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Australia - which way and when to fly with 7 and 4 year old?

(10 Posts)
permaquandry Sun 02-Sep-12 22:35:30

Visiting friends and relatives in Sydney at Easter next year.

Can anybody give me some solid travel advice for flying there from UK, ie; short-stop/overnight stop, best airline, wbere to stop etc.

Don't want to sight-see any other countries, just want to have maximum time in Oz, but want to do the best thing for the kids.

Thanks v much!

coansha Mon 03-Sep-12 13:40:38

would only travel with emirates, via dubai, husband did this route every 3 weeks for 4 years, we did it for holidays.
inform them of kids, as kids menu, good films, best airline ive used and can just do a few hours at airport and straight on, i would time flight times for a day flight from uk to dubai ,which is about 7 hrs from uk(get them a macdaonald at dubai if neccesary), then a night flight on, dubai sydney 14 hrs, so most of it alseep.

olibeansmummy Mon 03-Sep-12 14:26:46

We're flying at Christmas time with Singapore airlines with an overnight stay in Singapore each way for a break for ds (3). No experience yet , but the reviews of Singapore airlines are good and Singapore airlines looks fab smile

AussieInEssex Mon 03-Sep-12 15:15:59

olibeansmummy I did the same thing (only I was coming from Australia to England). Singapore airlines were great, child-friendly and everyone there was really friendly and helpful. I came over with a 10yr old, 7yr old, 4yr old and 1yr old, and it would have been a nightmare if it wasn't for them.

Have an overnight stay. A short stay means you will be constantly worrying: having to check out, then loading up the luggage again, then going through security, and all the other stuff without being able to take a breather. An overnight stay allows you to relax a bit, get a good nights sleep and lets you walk around and stretch your legs. For kids, it means they aren't so cramped and it means they won't be so crabby in the morning because they've got a comfortable bed to sleep in.

If you get a chance, go to Sydney Zoo (it's great, they've got koalas and echidnas etc; which aren't common at English zoos) and enjoy the beaches!

olibeansmummy Mon 03-Sep-12 17:55:03

Thanks aussie I can't wait! Can we leave our luggage in the airport then when we stay over night? We're staying with friends who also have a 3 year old so sure they'll show us all the good stuff! Sooo excited!

thestringcheesemassacre Mon 03-Sep-12 18:03:25

l would third Singapore Airlines, completely fabulous with children, amazing staff. Lovely brand new planes. (I've done the trip with Thai, Emirates, Etihad, Qantas, Virgin and BA so I've seen them all pretty much)They also go through Changi airport which I think is just fantastic. They have a pool in the airport which really refreshes you and they have loads of things to do and see. (DH often jokes that we should holiday at the airport).

I've done the trip on my own with 2 DC about 4 times and each time I take a 6 hr stopover at the airport and book a room in the transit hotel (6 hours £30) which allows you to shower, and leave your things securely whilst you roam about the airport.

Also if you are not frightened of heights, book in for the Bridgeclimb, its amazing!

MrsCF Mon 03-Sep-12 18:17:14

We flew to Perth this year with a 2 and 4 year old, we went with Emirates and they were great - we have previously flown Singapore Airlines but without children and I would fly with them again without hesitation.
We left the UK at lunch time so our kids were awake for the whole of the first flight. Which was fine as they were excited and the TV provided plenty of entertainment as well as all the bits we brought with us too. We were only at Dubai for about 2 hours and then the kids slept for most of the second flight. My 2 year old never got used to the jet lag but he is rubbish at bedtime anyway. On the way back we did a night time flight 4 hour stopover in Dubai and got back to the UK lunch time, we managed to get both kids to stay awake until bedtime and slipped straight back in to our regular routine. Very little jet lag.
Sydney is beautiful, go to the zoo beautiful views of the harbour. The Blue Mountains were really pretty too and the aquarium was great too.
Have a fantastic holiday.

Craftymoo Mon 17-Sep-12 21:38:43

Definitely Singapore airlines, although we did Qantas with our 7 year old this year and they were good. Didn't like Cathay Pacific, awful seats for long haul! I would recommend any airline that advertises a larder system overnight, allowing you to help yourself to food and drink- amazing how long this kept our son amused for! Have fun.

suebfg Sat 06-Oct-12 14:50:10

We did Australia and Singapore with a 2 year old. Flew Qantas and they were very good.

Thoroughly recommend the Sydney Aquarium, although our DS (now 5) remembers the Opera House tour more than anything else :0

amicissimma Sat 13-Oct-12 18:19:07

Singapore is nearer to Australia than Dubai is, so the way your flight breaks will depend on your route: London to Dubai approx 7 hours, Dubai to Sydney approx 13 OR London to Singapore approx 13, Singapore to Sydney approx 7. Worth thinking about how it'll feel on the way home, too.

I agree that it's a good idea to leave UK fairly early, as the first part of the flight is very exciting, plus after the hassle of packing and getting to and through the airport you will probably be fairly wound up. After some hours in the air you will be more relaxed and ready to sleep. Consider my first paragraph in the light of whether you think this point comes after 7 or 13 hours. Will you fancy the stop after 7, then board and settle down to sleep, will you crash out after 11 hours only to have to get off the plane two hours later, or will you be wakeful for the first 13ish hours, glad of a break, then get a good 6-7 hours on the last leg? (To my surprise, the third is my best). This affects your optimum leaving time, too.

What time is the stop in each place? Even the most wonderful airport loses its charm when your body thinks it's 3am and you feel groggy. What time do you arrive in Australia? Then the same questions for the return.

Of course, Emirates and Singapore aren't your only options, but it's worth thinking about the timings whichever airline you choose. The well-known airlines are all good, except the rare occasions when you get a miserable crew, which can happen on any. You could talk to specialists such as Trailfinders, Austravel and so on about going out one way and back another, or going all the way round the world.

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