Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > New Zealand
Reload this Page >

Dilema about flights - has anybody flown to NZ with a toddler?

Dilema about flights - has anybody flown to NZ with a toddler?

Old Oct 31st 2005, 11:36 am
  #1  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Woodbridge, Suffolk
Posts: 90
Panda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant future
Default Dilema about flights - has anybody flown to NZ with a toddler?

Hi all,

My hubby and I are due to fly to NZ for a two week holiday/migration reccie in March next year.

My parents have agreed to look after our 1yr old (who'll be 18 months when we go) for the time we're out of the country. We decided to leave him here as we didn't think it was fair on him to sit through three 28 hours flights within a year if we decide to make the move.

My hubby is set on the idea of going on our own, but I'm not so sure I can be without our boy for two weeks and I've asked him to reconsider. He's pretty set in his ways, but will change his mind if I can convince him that the flight will be ok.

So, to get to the point, has anybody here got any experiences of travelling to NZ with a toddler? What sort of entertainment is there on the plane for an 18 month old? Should we leave him with his grand parents for those two weeks?

I know everybody's experiences will be different, but as we've never been on a long-haul flight ourselves (let alone with a baby) we just don't know what the best thing to do is.

Thanks,

PP
x
Panda_Pops is offline  
Old Oct 31st 2005, 12:15 pm
  #2  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 12
Vickbuster is an unknown quantity at this point
Thumbs up Re: Dilema about flights - has anybody flown to NZ with a toddler?

Hi there,

I can totally help you with this one! We went to NZ this year with an 18 month old and it was fab!

here are my top tips for success......

Book a stop over of at least 1 night if you can - the break in a hotel was fab just to get off the plane and lay in a bed for a few hours. If you can't do this, then fly via Singapore (where they have a creche that you can book for a couple of hours, which would give you a break or fly via Japan (where you can book hotel rooms in the airport by the hour).

Make sure that as many of your flights as possible are night flights. We did this and Dylan slept on every flight. he literally fell asleep on take off (we paid extra for him to have his own seat), so we just made his cosy with blankets and pillows are he laid in the middle of us). On one flight he slept for 10 hours! Trailfinders were brilliant at sorting our our flight times for us - taking into account all the time differences etc.

Take your car seat with you - check it in with luggage - Air NZ and Virgin did not include this within our baggage allowance and were happy to wrap it for us etc. This saves the hassle of car hire companies finding a car seat that you think is OK - and this gives you the freedom to travel in anyones car.

We flew 2 legs with Virgin and 2 with Air Zealand, they all had in flight channels with screens in the back of the seats - so we could pop the childrens channel on if needed.

We took a small toy bag with books, crayons, sticker books etc.

i wouldn't have missed the experience of travelling with our son - we were also on a recce to see what we thought of NZ and travelling with Dylan really opened our eyes to exactly how child friendly it is. They can't do enough for you in hotels / campsites / b&B's etc. He was welcome in shops, resturants etc. When you go anyway they seem to majic up a box of toys for them.....totally opposite to the UK!! having him with us also meant to got to experience some chil activites - we spent time in the parks and playgrounds and i took him to a mother a toddler group which was great!

I really think you should go for it - don't let people talk you out of it. people that haven't done it just assume that it would be awful - but it's not, it was a brilliant experience for us as a young family!

Good luck. Hope this message helps.

Victoria.
Vickbuster is offline  
Old Oct 31st 2005, 12:36 pm
  #3  
Banned
 
Debs70's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Manchester
Posts: 307
Debs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to all
Default Re: Dilema about flights - has anybody flown to NZ with a toddler?

Originally Posted by Panda_Pops
Hi all,

My hubby and I are due to fly to NZ for a two week holiday/migration reccie in March next year.

My parents have agreed to look after our 1yr old (who'll be 18 months when we go) for the time we're out of the country. We decided to leave him here as we didn't think it was fair on him to sit through three 28 hours flights within a year if we decide to make the move.

My hubby is set on the idea of going on our own, but I'm not so sure I can be without our boy for two weeks and I've asked him to reconsider. He's pretty set in his ways, but will change his mind if I can convince him that the flight will be ok.

So, to get to the point, has anybody here got any experiences of travelling to NZ with a toddler? What sort of entertainment is there on the plane for an 18 month old? Should we leave him with his grand parents for those two weeks?

I know everybody's experiences will be different, but as we've never been on a long-haul flight ourselves (let alone with a baby) we just don't know what the best thing to do is.

Thanks,

PP
x
Sorry, but I disagree with what the previous poster has written (sorry previous poster). We took our 11month over and came home when he was 19 months.. he's an extremely good and placid child, one of the best I have ever known actually (lol.. ) but I wouldn't put him through there and back within a fortnight and then again within the year.

I agree about Singapore airlines, they are superb and gave our little one loads of attention and helped us alot, but William was really ill on the flight going out there (he'd had a mild cold.. ie: runny nose in the days before the flight) by the time we were off the plane he was absolutely streaming and just lethargic and illl! he spent 48 hours getting over it! (I blame the air in-flight). If your little one was poorly, you'd be snookered for a couple of days and as the previous poster has already said, you'd definatley need at least an eight hour break in between.

He'd be much, much, happier with grandma and you could get stuck into NZ without all the work babies bring with them

We've just had a weekend away from ours and by day 2 I'm longing for him to be home, so I fully understand how you'd miss him.

Last edited by Debs70; Oct 31st 2005 at 12:38 pm.
Debs70 is offline  
Old Oct 31st 2005, 1:02 pm
  #4  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Woodbridge, Suffolk
Posts: 90
Panda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant future
Default Re: Dilema about flights - has anybody flown to NZ with a toddler?

Ahh....

So one for and one against at the moment!

Thanks for your comments.

PP
x
Panda_Pops is offline  
Old Oct 31st 2005, 1:14 pm
  #5  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Woodbridge, Suffolk
Posts: 90
Panda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant future
Default Re: Dilema about flights - has anybody flown to NZ with a toddler?

Originally Posted by Vickbuster
Hi there,

I can totally help you with this one! We went to NZ this year with an 18 month old and it was fab!

here are my top tips for success......

Book a stop over of at least 1 night if you can - the break in a hotel was fab just to get off the plane and lay in a bed for a few hours. If you can't do this, then fly via Singapore (where they have a creche that you can book for a couple of hours, which would give you a break or fly via Japan (where you can book hotel rooms in the airport by the hour).

Make sure that as many of your flights as possible are night flights. We did this and Dylan slept on every flight. he literally fell asleep on take off (we paid extra for him to have his own seat), so we just made his cosy with blankets and pillows are he laid in the middle of us). On one flight he slept for 10 hours! Trailfinders were brilliant at sorting our our flight times for us - taking into account all the time differences etc.

Take your car seat with you - check it in with luggage - Air NZ and Virgin did not include this within our baggage allowance and were happy to wrap it for us etc. This saves the hassle of car hire companies finding a car seat that you think is OK - and this gives you the freedom to travel in anyones car.

We flew 2 legs with Virgin and 2 with Air Zealand, they all had in flight channels with screens in the back of the seats - so we could pop the childrens channel on if needed.

We took a small toy bag with books, crayons, sticker books etc.

i wouldn't have missed the experience of travelling with our son - we were also on a recce to see what we thought of NZ and travelling with Dylan really opened our eyes to exactly how child friendly it is. They can't do enough for you in hotels / campsites / b&B's etc. He was welcome in shops, resturants etc. When you go anyway they seem to majic up a box of toys for them.....totally opposite to the UK!! having him with us also meant to got to experience some chil activites - we spent time in the parks and playgrounds and i took him to a mother a toddler group which was great!

I really think you should go for it - don't let people talk you out of it. people that haven't done it just assume that it would be awful - but it's not, it was a brilliant experience for us as a young family!

Good luck. Hope this message helps.

Victoria.
Hi Victoria,

We were going to travel with Air NZ via Los Angeles, as they offer one of the best weight limits and have just introduced some swanky new planes!

Thanks for the car seat advice, I wouldn't have even thought about that!

PP
x
Panda_Pops is offline  
Old Oct 31st 2005, 2:05 pm
  #6  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 906
babybella has a reputation beyond reputebabybella has a reputation beyond reputebabybella has a reputation beyond reputebabybella has a reputation beyond reputebabybella has a reputation beyond reputebabybella has a reputation beyond reputebabybella has a reputation beyond reputebabybella has a reputation beyond reputebabybella has a reputation beyond reputebabybella has a reputation beyond reputebabybella has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Dilema about flights - has anybody flown to NZ with a toddler?

Originally Posted by Panda_Pops
Hi all,

My hubby and I are due to fly to NZ for a two week holiday/migration reccie in March next year.

My parents have agreed to look after our 1yr old (who'll be 18 months when we go) for the time we're out of the country. We decided to leave him here as we didn't think it was fair on him to sit through three 28 hours flights within a year if we decide to make the move.

You could do it all in one go but personally I would not reccomend it. The flight itself takes you a couple of days to get over (although kids do seem to manage the jet lagg better than the adults). But is is a bloody long flight to sit there with a bored little person. You may be lucky and he may sleep lots then again he may just want to charge up and down the aisles. Or like my two of my boys he may have terrible air sickness, very unpleasant for everybody for 28 hours.
Last Dec I flew to Brisbane in one go with my youngest and swore I would never do it in one hit again, he was so unwell that they tried to stop us boarding in Singapore on the way back to the UK.
Good Luck
KAZ
babybella is offline  
Old Oct 31st 2005, 5:48 pm
  #7  
BE Forum Addict
 
SarahB's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: Beachlands, East Auckland
Posts: 2,957
SarahB has a reputation beyond reputeSarahB has a reputation beyond reputeSarahB has a reputation beyond reputeSarahB has a reputation beyond reputeSarahB has a reputation beyond reputeSarahB has a reputation beyond reputeSarahB has a reputation beyond reputeSarahB has a reputation beyond reputeSarahB has a reputation beyond reputeSarahB has a reputation beyond reputeSarahB has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Dilema about flights - has anybody flown to NZ with a toddler?

Yes.... with Air NZ via LA for 3 days. We did the stop off to give him a break but I reckon 1 or 2 days wouldve been more than enough.

The first leg he didnt seem too happy and was hot and a bit bothered... he didnt eat for 2 days in LA but I think he was ill before we flew. The second leg he slept for 10 out of the 12 hours and when he woke loved running round the plane smiling at everyone....so half and half. But it was never as bad as I had imagined it was going to be.

Somebody on this forum suggested I take a "magic bag" for him filled with new toys and books and crayons etc and it was great.... he loved all these things...specially the toys!

We booked him as a child (see other thread about flights) so he got his own seat and 64KG luggage allowance.... I had clothes in one suitcase and nappies and toys etc in the other. We took his car seat on the plane and fitted it onto the seat and he just fell asleep as he does in the car.

The airline were great about accommodating us and all our belongings.
SarahB is offline  
Old Oct 31st 2005, 6:46 pm
  #8  
Forum Regular
 
ginaf's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: Sydney soon
Posts: 296
ginaf has a reputation beyond reputeginaf has a reputation beyond reputeginaf has a reputation beyond reputeginaf has a reputation beyond reputeginaf has a reputation beyond reputeginaf has a reputation beyond reputeginaf has a reputation beyond reputeginaf has a reputation beyond reputeginaf has a reputation beyond reputeginaf has a reputation beyond reputeginaf has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Dilema about flights - has anybody flown to NZ with a toddler?

Originally Posted by SarahB

Somebody on this forum suggested I take a "magic bag" for him filled with new toys and books and crayons etc and it was great.... he loved all these things...specially the toys!
Awww, I think that was me, I'm glad it worked out!

Panda pops, we did the same flight as SarahB but we did the way out with no stopover and it was a nightmare the flight felt like it was never going to end, on the way back we had a stopover in L.A and it was so much better.

Gina
ginaf is offline  
Old Nov 1st 2005, 7:08 am
  #9  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joshlin's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: our own home, chch
Posts: 812
Joshlin has a reputation beyond reputeJoshlin has a reputation beyond reputeJoshlin has a reputation beyond reputeJoshlin has a reputation beyond reputeJoshlin has a reputation beyond reputeJoshlin has a reputation beyond reputeJoshlin has a reputation beyond reputeJoshlin has a reputation beyond reputeJoshlin has a reputation beyond reputeJoshlin has a reputation beyond reputeJoshlin has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Dilema about flights - has anybody flown to NZ with a toddler?

Hi Panda Pops
we've done it twice - we did the recce trip with my son, now 3 but only 13months at the time - we flew Air NZ straight through there and back again and he was an absolute star (and I was convinced he would be a nightmare) - in fact we had people come up and congratulate us on how great he was - he slept loads and when he wasn't asleep he just spent time charming everyone else - we had a bassinette on that flight and it was great - gave him somewhere else to sit other than on our laps!

The 2nd time we did it with 2 - my son and my daughter who is 16months - this time with Malaysian airlines but again straight through - Caitlin is a lot more determined than my son who is quite passive so again I expected the worse but they were both superb - we booked them both seats and just let them stretch out between us and they again slept really well (we had night / evening flights). They were a bit hit and miss with the food but we'd packed plenty of snacks as well as toys to keep them occupied.

Both airlines were great with the kids - spending time chatting to them, no prob with heating milk/ washing bottles etc (be warned the milk comes back hot so ask for it way before you need it!!)

I would not have done the recce without my son - it was great to see first hand just how child friendly NZ is and I'm sure I would have missed him too much to have enjoyed it myself (didn't have a choice 2nd time round!!)

Good luck with your trip whatever you decide to do.
Vicki
Joshlin is offline  
Old Nov 1st 2005, 7:35 am
  #10  
BE Enthusiast
 
P18PPS's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Qatar
Posts: 959
P18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Dilema about flights - has anybody flown to NZ with a toddler?

Originally Posted by Joshlin
Hi Panda Pops
we've done it twice - we did the recce trip with my son, now 3 but only 13months at the time - we flew Air NZ straight through there and back again and he was an absolute star (and I was convinced he would be a nightmare) - in fact we had people come up and congratulate us on how great he was - he slept loads and when he wasn't asleep he just spent time charming everyone else - we had a bassinette on that flight and it was great - gave him somewhere else to sit other than on our laps!

The 2nd time we did it with 2 - my son and my daughter who is 16months - this time with Malaysian airlines but again straight through - Caitlin is a lot more determined than my son who is quite passive so again I expected the worse but they were both superb - we booked them both seats and just let them stretch out between us and they again slept really well (we had night / evening flights). They were a bit hit and miss with the food but we'd packed plenty of snacks as well as toys to keep them occupied.

Both airlines were great with the kids - spending time chatting to them, no prob with heating milk/ washing bottles etc (be warned the milk comes back hot so ask for it way before you need it!!)

I would not have done the recce without my son - it was great to see first hand just how child friendly NZ is and I'm sure I would have missed him too much to have enjoyed it myself (didn't have a choice 2nd time round!!)

Good luck with your trip whatever you decide to do.
Vicki
Hi

Everything has been said really.... we went Air NZ via LA with our 11 month old, I don't think there is ever a "best time" to fly when you are travelling across the world with a 11-13 hour time difference. Mum and Dad found the time difference and journey the most difficult to deal with. Definately take your baby, take loads of spare clothes, book a seat for your little one (and you'll then get food handed out during the flight), take the car seat, take a bag of toys.... also,very important that caught us out, take LOADS of nappies - nobody warned us that the high altitude makes babies poo - every nappy was dirty and there were loads of them!!! A bit tricky in a cabin toilet, but take loads of nappies (LA don't sell diapers if you end up in a 2 hour stop-over holding lounge)!!!

Best of luck - the journey is worth is.
P18PPS is offline  
Old Nov 1st 2005, 7:55 am
  #11  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Auckland, North Shore.
Posts: 13
AndyF is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Dilema about flights - has anybody flown to NZ with a toddler?

Originally Posted by Panda_Pops
Hi all,

My hubby and I are due to fly to NZ for a two week holiday/migration reccie in March next year.

My parents have agreed to look after our 1yr old (who'll be 18 months when we go) for the time we're out of the country. We decided to leave him here as we didn't think it was fair on him to sit through three 28 hours flights within a year if we decide to make the move.

My hubby is set on the idea of going on our own, but I'm not so sure I can be without our boy for two weeks and I've asked him to reconsider. He's pretty set in his ways, but will change his mind if I can convince him that the flight will be ok.

So, to get to the point, has anybody here got any experiences of travelling to NZ with a toddler? What sort of entertainment is there on the plane for an 18 month old? Should we leave him with his grand parents for those two weeks?

I know everybody's experiences will be different, but as we've never been on a long-haul flight ourselves (let alone with a baby) we just don't know what the best thing to do is.

Thanks,

PP
x
We flew to NZ in September this year with Singapore Airlines, they were great, we had two children with us, a 3yr6mth and a 20 month old. The first flight to Singapore was 13 hours and dragged, the kids got a bit fed up towards the end, esp. the 20month. The flight was packed so we were a bit concious of the kids running around. Second flight was great, they slept most of the way.

Difference is we were emigrating, so didnt have to make the return journey two weeks later. Personally, I think as it's only for two weeks, and you probably will be busy while you are here checking things out, I'd leave the little fella at home with his Grandparents, and make the most of the time you have here in NZ, cos there is so much to do, you will be very busy taking it all in.

Best of luck.
AndyF is offline  
Old Nov 1st 2005, 8:21 am
  #12  
Banned
 
Debs70's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Manchester
Posts: 307
Debs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to allDebs70 is a name known to all
Default Re: Dilema about flights - has anybody flown to NZ with a toddler?

Originally Posted by AndyF
We flew to NZ in September this year with Singapore Airlines, they were great, we had two children with us, a 3yr6mth and a 20 month old. The first flight to Singapore was 13 hours and dragged, the kids got a bit fed up towards the end, esp. the 20month. The flight was packed so we were a bit concious of the kids running around. Second flight was great, they slept most of the way.

Difference is we were emigrating, so didnt have to make the return journey two weeks later. Personally, I think as it's only for two weeks, and you probably will be busy while you are here checking things out, I'd leave the little fella at home with his Grandparents, and make the most of the time you have here in NZ, cos there is so much to do, you will be very busy taking it all in.

Best of luck.
Phew Andy, I was feeling like a right misery suggesting not to take him! but you're right.. a fortnight is such a short time and with jet lag and everything.. well I think the baby would take a couple of days to get over it which would eat into your recce time... our kids were up and wide awake for the first few nights which meant they wanted to sleep in the daytime. Luckily we weren't in any rush to do anything

I just remember thinking to myself when we arrived that if we had to return in a fortnight I'd be in pieces with the dread of it... it's such a long, long, journey isn't it?

I suppose it would depend on who I was leaving him with aswell.. I certainly wouldn't leave him with Chris's mum! :scared: but I would leave him with mine
Debs70 is offline  
Old Nov 1st 2005, 8:47 am
  #13  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Woodbridge, Suffolk
Posts: 90
Panda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant futurePanda_Pops has a brilliant future
Default Re: Dilema about flights - has anybody flown to NZ with a toddler?

Hi,

Thanks for all the advice and hints & tips, I guess it's now time for us to make up our minds!

My hubby is warming to the idea of bringing Ben with us and I'm more confident that is what we'll do now.

We're not going till March though, so it could all change by then!

Thanks again,

PP
x
Panda_Pops is offline  
Old Nov 1st 2005, 11:44 am
  #14  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 104
brandn has a brilliant futurebrandn has a brilliant futurebrandn has a brilliant futurebrandn has a brilliant futurebrandn has a brilliant futurebrandn has a brilliant future
Default Re: Dilema about flights - has anybody flown to NZ with a toddler?

I can only speak from my own experience. We took our 18mth old boy with us on a reckie to NZ last Jan (he was 18mth at the time.) We flew Emirates who were nothing short of exceptional. Superb staff keeping an eye on us the whole time, they couldn't do enough for us. We had reservations, as you have, but in hindsight, it was no problem at all. I guess as well it depends on the child which is probably why there are differing opinions but from my own experience i would have no hesitation in saying take your child. We rented a camper and did a 3 week tour of the North Island. Great fun and i think he really enjoyed the experience.
The best piece of advice i could give you and i would say it is essential is to make sure you get the bulkhead seats which will give you extra space so they can play with some toys in front of you. With Emeritas they will also give you a bed which clips into the wall in front of you which my son had no problems sleeping in.
Good luck
Neil.
(we had one hour stop in Dubai where we stretched our legs and one hour in singapore where we stayed on the plane.)
brandn is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.