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Trip to Canada - day flight or night flight?

  1. #1
    1sttimemom is offline Registered User
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    Trip to Canada - day flight or night flight?

    Looking for advice: Planning to take my daughter - who will be 1 yr old - back to Canada for 3 months this summer. We have an approx 12 hr flight (Vancouver) and two choices.

    Flight #1 departs HK around midnight, arriving 9pm Vancouver time.
    Flight #2 departs HK around 430pm, arriving around 130pm Vancouver time.

    Considering jetlag ... which flight should I take? I see pros and cons with both..

    I've read on some threads that I should follow the destination's time for feeding to start making the change... any other suggestions? THANKS!

  2. #2
    jvn
    jvn is offline Registered User
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    Tough one, I'd go for the night flight but then my son is a good sleeper and I can always be pretty sure he'll sleep on the plane, do a couple of hours awake at the end and sleep again at the destination (I've jinxed myself for our next flight saying this haven't I!) BUT I've heard if you're child isn't a good sleeper then the night flight is just awful as you're trying to entertain them while everyone else is sleeping.

    With the jetlag, for us it was never bad going (to UK, so not quite such a big time difference) but took weeks and weeks (felt like that anyway) to get back in the swing when we got back to Hong Kong.

  3. #3
    1sttimemom is offline Registered User
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    thanks jvn. she goes to sleep herself at night (dreamfeed at 11pm we're about to cut), waking at 5am at the earliest usually... does that make her a good sleeper?

    Vancouver is a whole .. will be 15 hours difference!! I'm expecting it to be crazy which is why I'm going for 3 months and not 2 weeks.

  4. #4
    Portia is offline Registered User
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    The jet lag is extreme whichever flight you do! I have taken the night flight once, but I usually take the afternoon flight as it gives us enough time to get tired again before bedtime and to expose ourselves to some daylight first to aid in adjusting to the time. Even after 2weeks, which is the length of our trips, my LOs are not fully adjusted. When we return to HK, they adjust back within two days or so. Arriving in the day also gives you more time to get settled in, buy anything you need and more time to do the whole bed-bath-book routine before bedtime.

  5. #5
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    it doesn't matter which flight you choose, it's going to suck. i did it in october with 2 kids... it took us the first 10 days to get turned around properly.

    personally, i like the 4:30 ish flight. you have about 3-4 hours of the flight as awake time, change into pjs (i always take them for the kids and change them, so that they feel like it's night time). then you get about 9 hours of "sleep"...i've found, though, with my two kids that they get so excited, they NEVER fall asleep at their regular 8pm bedtime... they usually fall aslep sometime around midnight, which kind of sucks. i HAVE found, though that they would sleep at the proper time in canada, it was the waking up that they had a hard time with.

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    MilkMonster is offline Registered User
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    Traveling with a 1yr old is tough...they are right at that age where they move around a lot and not easily entertained by movies/shows and need a lot of variety : ) Good Luck!

    I would choose the 4:30pm flight. For me (I've got 2 toddlers - 2.5yrs and 4yrs) personally it's better if I'm up from 430pm until 4am instead of pulling a complete all nighter from 9pm until 9am the next morning. I have more patience and energy if I take the earlier flight and not exhausted when we land. I recently did a flight from HK to NYC alone with them and the kids only slept 2hrs each for the entire flight so just be prepared for it. It's likely that you and your child will get to sleep but just mentally prepare yourself for the worst, just in case LOL. And bring an extra set of clothes for yourself!!!! Funny how the times I forget to, I always spend some time on the flight wet, juice, water, body fluids LOL

  7. #7
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    I've only travelled to Australia with my daughter and so for us, jetlag was not as much a consideration. Our first flights though, we bought the night ticket so that she could sleep - but I found that although she slept alright (not as good as usual though), none of us really got that much sleep. For ME, the night flights were a mistake and whenever I've flown since then, I've always preferred to take the day flights. I have the assumption that NONE of us will really get any quality sleep and so it's preferable to have a day flight and we can all sleep once we get there rather than trying to force everyone to stay awake for twelve hours until it's meant to be bedtime!

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    1sttimemom is offline Registered User
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    Thanks all for the advice. Afternoon flight it is! Makes more sense to get on the plane, have a few hours before (I hope) she sleeps... I will be taking her on my own, so wish me luck!

    @MilkMonster, I already call her Little Miss Wiggles, but her attention span is quite amazing for 7 month old. Hopefully, that will stay and I will figure out how to entertain her. :)

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