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Coming back from East Asia in the night before school starts...

(28 Posts)
NeleusTheStatue Fri 15-Mar-19 13:28:39

Apologies if this should have been posted in the holiday section. But it's a bit age specific (secondary school) hence here I am...

DS and I need to go to Far East this summer. It's not purely for leisure as we have some reasons to go there. Unfortunately the schedule is so tight that we have to come back either a night or two nights before the autumn term starts. We will be back home at around 9pm from the airport. To go to school, we have to leave home at 6.30am and drive for 40 mins. He is a weekly boarder.

Do you think I am mad to come back in the night before school starts? Should we come back at least two nights before so he has a full day to recover from the journey?

To share the full picture, he'll be away for 10 days as soon as school breaks, then will be home for 2.5 weeks, then off to another residential course for one week, then heading for Far East next day (night flight). The first two home aways are in North and South of England and we are based in London.

He is well travelled as he's been flying around the world since he was a baby. He's been to Far-East many times and hardly suffered from jet lag. But I always made sure he would have some recovery time so never scheduled this tight from one to another.

I travelled for work when I was younger and often had to work straight after coming out of the airplane. But then I was fully grown up obviously... He is only 11, so it'll be too much to expect him to go back to school next morning after nearly a day worth of travelling a night before...?

I probably know the answer already, but I have a few reasons to keep considering it. So I may just need some confirmation that I am doing a right thing. Any advice or sharing your experience would be greatly appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Fri 15-Mar-19 13:35:20

I'd allow a couple of days. He will need to get organised for school as well as catch up sleep and jetlag.

WinterHeatWave Fri 15-Mar-19 13:47:51

Only you know what he is likely to be like.
Personally, I wouldn't do it (Although we are landing on Sunday morning, and going back to School on Monday morning at Easter, and that is tight for me).
It's also the impact of any delays or missed flights, and how that affects things.

That said, it's also a bit bonkers to go to the far east for just a week....

Truly on the fence!

Ontopofthesunset Fri 15-Mar-19 13:57:00

We have flown back many times overnight Sunday/Monday from SE Asia and the kids have gone straight into school (well, home first for a shower and breakfast). They are tired of course but go to bed very early and get up very early for a couple of days after that. So we've risked it!

soulrunner Fri 15-Mar-19 14:00:28

HK or similar? Jet lag not that bad going to UK from Asia IME. Much worse the other way (dc always take a week to get back to normal). Are you overnighting on the flight Asia-UK? If so, should be ok as you'll land a.m. Just get him to power through that day so he sleeps properly that night. Unless you mean land that morning and go straight to school from the airport in which case , yes, that's a bit crazy.

Also (I mean this nicely), outside vair traditional expat circles it's considered increasingly offensive to refer to this part of the world as "the Far East" so don't say it while you're here if it is HK you're coming to. It's not "OMG - pool ball stops on way to pocket- offensive" but it might just get a few backs up amongst locals. (Feel free to tell me that you're actually HK Chinese and put me back in my virtue signalling box btw).

NeleusTheStatue Fri 15-Mar-19 16:14:58

Thank you for pointing out my ignorance, soulrunner. You saved me from possible offense in future by telling me this now. I'm from East Asia, and my English use isn't perfect. blush

We leave in the morning, stopping in another country for transit, then arrive at Heathrow at 7ish in the evening on the same day, which means we'll probably be home at 9ish in the evening. DS will probably wake up early next day so I thought he may be able to go to school. But his school day is very long as it's a boarding school. Usually quieter on the first day though. He can also have a nap in his room if he really is tired...

I need to decide over the weekend as I'm purchasing the seats on Monday.

OP’s posts: |
soulrunner Fri 15-Mar-19 22:46:52

Np.

Well I have done that before coming the other way (landed 4pm, so a little earlier than you) and sent the DC to school the next day despite the jet lag. It wasn't ideal but actually they are busy and it helps them get over it much faster. Also, as you said, he'll be awake early so getting him up won't be an issue which is the main problem I find. I would aim for an extra day if possible though.

LarkDescending Sat 16-Mar-19 07:20:05

I don’t think it’s that bad. When I was an expat boarder we would be delivered straight from the airport to boarding school. An extra day would be good though if possible.

SJane48S Sat 16-Mar-19 08:39:42

Sounds familiar Lark! I had a 'vair traditional expat' upbringing we'd get shunted into late night flights from Africa & the Middle East (and as a matter of interest Soulrunner, if the Far East is not acceptable (I assume Colonial overtones) are we still ok using the 'Middle East'?! ), picked up by strangers at airports & then stuck on trains on our own before being picked up by the school coach. In retrospect hideous in many ways, but kids cope & while he will be tired, it'll only be for a day or two. I used to hate going back & staying a night or 2 with my Mum in England would have felt like slowly ripping a plaster off rather than getting it over with quickly

LIZS Sat 16-Mar-19 08:49:08

But most overseas boarders arrive a day or two before lessons start.

NeleusTheStatue Sat 16-Mar-19 10:29:56

It's really helpful to know it's not completely mad to think of it. Now it depends on a child, doesn't it? And how willing he wants to do it.

We always have busy summer, travelling a couple places. Actually he went away more or less the same amount last year. But he went to a non-European country (hence long flights and wider time difference were involved) at the beginning instead of the end of the summer holiday, and he stayed there for 4 weeks instead of mere 2.5 weeks (so more time to adjust his body clock). The last home away in the summer was France instead of East Asia (hence no long journey nor jet lag), and he had a good few days at home before school started.

This year, he will have 2.5 weeks at home between the first and the second home away, but no gap between the second, the third and school.

As others said, keeping busy on the first day of landing a new place always helps in our case too. Especially when we travel to the east side, it's tough on the first day but we would try to keep active daytime (some excitement being in a new place helps!) then usually no more jet lag from the second or third day.

OP’s posts: |
soulrunner Sat 16-Mar-19 10:34:26

sjane not sure re Middle East as haven’t lived there for 10 years so dont know how the term is viewed by locals now. I guess there’s also the fact that there’s no alternative phrase in common use ( that I’m aware of anyway) whereas for Far East most people now say Asia Pacific.

NeleusTheStatue Sat 16-Mar-19 10:36:02

But when things that keeps you busy is school work, it might be a bit different...

OP’s posts: |
Longdistance Sat 16-Mar-19 10:43:27

We came back from Cuba on a night flight. Dds slept, and we put them straight into school. Same with Thailand.
They have such a busy first day back at school, they’ll come home shattered.

NeleusTheStatue Sat 16-Mar-19 10:49:06

The right term of this sort is so confusing to me. When my English was even poorer, I referred myself as Asian (although I have Hawaiian blood as well). Then someone said to me 'Asian in the UK meant 'Indian' but you were from Far East'. That's stuck to my head hence I just used the word without thinking of it too much. Didn't mean to offend anyone. Appreciated to have been pointed otherwise I would have carried on saying it.

OP’s posts: |
NeleusTheStatue Sat 16-Mar-19 11:05:22

Oh wow, Longdistance, that sounds tough. But perhaps it's something to do with expectation. DS is coming home today so will discuss some options with him.

OP’s posts: |
Ontopofthesunset Sat 16-Mar-19 11:08:14

We have done the same many times, Longdistance. Actually it's not too bad - like going into the office after a night flight! It won't be their best day of work but it really helps get over the jet lag.

CherryPavlova Sat 16-Mar-19 11:09:13

Many international children boarding in UK arrive the evening before. Make sure his stuff is ready before you go and he’ll be fine - a bit tired maybe but that won’t kill him.

anniehm Sat 16-Mar-19 11:24:28

If you can swing it that you come the day before it's obviously better but needs must. I would forewarn schooling's case there's flight disruption.

ksb76 Sat 16-Mar-19 18:29:08

While we are going the other way round, my two travel back from the USA to the UK each half term and beginning of term, and we always arrive on a Sunday lunchtime (after an overnight flight), get back to school Sunday pm and lessons start Monday morning. They are absolutely fine. If your child is used to traveling, and you are organised, then no issues at all.

Soontobe60 Sat 16-Mar-19 18:36:43

What's 'home away'?

Soontobe60 Sat 16-Mar-19 18:38:12

I think travelling East in the summer is much easier in terms of jet lag than doing it in winter. We did Thailand one Christmas and it took me weeks to recover back to normal sleep patterns whereas when we did Sri Lanka in summer, I was fine after a day.

NeleusTheStatue Sat 16-Mar-19 21:30:41

Sorry another English mistake (though I'm sure there are more)... I meant 'home away' as in being away from home...

OP’s posts: |
soulrunner Sat 16-Mar-19 23:27:53

Then someone said to me 'Asian in the UK meant 'Indian' but you were from Far East'.

It's basically a minefield, right? I mean, Asian factually means you are from somewhere in the continent of Asia, so you could be Pakistani or Thai or from anywhere in between, but in the US when you say someone is "Asian" you mean from Asia Pacific (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese) but not from Indian, Pakistan etc. In the UK I think the phrase is more all-encompassing now.

In HK we have a phrase of "gweilo" which literally means "white ghost" and is used to refer to westerners. It can be massively offensive (akin to using the n word) or pretty much neutral (like saying "Hey white boy") depending on context. HK'ers constantly debate its offensiveness and there's never agreement grin

SJane48S Sun 17-Mar-19 08:19:04

Perhaps like the ‘n’ word other derogatory racist slang it’s only acceptable if used by white people to describe themselves. I can understand the Far East being offensive as it assumes the world is Eurocentric but it is a bit farcial to say as Westerners we can’t use the Far East but the Middle East is still fine - the same rule should apply for both or non!

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