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Should I Stopover with Toddler to New Zealand?

5 replies

Cityfreak · 23/04/2002 12:21

I am going to be working in New Zealand for 3 months and need to fly there alone with a 2 year-old. We have flown before but never on such a long flight. The flight I am considering refuels at Singapore and Bangkok, so you can stopover free on the way and on the way back. Otherwise, including refuelling times and change of flight in Australia, it is going to be a 27-hour journey,which will be about 32 hours including airport travelling and waiting times. Do you think it is harder to stopover with tired toddler, or harder to go 32 hours onboard a plane?

OP posts:
slug · 23/04/2002 13:43

Oh God, stopover. Think of all the other passengers on the plane. It's bad enough doing it in one go if you are an adult. If you can organise it, it makes life easier if both legs of the flight are at 'night time'. You can run the toddler ragged during the stopover, then get them to sleep for as much of the journey as possible.

SueW · 23/04/2002 13:43

Personally I'd rather not stop. I can't stand the hassle of collecting luggage, going through immigration, transport to hotel, unpack a little, stay three days somewhere and then get on my way again!

I've travelled to NZ with DD when she was 11 mo and then again when she was 3yo and then to Australia later that same year. Only on the middle trip was DH with us and he always insists on staying somewhere.

If you're not travelling business class, Singapore's Changi Airport has a transit hotel you can access without leaving the airport. I'd highly recommend taking a shower there to re-hydrate and refresh you. You can hire rooms for a short time. You can get out into the 'fresh' air by going up to the cactus garden on the roof. There's also a rooftop swimming pool but I beleive you have to clear immigration to get to it.

The downside of not stopping is you have at least one of the flights with a child wide awake - and IME everyone is encouraged to sleep so it can prove very frustrating for a child.

BTW, we went through Dubai to Australia last year, which broke the flight into more manageable segments of 3 x 7 hour flights.

Have a great time in NZ. If you're flying into Auckland, I think it's one of the most welcoming airports in the world. Well, it's the most welcoming I've ever been to, with a special immigration desk for families where you speed through.

Tillysmummy · 23/04/2002 13:57

Have never done it so can't advise but you have my sympathy. I would be inclined to stop too. I think 27 hours couped up in a plane with a toddler would be a nightmare !

florenceuk · 23/04/2002 21:32

I've flown to NZ with kids aged 3yrs and 18mths (my sister's kids) - on the way there we flew direct, on the way back we stopped over in Osaka. On the way over the 18mth old screamed most of the time, particularly when his mum went to the loo - a nightmare trip. Coming back was much easier - the stopover meant they were refreshed and much easier to entertain. And they loved the airport hotel as it was a great novelty.

Anyway interested to hear back on your experiences - we might be going with a 14 mth-old at the end of the year!

Indie · 23/04/2002 22:42

I have flown to and from NZ / Europe twice with 12 week old and then 1 year old (on my own) - stopped over both ways both times and found that it worked great! It mainly refreshed me so that I could deal with DD on the next flight leg - as after 12 - 14 hours of little sleep / food dropped all over you and endless entertainment that did not involve annoying others - I needed the break. She could have kept going no doubt! I definitly prefered dealing with a tired DD on the ground rather than tired DD in the air!

Enjoy NZ and yes Auckland Airport is a great big relief when you land

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