5 Things I Learnt From Our First Long Haul Flight With Kids
Just recently we flew 21 hours from Australia to London with a 1 hour stopover in Dubai, we’ve flown before with our kids but the longest flight was about 6 hours. We flew over 3 times that long this time and theres a few things I learnt along the way!
- A one hour stopover to get from one plane to another in a huge airport like Dubai is not enough time! Especially when it takes 15 minutes to actually get from your plane to the actual airport building and they drop you at the opposite end of the airport to where you actually need to be. I’m actually not sure how we made it to the connecting flight on time, I think it was sheer luck! On the bright side we got the heart rates up running through the airport.
- If you purchase a product so that the kids can lie down to sleep (like the Kooshy Kids blow up pillows I did) make sure both you and your husband know how they work before you get on the flight. I had blown them up and figured out how they worked before we left so the one i blew up was fantastic but unfortunately there wasn’t enough room for me to do the second one and as Joel had not even looked at them before we left he couldn’t work out how to use them so only blew up one compartment, it kinda made it useless and more of a pain then anything, I’m very grateful we had at one though as it meant at least one of the kids could stretch out to sleep, if only we had the two!
- Make sure you make any special requests for food allergies before you get on the flight. We didn’t even think of this and unfortunately Joel has a dairy allergy. He pretty much didn’t eat for the entire 21 plus hours as there was literally nothing on board that didn’t contain dairy and we couldn’t even get something for him at the stopover in Dubai as we didn’t get time, we almost missed the connecting flight as it was.
- Use the toilet early in the flight so you can try to avoid using it later in the flight. By the end of our first flight I was actually scared to be in there as I felt like I might catch something it was that disgusting. There was even blood smeared all over the mirror! I mean come on people what on earth are you doing in those tiny little airplane bathrooms? Also make the kids go before they are totally busting, the toilets on the first flight from Brisbane to Dubai always had a line up, even though it was an overnight flight, and some people seem to take forever! It doesn’t work so well when you have a child that needs to go right now!
- Jet lag is talked about all the time amongst adults, but kids with jet lag is whole next level! Our kids were dead on their feet by the time we got to our motel in London, so much so that that they couldn’t even carry their own bags as they fell asleep on the train, so even getting them to walk was almost too much. The plan to have showers, go for a walk then have an early dinner so we could all go to bed and hopefully sleep all night didn’t exactly go to plan because by the time all four of us had showered the two kids were sound asleep. We shook them, tickled them, talked to them but no matter what we did we couldn’t wake them up. So at 4pm in the afternoon London time both kids were down and out! Fast forward to 12am London time and child number 1 is wide awake and ready to go, by his watch its 6am in Australia so he’s a little confused when I tell him its the middle of the night over here and if he can’t go back to sleep he at least just needs to lay there and be quite so everyone else can sleep. He’s also disappointed that he missed dinner, sorry mate but at midnight the chances of us finding you food are pretty slim! Anyway I settle him back down and surprisingly he actually does eventually get back to sleep, but at 2am London time child 2 wakes up and is ready to party, but because he is unable to party he decides to cry instead. So the long and the short of it is I’m not sure if I would have slept all night or woke up ready to go at 2am because when you’ve got kids their jet lag is your jet lag!