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Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

Old Jul 30th 2008, 4:53 pm
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Default Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

Whilst we are still 6 months away from moving (need to get that damn visa first !!!), I am starting to review my flight and associated cost options.

It makes sense to use the one way immigration flight option as it is so much cheaper.....but it seems no stop overs, and we live literally on the other side of the world (look at the globe - if you drill through the Earth from somewhere on the western half of Aus, you land up in the Caribbean!)
This means that we will be traveling from Aruba to Aus without any breaks - and that is over 40 hours of traveling - more if you take into account the trip from home to the airport both sides, and the check in times. I have a child who will be 6 years old at the time and is a VERY poor sleeper - I doubt she will sleep much at all during this period.

Anyone made a long trip like this with a young child? Any advice?
Worth paying extra and stopping over somewhere?

Nix
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Old Jul 30th 2008, 5:14 pm
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Default Re: Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

I have to ask, how there can be no stopover on such a journey. England to Aus means we have to have a stop over as the plane has to re-refuel. I had a 45 hour journey back from oz last I visited in 2004 with a then 6 yr old. I flew with Singapore Airlines as I had used them before with my son and knew I could take advantage of the on board entertainment to fill the time. I am not saying this will happen but on the way over there and back he didn't sleep at all until we decended for some reason and being a single parent - now that was hard as I too had to stay awake to look after him - not that he really had to be looked after but you know what I mean.

I took different items to enertain him and we talked a lot about the journey and how at some points it would be about sitting around and would be boring. I made sure he fully understood (as much as he could) what was happening and that there would be times when he couldn't just go for a walk or do what he felt like doing. At the various airports we visited I found things that interested him (not me buy hey that's how it goes) ie walking along the terminal and looking at the various boards to see if we knew where the places were, looking at the planes, visiting the shops, eating was a good one (grazing) it was all about him and I asked him if he minded me going in to shops as I wanted to find stuff ie perfume and camera stuff so I got him to help me find it - like a mission for him. I got him to tell me what he thought so he felt involved.

Before the flight I ensured they had what he liked and I saw the menu of food as he dosen't eat egg or pork so they catered for him and served him first - well all the kids were served first which is important as kids can often be impatient.

I went to oz for 7 weeks in 2004 and we went to many places and jumped on and off planes and tour buses. I found that by including him more than I normally would it went a lot more smoothly and he was happier - he still whinged but that is par for the course I am afraid. I also walked him up and down the plane and let him walk by himself as I watched so he could have a bit of , what he thought was, freedom to ease the boredom.

Travelling with kids is about, for me, being creative, and making sure they understand what will happen. Can't guarantee it will be perfect, but what or who is. You can only but try. I hope you have a safe and 'painless' journey.
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Old Jul 30th 2008, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

Originally Posted by Nix and Mike View Post
Whilst we are still 6 months away from moving (need to get that damn visa first !!!), I am starting to review my flight and associated cost options.

It makes sense to use the one way immigration flight option as it is so much cheaper.....but it seems no stop overs, and we live literally on the other side of the world (look at the globe - if you drill through the Earth from somewhere on the western half of Aus, you land up in the Caribbean!)
This means that we will be traveling from Aruba to Aus without any breaks - and that is over 40 hours of traveling - more if you take into account the trip from home to the airport both sides, and the check in times. I have a child who will be 6 years old at the time and is a VERY poor sleeper - I doubt she will sleep much at all during this period.

Anyone made a long trip like this with a young child? Any advice?
Worth paying extra and stopping over somewhere?

Nix
Might I suggest not actually getting "stopovers" but instead getting the crappiest connection times you can. At some airports that will mean overnight or a long daytime connection in which you can still clear immigration and have a wander about.

Often too the rubbish connections have the best fares attached...
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Old Jul 30th 2008, 9:03 pm
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Default Re: Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

Hi Nix,
We have flown from N.Ireland to Australia.Our children were 1yr 10 yrs & 11 yrs at the time.We stopped overnight.1st leg of our flight was 13hrs (daytime)so by the time we arrived at the hotel all our body clocks were ready for sleep.The children were all in great form.
Our worst ever experience travelling was a 2.5 hr flight from Spain!We bought a bargain holiday that returned on an 11pm flight.The flight was delayed & our children were absolutely exausted... reallly terrible experience.We swore we would never take a late night flight again.
I would definately reccommend a stop over.If you have a fair idea your child won't sleep on the flight maybe you could pick daytime flying for the 1st leg of the journey & hopefuly exaustion will make for a good nights sleep.It certainly did with us-we nearly overslept!!
Lisa & Davy.
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Old Jul 30th 2008, 11:30 pm
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Default Re: Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

We've flown to Australia (and back most of the time ) quite a few times now with various airlines on various routes. But none of those trips were anywhere like as bad as the Saturday in August when we tried to drive home from Newquay to Nailsworth (184miles) and it took us eight and a half hours.
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Old Jul 31st 2008, 12:11 am
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Default Re: Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

Originally Posted by killamarsh View Post
I have to ask, how there can be no stopover on such a journey. England to Aus means we have to have a stop over as the plane has to re-refuel. I had a 45 hour journey back from oz last I visited in 2004 with a then 6 yr old. I flew with Singapore Airlines as I had used them before with my son and knew I could take advantage of the on board entertainment to fill the time. I am not saying this will happen but on the way over there and back he didn't sleep at all until we decended for some reason and being a single parent - now that was hard as I too had to stay awake to look after him - not that he really had to be looked after but you know what I mean.

I took different items to enertain him and we talked a lot about the journey and how at some points it would be about sitting around and would be boring. I made sure he fully understood (as much as he could) what was happening and that there would be times when he couldn't just go for a walk or do what he felt like doing. At the various airports we visited I found things that interested him (not me buy hey that's how it goes) ie walking along the terminal and looking at the various boards to see if we knew where the places were, looking at the planes, visiting the shops, eating was a good one (grazing) it was all about him and I asked him if he minded me going in to shops as I wanted to find stuff ie perfume and camera stuff so I got him to help me find it - like a mission for him. I got him to tell me what he thought so he felt involved.

Before the flight I ensured they had what he liked and I saw the menu of food as he dosen't eat egg or pork so they catered for him and served him first - well all the kids were served first which is important as kids can often be impatient.

I went to oz for 7 weeks in 2004 and we went to many places and jumped on and off planes and tour buses. I found that by including him more than I normally would it went a lot more smoothly and he was happier - he still whinged but that is par for the course I am afraid. I also walked him up and down the plane and let him walk by himself as I watched so he could have a bit of , what he thought was, freedom to ease the boredom.

Travelling with kids is about, for me, being creative, and making sure they understand what will happen. Can't guarantee it will be perfect, but what or who is. You can only but try. I hope you have a safe and 'painless' journey.

When they say no stopovers, they would mean no stopping anywhere over night, as oppposed to refuelling stops. From Aruba, there would probably be at least 2 or 3 flight changes enroute to Australia, and more than likely routing through the States, hence the long flight.
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Old Aug 9th 2008, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

Hi, my daughter was 6 when she first flew on an plane in her life! and we went to Australia. Her brother was 10. We decided to go straight through, our cases were dumped in Manchester and we didnt see them until Sydney. We thought about a stop over, but decided it was easier for us just to go straight through without the complications of getting the suitcases etc etc from the airport, back to the airport etc for a stop over.

We went down to Manchester which is a 3.5 hour drive for us, flew by Sinagpore Airlines who were absolutely fantasic, Manchester to Singapore, 2 hour in Singapore for refueling then Singapore to Sydney, then a 2.5 hour drive to our friends North of Sydney. The staff were great with the kids there was plenty to do, they took books, pencils etc with them, they got activity packs on the plane, lots to eat and drink and the onflight entertainment kept them busy too!

We did the same route a year later, no regrets. Just make sure you little one drinks plenty. My daughter drank, what we thought was alot of fluids, but she had a water infection a couple of days later when we landed in Oz because they said she was dehydrated from the flight. Second time we flew, she drank loads, against her wishes, but we didnt want the same problems.
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Old Aug 9th 2008, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

Back in January 2007 we took a flight to Sydney, we also flew with Singapore Airlines.

We left at 10 @ night and stopped over in singapore for all of 2 hours and directly on to Sydney, we found this the better option for us and easier to over come the Jet Lagg

Fingers crossed we are moving back over this time with a 2 year old by time we get visa's and a 14 year old!

Last edited by Chris N Lora; Aug 9th 2008 at 5:48 pm.
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Old Aug 9th 2008, 6:26 pm
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Default Re: Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

Hi Chris & Lora, where abouts in sydney are you hoping to move to? I see your Location is London to Sydney
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Old Aug 9th 2008, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

Hi Kurri, our location we want to go to is actually outside of sydney tahmoor/picton area ..... we have only just sent off our TRA but Sydney is easier to put then Picton lol ... we were to spend 2 years in NZ but hated every minute of Auckland and moved back to England .... but having been to Australai and that particular area I know it is for me ad so does my wife!!!
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Old Aug 9th 2008, 11:46 pm
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Default Re: Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

Hi, thanks for your email. I see Picton is South of Sydney, we are heading about the same distance North up beside Morriset, Maitland area, our location will hopefully be Kurri Kurri surprisingly!

We went on holiday 2006 for 6 weeks and loved it, back again in 2007. Our friends live there, it is lovely. Should have put the application in years ago!! Fingers crossed our dreams come true and everything goes ahead as planned.
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Old Aug 11th 2008, 8:44 am
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Default Re: Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

We flew at 930pm from Heathrow to Sydney and onward transmission to Melbourne with a 3 and 6 year old. I can honestly say it wasn't as bad as I thought. As has been said before, there will be fuel stops/plane changes along the route so this does bring some respite to the boredom. We chose a late flight deliberately as we kept the kids up all day and they wanted to sleep through the night which worked out very well.
Seems trivial but all should wear slip on shoes. With each stop (we had a 2 hour refuelling stop in Bangkok and then the change at Sydney) you have to take your shoes off. Chump that I am I wore sandals with three straps on each and the kids had straps on theirs too - it was a bloody nightmare as on two of the landings they had just fallen asleep! Don't know about other airports but we had to do the full passport control, check-in thing for a 2 hour stopover (I just think they are all foot fetishists!).
If your little one likes TV, you're made. Fortunately ours loved the entertainment and that occupied them for 90% of the time (as they don't get to watch it too much at home).
And most importantly of course:
DON'T FLY B.A. as they will treat you and your kids like rubbish!
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Old Aug 11th 2008, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

Fantastic advice from all ....thanks for posting !
I think I am going to try the no stop over route.....and save some of the funds for our new life in Aus....

Now we just need that damn visa to be approved !

Cheers
Nix
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Old Aug 11th 2008, 3:58 pm
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Default Re: Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

Originally Posted by Nix and Mike View Post
Fantastic advice from all ....thanks for posting !
I think I am going to try the no stop over route.....and save some of the funds for our new life in Aus....

Now we just need that damn visa to be approved !

Cheers
Nix
okay - I've got to ask the question that has nothing to do with your OP ..... why leave Aruba for Oz?
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Old Aug 12th 2008, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Anyone travel 40+ hours with a 6 year old?

It's a good question and one that I ask myself over and over again.....
We have a FANTASTIC life here, with good life balance and good, healthy family life.
I have asked myself many many times if I am leaving paradise to try and find paradise....... And as we do not have a crystal ball, we can only make our decisions based on gut instinct.
There are many reasons we need to review where we live, some more important than others. If I had to really consider the "most important" reasons, I would list them as follows:
1. Our daughters education. Aruba is fantastic for primary school, terrible for high school and non existent for tertiary education. So, she is 5 now.....and we have until she is 12 to move to a place that has a good education for her. There are no private school options here (only the "international school" which I do not like), and maybe there will be as the years move on, but I cannot guarentee it.
2. Whilst we have been here 8 years and have the most fantastic life, if I am 100% honest with myself, I really do miss living in an English speaking culture. Whilst I have learnt Spanish and my Dutch is not terrible, I am not good at languages, and I will never be 100% fluent in either. Socially I am disadvantaged, and at school meetings etc., I am always one step behind. I always thought I would be the "involved" mother, but I cannot be that as I do not speak the language and am from a totally different culture. My value systems are different. We are now at the age where I am 40 and my husband 56.......if we are to move, we need to do so now. I cannot ask my husband to take the financial knock and go through the stress of immigration any later than now.....it already is quite difficult for him.
3. I love love Aruba, but I find that this tiny island can be physically restrictive after a while. I need to be able to get away for a long weekened every now and then to recharge batteries and have a change of scnenry. Here that means international flights, long travel times, and great expense. I need to be able to pack my family into a car, drive 3 - 4 hours and have a weekend away - I miss that.
4. If I am to think about my 50's, 60's and 70's.......I do not see myself living here. I do not want to grow old in a culture that is so far from my own.
5. After 8 years, my husband and I are still on a temporary residency permit - and whilst we have only another 2 before we can apply for permanent residency (let alone citizenship!) and this does not seem like a long time to wait.....given the fact that if we are to move, better move sooner rather than later. Immigration is hard - best to get the hard part over and done with.

So - those are my reasons. It is more for the future than it is for the present. Becuase we have a truely awesome present. I must admit I am concerned that life will be harder than be anticipated, and I will question all that we have given up......but in the long run I think it will be the right thing for my daughter especially. But it is also about us. I think I will be happier growing old in a culture that is closer to my own (I am South African).

So - we take 5 steps backwards in order to move forwards in the long run. I just hope the short term price that we pay is not too great. Our little family is extraordinarily close as we spend so much time together. I know that I will be giving up alot of that and I hope the "cost" is not too high....

From your name, I see that you live on an island too? Where?

Love
Nix
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