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Travelling to Australia with 2 boys (5 &7)

6 replies

Draxelana · 23/05/2001 16:54

We are going to visit friends in Perth & Sydney (and hoping to visit Cairns too) next Easter for one month (with our two boys aged 5 & 7). Does anyone have experience flying with BA/Quantas or Singapore Airlines on this route(eg food, inflight entertainment,staff, legroom)? We are also thinking of stopping over in Sinapore-any advice? Any tips/advice on any of the above would be very welcome!

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Bells · 24/05/2001 06:38

We've just returned from 2 weeks visiting my family in Oz with our 21 month old. We flew Singapore Airlines. I chose them partially because of the flight times as we could get an outgoing flight which landed at 7.pm and the return landed at 3pm in London. The majority of flights to OZ land at 5.30 - 6.30am. I loathe arriving this early as I never manage to stay up the whole day and find it takes longer to get adjusted to the time difference. Austravel have good figures on the differences in legroom and so on between the various airlines. We found SQ good on legroom and very good on entertainment (I'm not 100% sure that BA/Qantas have yet installed seat back TV's in every economy class although I know they are in the process). In any case, you can look up the entertainment schedules on the various airlines' websites. We found the food pretty horrid (the children's was gross) although probably no more or less disgusting than any other airline.

The big plus of flying SQ is that Changhi is such a lovely airport to have a stop over at. They have wonderful ponds full of exotic carp which our son loved and also cinemas, entertainment arcades and a good food court. I used to live in Singapore so know it well. As far as a stop over is concerned, remember it is always hot and incredibly humid (although Easter should be bearable). I'm sure you are aware that it is essentially a relatively anonymous international city these days although things like the zoo, the restaurants at boat quay, the cable car ride and so on would mean that your children would have a good time. As far as Asian cities are concerened, it's a great no-hassle place to have a stopover with very good hotels but if you're looking for an exotic Asian experience, this isn't it!. If you want any more tips on Singapore, I am happy to oblige. On Oz, please do your best to get up to Queensland!

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Pat · 24/05/2001 07:40

We flew out to Sydney with our two (aged 3 and 5) in January. Like Bells we also flew with Singapore Airlines. My view when booking was that it was a bit more expensive than others but worth it judging from friends/colleagues recommendations.
I agree about the stopover in Singapore. On the way out we just had a couple of hours at the airport which was fine. Our kids loved the carp! However on the way back we did stop over in Singapore for two nights. The hotel was average but even so I would recommend breaking up the flight on the way back. It seemed fine on the way out (perhaps it was the excitement!) but I could not have survivied on the way back without a proper night's sleep.
Also agree about the flight times. We arrived in Sydney early evening which meant we could put the kids to bed, have a couple of drinks with our friends and then crash big time!
I thought the meals on SA were OK but the big hit for our 5 year old was the TV/games console in the back of the seat. This kept her pretty occupied.
I'd love to do it all again!

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Suew · 24/05/2001 14:09

I flew out to Australia with my not quite 4yo in Dcember but we flew with Emirates and were also lucky to fly business class so I can't comment on the economy class. I have flown economy Singapore Airlines before, to NZ when our daughter was 11mo, returning when she was 13mo but this is way different from the ages you mention.

Changi is a great airport IMO - and it's all I've seen of Singapore. Even if going one way you decided not to stopover, there is a transit hotel where you can either stay or shower or have a haircut or massage! If you can be bothered.have time to go through immigration, there is a roof top swimming pool.

Eating out in Sydney with children - I recommend Xerts, which is just past the aquarium round Darling Harbour. It simulates a ride to a restaurant in space and you can also take the children onto a simulator ride after lunch. The booths are moulded plastic with a TV built-in to the end which has cartoons but also you order your food through it. DOn't worry - the waitress comes to double-check your order in case the kids got carried away We did this at lunchtime and went to Nick's, a seafood restaurant in the evening for a 'grown-up's' meal.

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Riles · 24/05/2001 14:12

I moved back to the UK from Perth one year ago this weekend. My then 3y.o. was really excited about the trip but I was nervous about how she'd cope with 20 hours on a flight. We started by practising taking off every now and again at bedtime. We'd sit and I'd make odd engine noises (as they do) and we'd lay back (almost down) to pretend the plane was taking off. Next she'd practise ringing the bell and 'the hostess' would come and say "hello madam, can I help you". She'd almost always ask for icecream and crayons. It became a great game and when it came time to fly she coped brilliantly! We flew BA and they were fantastic - even managing to sneak some icecream from first class for her. I also took a 'bribery bag' full of Barbie colouring in stuff and some of her favourite sweeties. Family wisely gave us a 'bag of fun' including a Barbie walkman and discs, colouring in books and so on. She managed to sleep for eight hours on the last leg of the flight but it was treated as an adventure and all went swimmingly well! Mind you, even my doctor in Oz suggested travelling with something to help her sleep in case she went troppo on the flight... The staff on BA were fab and the inflight entertainment was quite good but the legroom wasn't fantastic. Hope all goes well - you'll love Perth (it's my hopmetown), try to get over to Rottnest if you can as it's magical.
Good luck!

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Bron · 25/05/2001 07:54

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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Drax · 02/06/2001 07:58

Thanks for all your advice to date. Our plans have now become a bit more organised and we are going to try Singapore Airlines with a two night stopver in Singapore on the way to Sydney and only a short stop in Singapore on the return leg from Perth. We are also hoping to visit Cairns (for the Barrier reef & Rainforest) and stay with friends in Denmark. Any recommendations of thingsto do/places to visit, restaurants and things NOT to do with kids at any of the above?!!
Thanks!

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