet as a parent you have powered through many a sleepless night before! And it's such a small guest list that you being there would have a significant positive impact to the day!
I've done similar multiple times
Yes it's possible
For what it's worth - I wouldn't recommend adjusting your sleep cycle - it's easier to stay on original time for such a short trip
I'd do it. I think it's the sort of thing where if you don't do it you'll look back in a few years and think "I wish I'd made the effort". You won't be going into debt for it, it's only 4 days - yes, you'll be beside yourself with tiredness and will take a while to recover but frankly if you have 4 kids under 10 then you can't be a stranger to sleep-deprivation so you'll cope.
I would totally go. You only live once! It’s your best friend and you will always remember it.
I personally wouldn’t do it for a number of personal reasons (rubbish at flying, rubbish with jet lag, couldn’t justify the cost etc) but in your situ if you think you can sleep on the plane and will be ok with jet lag then I’d go for it. It doesn’t sound ridiculous, lots of people must have shorter flights for work meetings etc.
Tiredness is temporary, memories are forever, go to your best friends wedding and enjoy the flights, it's time by yourself, when else can you watch adult tv/films for that long uninterrupted by children, I'd be gagging to go
I remember reading an article on a journalist who had done this and written about his experiences. Google weekend in Australia and it should come up!
I would do it and so would my NZ family members, in fact they have done. I'd expect to feel crap for at least a week when I got back though, but I always do. You may respond differently to jet lag and be fine, my niece never seems troubled by it. Obviously business class would make it slightly easier.
If Im correct ,dont the families on the BBC1 Wanted Down Under show have a week to look at possible homes ,jobs and lifestyle ?.Having said that ,is it not at all possible your parents could have them for say a week /10 days?.I think you would get a lot more out of it TBH!
myfoolish no his leave is already booked and his holiday year runs until feb, we have our family summer holiday already booked and he takes time off in january too. of course people manage work and kids but its different when its not your normal way of doing things. I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it if we used unknown babysitters.
I travel relatively well, bit of water retention and obviously will be glad to get of the plane but i will get some sleeping tablets to help sleep on the way i think.
dexy that is great advice, thank you.
I am yo yoing between - you only live once and its a heck load of money and stress!!
A family holiday isnt an option - it would be £7k just for flights for us all!
Dh has to go to New York for a meeting on Tuesday literary flying to jfk going straight from airport to meeting after meeting back to the airport to fly home. He will be in America for less than 6 hours.. it’s totally bonkers but he has done it before it worked ok.
I think you should go for it op.
If you can manage it then ask your dh and parents to live without you for a bit longer, a week would be better.
I've done this! I was there and back within a week (I didn't want to leave my very young daughter for too long). If memory serves, I had three full days in Aus. I'm so glad I did it. Wedding of a very close friend - I would do this again. Jet lag passes. If this is a good friend, you'll regret it if you don't.
I would go for a week and at least get a bit of time there. Whoever has DC will be competent enough and manage them for another 2 days. You should definitely go though
Ive flown out for weddings; arrived in the morning fir wedding in the afternoon. Yes tired, but adrenaline and a few drinks saw me through.
If you can afford it do it. I don't think Tiredness is the end of the world , nor a reason to miss a wedding of a dear friend. For a short trip just take hand luggage too.
It sounds like the kind of thing I'd do! It'd be a bit of an adventure and you won't be in Oz for long enough to need to adjust to the time zone. That said, it is just a wedding day and if you're going to spend £1k+ on the trip, I'd think about doing it another time when you can spend a bit longer with your BF And see a bit of the area before heading home.
You are not taking the children so that makes it a lot easier.
I am a Kiwi who lived in the UK (now in Aus) for many years and I did similar trips in my mid-late 20s when I had a few weddings to attend in either NZ or Aus. Literally in the country for three day -fly in on the day, stay for two days, then fly out first thing.
Ok not the most pleasant experience but its bearable - lot of coffee etc
I would totally do it. Yes you'll be jet lagged and exhausted but the excitement will get you through the wedding. You'll be wrecked when you get back but it's s once off. I say go for it
I wouldn't do it purely because it's not long enough. Go as a family for a holiday to see your friend another time. We went for a month fairly recently and even that wasn't long enough for us as we loved being there so much. We didn't suffer jet lag either way.
low dose steroids at either end to get your diurnal cycle into sync faster.
Your'e kidding right?
My best friend’s stepmum once flew to Australia to take my friend out for lunch, then flew home again!
I’d do it.
i guess if i do go, another day wont fundamentally make a difference to the childcare arrangements.
Will double check DH's leave too.
i would get back just before half term - so a week without school runs etc to reacclimatise!
Sounds like this would also be a good break for you in a way that is justifiable. I assume the same people would not rally round to help so much if it was a week in a spa you fancied!
Those flights sound expensive for economy. I have just booked return to Sydney in Premium economy on Singapore airlines from Stockholm for 1000 pounds. Flights from london to Stockholm for 40 each way.
I am a wizz at cheap flights to Australia so PM me with dates and destinations if you want and I can find a cheaper alternative
we are 6-7 years away from a family holiday over there - the costs for a family of 6 are huge!
waiting for DH to get up so i can ask him.....
Last time I flew to Oz I vowed the only way I’d do that again was to stop for 5 days in Hong Kong on the way out, and 5 days in Singapore on the way back.
I found being on the plane for that long awful.
Ive done this kind of thing before !
It’s an adventure and great fun,
Do it OP you really won’t regret it ....
Your friend will love it and life is too short not to make happy memories.
Safe trip ✈️
Sounds like a fabulous, crazy adventure! Yes the travel is long but that's just lots of downtime to read and relax away from 4 kids. Go for it!
tweenage i may take you up on that if i can get DH on board!!
burntout on the contrary, if i said i really need some time out they would absolutely let me have it. i am insanely lucky with my DH and my parents. parents had the DC for a week last year so DH and i could go away. they have them overnight at least once a months, do school pick ups just because they want to etc.
It depends where they are getting married. Is it somewhere you can fly straight into from the UK, or will you need to spend ages travelling to from your flight destination?
I once had to give a 2 day presentation in Singapore. I arrived the night before the presentation started and left the evening the presentation finished. It was tiring but fine. I made no attempt to adjust to the time difference just powered through with a lot of black coffee.
I did a not dissimilar thing (to west coast USA) a couple of years ago. I had a brilliant time. I'm not convinced the jet lag was as severe as it was when I went for longer - my personal theory was that my body didn't have time to realise it was in a different time zone.
I would definitely go! I flew to Ibiza to go to see a DJ for one night and came back the next day. It felt decadent and fun and liberating. If you are on your own on the plane you can relax on both flights. Having 4 children I can imagine just watching movies and sleeping on the flights could be enjoyable in itself. If you can afford it, treat yourself!
Economy to Australia and back for a weekend? For a wedding?
You glorious mad bastard.
Go for it.
I’ve done Australia to London and back for only a couple of days of work. But I got to fly business...
I’d think the bigger issue is not would you have a fab time at the wedding, but how would you cope with 4dc when you get back, if your show is straight back to work.
Jet lag is different for everyone and actually can be different for one person on the same route at different times so you don’t really know how you’ll feel. But you do know how you’ll feel if you go to you best friends wedding!
I’ve flown to NZ a couple of times for funerals and each time was only there for 2 or 3 days. Was dreading the jet lag, but actually found that as I was there such a short stay I didn’t adjust to the local time and suffered no ill effects either there or when I got back. I did arrive back in the UK early in the morning, napped for a few hours, got up for the day then went to bed at normal time.
I am Australian, can I ask where they are getting married? I can guesstimate the travel time from nearest international airport for you.
East coast or west coast of Australia.. it took me a week to get over jet lag on my last trip back to Aus and couldn’t stay awake no matter how much I tried. I think flying business class would help
Your friend won't have time to send any quality time with you. If that doesn't matter them go for it, but I'd try to factor in at least one more day over there.
@fraxion no, not kidding. You would usually have a burst of cortisol in the morning after waking which then declines during the day. You can mimic this with a low dose of prednisone (10mg or so) the morning after you arrive in Aus.
Likewise, you can repeat it on arrival in the UK (if you arrive in the morning, otherwise I’d take it the first morning the following day) - I would usually have 10mg the first morning, 5-7.5 the second and then stop when I do the same trip in reverse.
I honestly think if you're able to do it, you should. Memories of crackers adventures like this last a lifetime, you'll watch a beautiful wedding and tiredness is something you can recover from.
Just be content with seeing the wedding photos/video
I work with people who have to travel over there or Japan for one or two day meetings. They come back knackered but otherwise fine! For a one-off I don’t see the problem!
Have you ever flown to Australia, it is a very long flight and totally knocks you out
I've flown between Australia and the UK loads of times and I really wouldn't recommend this. The jetlag is absolutely horrendous. It's like no other jetlag. You aren't just losing a few hours here and there, you are completely reversing your sleeping pattern. Day is night, night is day. It's not just being tired, your entire body is confused, you get hungry at the wrong times, you can manage an 8 hour sleep and still feel tired, you get sick and headachey, you get confused and hazy etc. When I visit the UK now I find at the end of my two week trip I am still not 100% over the jetlag phase, and then I fly back to Australia and start the process all over again.
Also, unless you are flying business or first the journey is absolutely horrible. It's two very long haul flights, plus you probably need to throw in an extra one to get to wherever your mate is in Australia. It's pretty brutal and you will probably be a dehydrated zombie by the end of it.
Maybe I'm just a pansy but I honestly wouldn't do this, and I say that as a person who has done this journey over twenty times, all different routes.
if relevant we have been friends since we were 10, he is godfather to one of my DC and when they visit i always get more time with him than anyone else outside his family. if it was even half the distance and cost i wouldn't be hesitating - as in if i could genuinely do it in a weekend like somewhere in europe or possible usa.
24 hours reading books actually is very tempting on its own!!!
I couldn't do it unless I was able to fly First, but I am a grumpy old woman with many aches and pains and much obesity.
Go for it! Your friend will be so pleased you made the effort, as will you! If you could possibly go a day or so earlier in case of jetlag, I would. Also, as you are making such a huge effort, might your friend not put you in touch with friends or family with a spare room with whom you could stay and pay for bed and board, but not as much as an hotel would be?
I went to Brisbane for 3 nights from Uk! Similar situation, a special family event as my sister lives out there.
I actually found it ok & a big adventure
Have been to Aus a few times but always for 3+ weeks. My sister has been to UK for 5 nights quite a few times and finds that no problem.
It’s not a holiday, it’s a trip to see family & as we can’t always be taking 3+ weeks off work sometimes a short trip is better than no trip.
I flew from Heathrow & changed planes in Singapore. Arrived morning Aus time & stayed up until bedtime. Had 3 nights there and left on morning of 4th day. Got taken to and picked up from Heathrow as it’s 3 hours drive for us....
No problem with jet lag, just a bit tired but no worse than a busy weekend away anywhere
Go. Yes you’ll be knackered but so what? Do it. Life is so fucking short, it’s good to sometimes do stuff like this. Have fun!
twisty i've traveled to NZ. I'm a pretty good traveller. will make sure i have plenty of water, flight socks etc.
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