Flights are expensive and we will do whatever to pay less but still end up at our destination even while dragging two kids along with us.
Our latest idea has taken us to start things off in Sydney, NSW, Australia. There were a few direct flight options available but they were over 3 times the price we paid, for the “milk run” to get us there.
We had a travel agent book the flights for us since things are still a bit weird with COVID rules etc. Our bags were being pushed through to the final destination but we would be switching airlines in Vancouver for the duration of the air travel.
The girls are super go with the flow, can adapt to most anything and can sleep anywhere. Sounds like the perfect situation but it does come with us really needing to be on our toes and recognize the signs of hunger and being tired. If either of those two things get overlooked then we can all become miserable at a moments notice.
Tips to flying with kids:
- Bring “new” to them things to do
- Bring familiar things for them, ie: blankets, stuffies, etc.
- If you do screen time, bring that
- Don’t try and make new habits or change things now
- Try to adapt to the local current time as soon as possible
First flight was a quick 35 minute hop from Kelowna to Vancouver where we planned for a 5hr layover. This was intentional and strategic for our girls sleep schedule. We could have had a shorter layover leaving later but that would encroach on bedtime for the girls. This way we would land at dinner time then eat and have a few hours to burn off some energy before boarding our first red eye 14hr flight to Manila in the Philippines.
This flight departed at 11:30pm and as we pre-boarded they quickly settled to sleep before takeoff. They slept 10hrs straight! Tyson and I also got a good 6 and 8hrs respectively. When they woke up they ate, did some colouring and then it was time to land, arriving at 4am the local time, 1pm Vancouver time.
Once we stepped of the flight we were ushered to a transfer desk where we had to surrender our passports and head into a holding room. We sat there for an hour before they led us through security, then onto a bus to go to a second terminal. Here they returned our passports and led us through another security where we then found our place in the small terminal to spend the next 18hrs. The girls were in pleasant moods and seemed excited for being able to run around and play games with each other.
We wondered the small terminal up and down scoping out places to eat and where bathrooms were as well as water bottle refill stations. The girls played together, read books, coloured and watched the planes come and go. We like to keep on the local time so had the girls take a 2hr nap only so they would be ready to sleep on the following 9hr flight to Sydney. Even Tyson snuck in a nap. I on the other hand did not which resulted in barely being able to keep my eyes open just before boarding.
Once the time finally arrived to board we made our way to the gate where we again had to push our carry-on baggage through yet another security check point. The next step was the ticket check-in where we were informed our bags hadn’t been claimed yet to board the flight. We had been told from our initial flight that our bags would push through right to Sydney, which we thought was strange. We asked when we landed in Manila and they assured us our bags were being pushed through. But, surprise, they were not! So there I was half asleep myself and standing with two extremely tired kids, which I led to some open chairs along with all our carry-on bags as Tyson makes the mad dash to locate our checked luggage and have them again searched and pushed through. We missed pre-boarding as well as the majority of general boarding before he returned. By this time Lidija had fallen asleep, so I put her into the Trail Magik and Bexley was quickly closing her eyes. They made him take all of our boarding passes and passports so I didn’t even have the option to board without him. Upon his return we squeezed up to the front of the line and made our way to our seats on the plane. Lidija didn’t even wake up on transfer. It was now 10:30pm local time, 7:30am Vancouver time.
We were near the back of the plane on this final 9hr flight and it was freezing. They did supply blankets and pillows and I used two of them to keep warm. We ended up having to wake the girls up after 8hrs so they could eat some breakfast prior to landing. We touched down at the Sydney International Airport at 9:30am local time, 3:30pm Vancouver time.
Just to touch on the next 24hrs with jet lag and how everyone was feeling…
Once we landed we checked into our hotel, but the room wasn’t quite ready so we left our bags there and went for a walk and found something to eat. Once our room was ready we came back and showered then took it easy. We got takeout for dinner and then all went to bed around 8pm. Everyone slept till 9am except for me who woke up around 4am ready for the day. All in all I would say the only one that had any sort of minor jet lag would have been me, Tyson and the girls all had no issues at all.