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would it be a nightmare? worth it though?

11 replies

bitofalurker · 01/01/2011 10:21

We have 3 dcs, 6,3 & 1. Some very good friends are moving to Japan & we'd love to visit them this summer, but... long flight whilst outnumbered?

The 6 yr old would be fine, the 3 yr old will be 4 by then & cope-able with if there's games to play I guess, the 1 yr old will be 2 by the summer and is one of those kids that can't sit still for 5 minutes. He is currently climbing all over me on the sofa and landing head-first on the floor giggling then getting up & climbing up the sofa again.

Would we be mad to go? Has anyone done this & got advice?


OP posts:
CybilScissorhands · 01/01/2011 10:31

If you times the flights right you could sleep?

PadmeHum · 01/01/2011 10:34

Would you be staying with your friends? The reason I ask is that accommodation in Asian countries is normally very small. This could be very stressful with three kids struggling with jet-lag.

I'd go, but I'd book self catering accommodation.

bitofalurker · 01/01/2011 10:51

Yes Cybil I'm debating whether the odds of them all sleeping for long enough are high enough to risk it - is an annoying screaming child more annoying for other people trying to sleep or when trying to watch films?!

Pad - not thought as far as accommodation yet, but thanks for that, will look into it if we decide we can cope with getting ther & back!

OP posts:
BadSkiingMum · 01/01/2011 11:10

I think that child noise on planes is less of an issue these days when everyone is plugged into ipod headphones, seat back entertainment or has ear-plugs in.

exexpat · 01/01/2011 11:17

The flight is perfectably do-able with small kids if you are well-prepared with amusements, snacks etc and preferably fly one of the airlines (eg virgin) that has a really good on-demand entertainment system with lots in English for small children (Virgin usually has 20 or 30 child-friendly films & tv episodes plus Disney games). The older two can probably be kept happy with that plus lots of toys, drawing stuff and snacks that you take with you, leaving you free to walk up and down with the toddler. Not relaxing, but perfectly feasible - I lived in Japan for years, and flew back most summers by myself with two DCs from when they were babies.

What I would say is that I noticed you said you were thinking of going in the summer. I really wouldn't recommend that with small children. Japanese summers are horribly hot and humid - ave around 35 degrees, can be hotter, humidity is 90 per cent plus, it is basically like living in a sauna. All buildings are airconditioned, usually excessively so, so you are constantly going from 20 degrees to 35 degrees. I find that the children need to stop for a drink every couple of hundred metres, and have no interest in or energy for doing anything outside, eg doing Disneyland in the summer would be hell on earth. That's why we used to return to the UK every summer, as do most expats, and the Japanese either stay in the airconditioning or try to head for the hills or the coast.

It is much, much nicer to visit Japan any time between late September and early June, when the rainy season starts. We usually return for visits in April, which is perfect - usually around 20 degrees, nice sunny days and you might be there for the cherry blossom.

bitofalurker · 01/01/2011 20:15

Hmmm, thanks exexpat - was assuming summer for school hols, but maybe need to think again by the sounds of that.
Btw would you recommend overnight or daytime flight then?

OP posts:
Lilyloo · 01/01/2011 20:21

We went to Aus via Kuala Lumpur this year with ds 8 dd1 5 and dd2 2 the first leg of the flight at midnight was great although they were much better than we expected for the whole journey.

expatinscotland · 01/01/2011 20:27

The only reason I do this type of flight with my very similar 2-year-old son is because I have to or he'd not be able to see his grandparents.

But for any other reason: NO way.

exexpat · 01/01/2011 20:58

Hi again - I'd definitely recommend easter rather than summer hols, so if it's a bit late to arrange for this year, and your friends will still be there the following spring, maybe try for April 2012 - children will also be older, which makes things easier. Or if you feel like incurring the wrath of school, you could add a week or so to half term in the summer or autumn terms, as those are also good times to visit.

I would also recommend getting a direct flight if you are going with small children, even though it can sometimes be cheaper to get one where you have to change - it makes the journey much longer. We nearly always fly Virgin, and there is just one flight a day, which leaves Heathrow at 1pm and arrives in Japan at about 9am - so it is 'overnight' but doesn't really feel like an overnight from this end, as you arrive at the equivalent of 1am UK time. I think the BA flight leaves at a similar time, but there is at least one flight with JAL or ANA which leaves London in the evening - however, their entertainment system would probably not be as well set up for English-speaking children. My DCs rarely manage to sleep on planes anyway, so the flight time doesn't make much difference to us.

bethelbeth · 04/01/2011 02:28

Accommodation is V V V expensive also. I wouldn't recommend staying in hostels with young children either.
Daytime flight would prob be ok, due to time differences
If you get there at 3pm it means that you can crash out and start afresh in the morning.

bethelbeth · 04/01/2011 02:30

And if you do go you must visit Sanrio Puroland!

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