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Advice travelling with kids UK to Oz first flight

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
298 posts
22 reviews
Advice travelling with kids UK to Oz first flight

Looking for any tips or advice. Travelling family of 4 teenager and 7 year old girls first ever flight being 14 hours UK to Singapore

We have 3 hour drive to airport with a restaurant stop on route, followed by the 4 hour wait at Heathrow to boarding Singapore Airlines Economy evening flight

We have Kindled for kids which will have books and films loaded on

9 replies to this topic
Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane
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13,159 posts
122 reviews
1. Re: Advice travelling with kids UK to Oz first flight

I assume your airline has in flight entertainment? Just watch TV for the entire trip when not trying to sleep.

Vancouver...
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256 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: Advice travelling with kids UK to Oz first flight

Maybe read a book?

Reykjavik, Iceland
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for Iceland
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14,082 posts
60 reviews
3. Re: Advice travelling with kids UK to Oz first flight

Don't know how your teen girls feel about crochet, but crochet hooks made of plastic or wooden ones are actualy allowed on the aircraft. It could be fun to try to make something simple during the flight, something they can wear later, or even a plain sling bag.

Edited: 19 February 2018, 00:24
kent
Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
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14,953 posts
141 reviews
4. Re: Advice travelling with kids UK to Oz first flight

From experience.. cut out all sugar 4 hours before departure, and supply mega amounts of plain water. Change into leggings & t shirts or PJ's and fluffy socks. Coax them into airplane food (curiosity & fiddily trays are enough to excite them anyway) but keep the liquids flowing.

Consider investing in wrap around neck cushions. Let them play with all the buttons, they'll do this anyway.

Once they are settled/asleep, treat yourself to a well deserved glass of vino collapso! You've paid for this trip and deserve it.

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,688 posts
300 reviews
5. Re: Advice travelling with kids UK to Oz first flight

Maybe read a book?

" We have Kindled for kids which will have books and films loaded on "

They do have books Walter and sounds pretty organised to me.

Edited: 19 February 2018, 03:32
Chicago
Level Contributor
8,352 posts
1 review
6. Re: Advice travelling with kids UK to Oz first flight

Something like a deck of cards, at least for the airport? Sounds like an awful lot of screen time is being planned.

Cambridge, United...
Destination Expert
for Singapore, Singapore
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10,921 posts
18 reviews
7. Re: Advice travelling with kids UK to Oz first flight

That SIA flight will take closer to 12hours in my experience unless the wind is high. Are you on the A380 flight or the 777?

You will arrive in Singapore in the evening so you have the slightly less difficult flight. You are going to be tired - the limited comfort and rest experience will do that. Ideally for jetlag you take off, eat the dinner and then throw in an artificial sleep wake cycle by either actually sleeping if you can or doing the lie there in the dark eyes closed to get as close to it as you can for a few hours before being awake for the last half of the flight into Singapore.

Problem is not everyone can do this and even if you can if you don't actually sleep its mind numbingly tedious to do - convincing children, particularly, that this is necessary when they have no experience of bad jetlag can be a nightmare (its hard with some adults as well). Not helped by the fact everyone handles things slightly differently. So, you may have to deal with any member of your party who decide to be awake for the trip and using the in flight entertainment system to while the time away.

So, some people try and shift the time a little by getting up at late as possible in the day of travel to extend the day and try then to do it as one long day. The late UK takeoff and afternoon arrival in Singapore does help with that so long as you don't fall asleep on arrival, but keep going till early-mid evening at least. This way you crash asleep roughly on Singapore time and so jetlag issues and risks are massively reduced. I find wandering round outside close to the hotel helps here. There is a breakfast meal served about two hours out from Singapore on the plane so again you need to wander a little before eating something for dinner (and that is another key the body picks up on for circadian rhythms as well as light cycles and internal clocking).

Given you seem to want to be filling in the time I think you might think already that that is how the family will go - so you might just try and plan for the very long day type pattern if you don't know how well the family travels.

A few notes from my experiences over the last far too long - Singapore Airlines has an extensive IFE and you won't get through it in an LHR to SIN flight...so it is a good distraction if necessary - so keep the kindles etc for the airport. T2 at LHR is Ok but its no Changi, once you have wandered round the shops the once its pretty much sit down and entertain yourself - you might eat something, but I would recommend that you do it as soon as passing security so as there is a 5 hours gap between eating and the meal on the plane. The second half of the flight goes through some incredibly bumpy air - a 777 can get really chucked around which may distract somewhat (I have been there on a 747 that felt like a roller coaster ride for 3 hours) - so be prepared for that possibility. The A380 flies that bit higher and is that much bigger it doesn't have to deal with this anything like as much. I find that a music playlist set up first thing on the IFE when it comes on then cycled at low volume through earphones helps filter out background noises in the plane and helps sleep or even the lie there eyes closed option if you go for that.

You know your kids better than anyone so picking the best method is best done by you. I suspect the time stuck in the terminal at Heathrow will be the most aggravating. A longish drive followed by checkin will put them impatient to travel and wondering why subconsciously they are not flying yet. There is enough shiny on the plane to interest for some time.

Edited: 19 February 2018, 13:23
Hertfordshire...
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8,811 posts
49 reviews
8. Re: Advice travelling with kids UK to Oz first flight

Don't forget your chargers for your kindles, i.e. make sure they're in your hand luggage. You may get around 8 hours out of one depending on age / model so a top up for that length of flight is generally needed unless you only use it occasionally. If the aircraft has at-seat charging points, great, but if not make sure you have a portable power bank that can give the needed boost.

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
298 posts
22 reviews
9. Re: Advice travelling with kids UK to Oz first flight

Thank you for such fantastic detailed replies, we really appreciate it. The flight out 777 has no mention of charging facility, so may not have it

Mark in particular i was interested in your turbulence comments, as I will be able to reassure them before hand that it's normal at this point, so not to worry, thank you

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