Flying to Oz with kids...stopover or not?(11 Posts)
We are flying to Oz next year and have two options:
UK day flight - Abu Dhabi stop 24hrs- Sydney night flight
Sydney night flight - Abu Dhabi 24hrs - UK night flight
With a 24hr stopover in Abu Dhabi both ways
Or we can go straight through but with a 3hr stopover in Abu Dhabi each way.
DCs are 5 & 2. 5 year old is a good traveller, will watch films and sleep when needed. 2 year old doesn't like to sit still at all. She will be just 2 when we travel and although I am happy for her to have some 'screen time' I doubt she will be that interested. Travelling with DH so there's two of us.
He thinks it's better for the kids to arrive exhausted (and us!) so that we get straight into Oz time (not sure how he has come up with this plan). I can't decide whether a 24hr stop will be a real hassle or much needed rest....I had planned that on the outward leg at least we would arrive early eve so that they can have a full night os sleep and a day in Abu Dhabi before checking back in again but will this just be a complete waste of time and hassle??
There are other airline options however this is by far and away the cheapest (sale on) and also good times for us.
I would welcome other's experiences...
I wouldn't bother with the long stopover. Of the 24 hours, you'll spend a good 4 or 5 in the airport, either going or coming. Travelling to and from the hotel and checking in and out will be another couple of hours. Add an extra 10 hours for sleeping, and 2 or 3 for eating, that leaves about 4 to 6 hours when you will be tired and stressed, and not really in the mood for sightseeing with little ones, anyway. I never found children settle well in a hotel the first night or so, anyway.
Bite the bullet, and just get there.
I travelled with mine when they were 8,6 and 3, stopping over at Dubai for 4 hours. It wasn't great, but it was one ruined night, as opposed to a potential of 3.
Yes this is true and it would give us more time. I probably just need to go for it. Someone pointed out that really we only have DC2 to 'worry' about because DC1 we know to be a decent flyer....and there's two of us on duty so shouldn't be too terrible (famous last words).
We've taken 5 year old DTDs to Oz twice now, and not bothered with stopovers. Mostly because we didn't want to eat into our holiday budget and time with family, but it's worked out well thus far!
We did the trip back to Oz when DD was a baby and I am eternally glad we had a stopover in big directions. You will most likely not get ANY sleep on the flight with two small ones. If you can go 24 hours with no sleep and stay sane then go for it. Personally I can't.
I would seriously consider stopping over both ways and for 2 days in each direction if you can. I did this and was glad to get off the plane (in Singapore). Got fed up of sitting in a metal tube for hours on end without much to eat let alone somewhere to lie down.
If you can only stopover in one direction I would do this going Eastwards.
Travelling to Australia is the best part of two days on a plane given the time difference. Apart from anything else if you do break the journey up, you can eat something other than airplane food, get some fresh air and have the use of a bed and a toilet.
Oh blimey, I don't know what to do for the best! I am leaning towards stopping over on the way out for 24hrs in Abu Dhabi but not bothering on the way back (mainly to save time). I think I'm hesitating as I've read reports of very long queues in Abu Dhabi and that the airport facilites aren't that nice and it's putting me off. The reality is though that whatever we do we will have to stop there for 3-4hrs in transit anyway so I sort of think it might be better at that point to go to a hotel and actually rest rather than be on an airport floor...I've read there are sleeping pods you can hire but I can't see how they would work for a 2yr old!
Abu Dhabi has a new airport terminal and it's lovely. There's a pool available for a fee and it's light and airy. It is also brainbendingly expensive - I paid £24 for three bags of crisps, three drinks and three tracker bars there in July.
The best place to stop and remain in the terminal is Changi Singapore by a long chalk. The airport there is fabulous.
I would either
Take 3 hrs gap and just swap and back on plane. 3 hours is a good time everyone can stretch legs, find new plane, wear children out a bit walking or they can go in children's play area. Then sleep back on plane
Or take a 48 hrs stop over. That gives enough to to leave airport, stay overnight in hotel, swim, etc then back
A 24hr stop is actually more rushed than 3 hour. As you take 1-2 hours getting luggage and security and actually leaving. And have to allow for 3+ hours checking back in before next flight. Plus travel time in between. Leaving about 18hrs which is just about time for a long sleep, breakfast and shower but not a huge amount more as you will be clock watching
We came over to Oz this year with a 2yr old (few months off 3) who was known to be a crappy flyer. We had originally planned a 24hr stop and then realised, for all the reasons above, this would be worse than not stopping at all. In the end we stopped in Dubai for 2 nights and it was fantastic, a lovely break on the way and gave us all some time to relax, sleep, eat proper food and run around a bit. If that doesn't fit in either because it'll be too expensive or eat into the holiday too much then I'd just go straight through and accept you'll be knackered and write off the first couple of days of the holiday for ranting and resting!
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