Long haul with kids(22 Posts)
Just wondering on your views about whether it is best to split the journey up when flying long haul ?
We did 9 hours to Miami last year and survived but were very ready to land . Flew back from New York which was a much better flight . Thinking of doing west coast USA this year and pondering a non direct flight to cut costs and break the journey but my head says just stick it out for the extra few hours .
I would do it direct. Unless you splitting it means staying a few days in the transit location? Otherwise you are just making the trip longer. We do a 12 hour one every year to see my family.
It won't be a fun journey but I'd stick with doing it all in one go. Decamping to a hotel with all your luggage for one night, then checking it in again the next day, having to do the deep joy that is US airport security all over agin and getting on another flight when you just want to be at your destination would be pretty grim I think.
I would fly to the West Coast direct because doing a same day internal transfer through a US airport can often be an exercise in frustration. Also the clock starts as soon as your plane from the UK lands to get on the second flight (Clearing US immigration and customs can take bags of time. Often the onward flight is in another terminal which can mean going through security again)
Thanks just investigated 2 weeks on the west coast and it's coming in at £17,000 so a bit higher than expected ! So probably won't be doing that this year ,
Might be worth looking at costs if you book things independently? We went last year and before we got there it averaged out at £2,000 per person including a (expensive) school holiday flight, 16 nights accommodation, car hire and things like Disney tickets, Alcatraz, SF tour bus tickets, etc. that we booked in advance. We then had food and a few other activities that we paid on top once there.
We didn't particularly scrimp and save on accommodation.
We also flew direct. Flight times suggested 11 hours to SF but both flights were just over 10 hours. Wasn't much fun but wasn't dreadful! On the way out the kids slept the last hour so as I felt we were nearing the end of being able to entertain that helped! We did the night flight home. Grown ups didn't sleep very well but the kids did so it was an easier flight for us if that makes sense! Indirect flights would have to be amazing prices to convince me to do a stop.
£17k is that what people pay for posh hols these days?
We're paying £2k next summer, avoiding term time, and I thought that was a lot.
Norwegian Air are doing cheap flight from Gatwick to the West Coast. Might bring your costing down a bit!
I've just paid £2700 for August flights to San Francisco with BA (including booked seating). I can't imagine that we'll spend another £14k on accomodation, car hire & food for the 4 of us (DC are 15 & 12).
It not what we are paying that's for sure !
I've looked at flights and can get them to £4,500 but accomadation in SF was $7000 for 7 days in the holiday inn . Probably as we want 2 rooms to fit all 5 people in . DH not keen on west coast for some reason he would prefer to take out heat hating kids to the hot humid tropical Caribbean . Why as he doesn't do heat either I don't know so I was trying to tempt him away !!!
Off to do more digging into sorting it myself . I was virgin who quoted £17k and I wasn't over impressed with the hotels and we didn't upgrade to anything but room only !
Not surprised to read about two rooms totalling $1000 a night in SF: SF is now one of the most expensive cities in the US (apart from NYC) in terms of hotel accommodation.
The other issue you could encounter here with the five of you is that you would need to be in one room whilst your DH would be in the room next door. Children under the age of 18 are not allowed to occupy their own room without an adult: you would therefore need interconnecting rooms to solve this problem.
I would look at suite based hotels (e.g. Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites) and see how much they are asking. Such chains also include breakfast as part of the room rate.
I would also book it all yourself rather than use a company.
No you don't break the journey for a 10-12 hour flight 😂 you would for 20+ hours
We did 11 days for about £5.5-6k plus spending money for two adults and our 2-year old DD. Admittedly that wasn't during school holidays (although actually our flight out was the end of august), but that was our flights, accommodation and car hire for Santa Monica/LA then road tripping to San Fran. We didn't scrimp on hotels at all and almost everywhere we stayed we upgraded the room so we had a seperate lounge area for DD to sleep in as we hate sharing with her! You're right about San Fran being expensive accommodation wise though.
We had quotes from Kuoni and Virgin but ended up booking it all ourselves and the hotels were a mix of booking.com and direct. Meant we could easily change our plans a few times as the rooms were cancellation.
We had an amazing time and definitely thought it was worth the flight!
Direct every time. We flew to Denver a few years ago via Iceland to save money with dts who were three at the time. Never ever again.
We did West coast for 5 of us using a mixture of hotels and airbnb for £10k last easter hols.
Daytime BA flight to LA was fine. Return night flight was awful.
Have you asked Trailfinders to quote you? We used them for a Canada trip in 2013 and are thinking of doing a W USA trip this summer (but not at 17k - eek). Although it would be July for us, as kids both finished uni/college by end June.
You can email them an outline itinerary initially, get a ballpark price, but we found it useful to sit with them in their local store one Sunday and go through accomodation options in each of places we wanted to visit in Canada. Otherwise they will just price in whatever they think is most suitable for hotels.
We came home on that Sunday with a list of possible hotels in various places and I then did some research before we booked.
Having relatives on the West Coast and NZ means my DC and I have flown long haul since they were babies and they have usually coped well.
I wouldn't break the journey -as they will have got comfortable and sleepy by the time you land at your interconnecting airport and its such a pain dragging them off and onto another plane after security/immigration etc. The stress of getting to your connecting flight can be too much especially if the first flight is late and there is a long queue at immigration - and luggage can get lost at this point.
£17k is way too much - are you using booking.com or trailfinders?
"accomodation in SF was $7000 for 7 days in the holiday inn "
wow, $500/room per night? I just got prices of mostly $1500-$3000 for 2 adults+3 kids aged 5-11 on 4-11 August 2017 in San Francisco. booking.com. Deffo room for savings.
Booking.com random search for a week in August for 5. Sample result:
Look for house sitting assignments. Family recently did it in SF and saved a fortune and stayed in a very large and posh house.
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