Long long haul - break journey or push on?(19 Posts)
We are thinking of going to New Zealand for Christmas with my brother, taking 3 DSs, who will then be 9, 6 and 4. About to book and not sure if we should go straight through for 24 hours, or break on the way (LA, Singapore, Dubai, even?). Would love any advice on whether a break makes things better or worse, or on where might be a good place to stop. We can be away for about 3 weeks, so time important but more important to arrive alive....
I find that breaking the journey doesn't really help the jetlag BUT after the 14 hours to Singapore, the last thing you want to do is get on another aeroplane. A night in a real bed in the middle and a chance to stretch legs, do something is invaluable.
NZ from UK at christmas is a 13 hour time change, that's bad enough.
The jet lag is going to be bad, not sure how we will all cope, but thank you - appreciate the advice.
Sorry I'm the opposite and when we have flown to Australia (apart from with an under 2 year old child) we have just always gone straight through no problems.
By stopping you are delaying the inevitable and sometimes can't sleep on the stopover anyway as the jetlag kicks in in SE Asia due to time diff there.
If you get a night flight out of London, your kids are likely to pretty much sleep most of the first leg, then even if they are awake for the second is not the end of the world.
I'd go straight through too. We've done it both ways, 24 hours London to Melbourned and 12ish Bangkok to Melbourne.
DD coped well enough although, TBF she didn't do the 24 hour job
We did London to Sydney and Auckland to London with just refuelling stopovers when DD was a year old and I was pregnant with DS. Not too bad on the way out, but I was wasted on the way back/after as I couldn't sleep at all on the plane.
Straight through. I can't bear the thought of taking time out to spend a night in a hotel, only to have to get on the plane again next day.
I am not finding it too bad, having just done the Syd-->London flight in 23h (1h stopover at Singapore) with DS1 (5) and DS2 (5m) by myself - jet lag isn't too bad, we're almost back to normal and we only arrived Friday morning.
I also have limited time to do these trips so cannot bear the idea of wasting a day each way in doing an overnight stop.
Impressed by mighty Thumbwitch! My parents, who do the journey at least every other year, reckon that the trick is to fly west, so via LA on the way out and then SE Asia on the way home. Not sure if that might help...
Hey Thumbwitch, well done on surviving the trip. I hope you have a lovely time.
I've never done the few days stopover but have done overnight in a hotel and also straight through. The hotel stop was in KL when coming from Oz so the times worked out ok (it was our night). From London I would get a late flight - sleep on the plane and then just keep going it's grim but doable.
If you can afford it, the lounges in the airports are quite good, you can relax there, eat, shower etc. They're quite expensive for a family though. Or you can get into the airport hotel for a couple of hours to shower, relax etc.
Thanks! The flight could have been better, the Seatbelt sign going on almost every time I'd just got DS2 settled into the recliner seat was a PITA but I did get a bit of sleep. Thank goodness DS1 is such a seasoned traveller!
Weather here isn't as bad as it could be either
I wouldn't stop just for a night in a hotel but if you've got time for a two day stop (with one outside sightseeing in daylight) then I find that helps a lot.
So it depends how long your trip is and where the stop over choices are.
We did 1055am flight from Heathrow landed in Singapore at 7.30am then had 12hrs ish in Singapore did the bus tour round Singapore dd2 (7) slept on the bus. We then wondered round to find some lunch, went swimming had a shower then when and waited by the gate. We had people picking us up in Christchurch they gave us lunch then dropped us at the accommodation. We were really tired and went to bed early but then didn't have much jet lag. We had never done long haul before and this was a one way trip. Next time we may not have a spare day.
Have not done this as I live in Asia so already half way there. However my mum did London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Canberra straight through and she is 70!
I would only break the journey for a stay of a few days, not one.
Straight through. Can't stand getting off a plane, through customs and baggage reclaim to get to a hotel for 1 night where you are rummaging through cases trying to find something to have to re-pack, check in, do security etc all over again.
I would consider stopping over as it is such a long distance away and the best part of two days on a plane is pretty much pants.
Would suggest you not go via LAX because Los Angeles airport is a real dump of a place. Infact I would avoid the US at all if you are a transit passenger.
We stopover on the way out, but for 2 or 3 days, so consider the stopover a mini trip in itself. We always keep going on the way back though, as once we're going home, we just want to get there.
We do this trip twice a year, including a couple of times in the last few years with my young nephews, and agree with other posters that stopping for a night is more of a hassle and cost - in terms of time as well as money.
If you really think you'll struggle then I'd suggest taking a couple of nights somewhere nice and interesting in Asia, but otherwise just choose your timing to fit with your DC's internal clocks (are they night owls or larks?), choose an airline with good inflight entertainment and reliable timings (not BA!) and submit to a slightly/considerably painful 24-36 hours...
We went to Aus with ours when they were 11, 9 and 5, and only stopped in Hong Kong for a few hours. It was fine, the 2 younger ones slept a lot and Ds1 watched tv the whole time. We went with Cathay pacific and they were great, even down to helping when Dd was sick! Jet lag wasn't too bad.
Straight through. I have flown with dcs to Australia quite a few times on my own and the time I stopped was the worst flight. It just extended the torture! I find going via Hong Kong a great way as that flight is only about 11 hours from London rather than 14 to Singapore. I always love it when the time tracker goes under 10 hours it doesn't seem that bad!!
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