Flying to NZ(9 Posts)
We are flying to NZ at the end of the month with 5 dc (13, 10 - as we arrive, 8, 5 - almost 6 and just 3). This is in preparation of emigrating next yr. your best tips please! Both on things to do and how to survive the VERY long flights (esp as I'm am flying phobic - used to fly no problem but last flight 11 yrs ago was a disaster so I'm pretty nervous!!). YES we are mad before anyone points that out. YES we do have to go.
Which way are you flying? What airline? Are you non-stop or having a layover?
I’ve done this journey more times than I can remember, and the best way I’ve found is to try to sleep about 4-5 hours of each leg if you can. The little one may find the engine noise soothing (white noise), but not so much for the older ones.
For the older kids, just let them watch movies. Take ear buds with rubber ears - not the hard iphone ones - for everyone, as they are a thousand times better than the crap plane ones. Depending on the aircraft you may need adapters. I sleep in mine as they double as ear plugs.
For the small ones, the general advice is a succession of toys. I prefer to travel light, so perhaps just take a few favorites and make everyone take one small carry on bag that they are responsible for.
In short though, just go with the flow and try not to stress about it. It’s 24 hours so one single day and that’s it. It’s fine if they watch 6 movies in a row. Oh, make sure to all drink heaps of water though, that helps hugely with the jet lag.
Use noise cancelling headphones. I find them really soothing as it cuts out all the strange noises that worry me! Make sure each child has a back pack rather than those silly trolleys that you end up pulling around! In each, have a set of pyjamas or track suit bottoms and a t shirt that they can change into as soon as the seatbelt off sign is lit. That way, their 'proper' clothes stay clean.
I always take a flannel and small bar of soap which goes in a zip loc bag so they can have a good wipe down when they get sticky 🤣.
Don't be tempted to buy loads of crap sweets etc. Get each of them a water bottle that they can fill once airside, and take one of those little bottles of concentrated cordial (I find water on an airplane tastes disgusting). Get each of them a neck pillow.
Make a note of all your passport numbers either on a slip of paper or on your phone. It saves having to get all the passports out when you need to fill in the entry forms they give out on the plane an hour or two before arrival.
Make sure you have no fresh food on you on entry to NZ. If you're not sure about whether to tick a declaration on the customs form (e.g. food, medicine, wooden items) then tick it anyway. My friend's parents got fined because they brought in meat pies (which would have been confiscated anyway) and though they declared they had food, they should also have declared it as an animal product as it contained meat!
@FenceFuckery @Soontobe60 @Whowouldfardelsbear thank you for taking the time to give that info. Very useful! The last long flight I did was pre kids!!
@FenceFuckery flying Thai airways to Bangkok. Only have a short layover both ways.
Flew to NZ via Doha this Easter. Did it with just a short stop each way. I'm not great at sleeping on planes, but just ended up watching a lot of movies. As an adult avoiding alcohol and taking sleeping tablets for the first few nights at either end was helpful.
Too top for NZ visit is buy a sim card for your phone at the airport- avoids excessive roaming charges.
Have flown over the years with my son. Was a nightmare when he was young but as soon as he liked watching movies and playing games it was fine. Only hard part is the sleep - if he misses his bedtime then he will get overtired and not sleep so try to get the younger ones ready to sleep for their bedtime, eg having their PJs on in preparation. Also took a new magazine with a toy to open at the start of the 2nd leg and enough snacks for the flight in case they don’t like the food (particular problem for us due to food allergies). But probably you will be fine. The kids seem to cope better with jet lag than adults except they will wake you up in the morning so go to bed when they go! Have a great trip, Nz is a great place for kids
Ps I’d recommend headphones for each kid in case they don’t like plane ones and for adults, noise cancelling if possible
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