If any of our kid-friendly families are planning to visit Australia, this might help, but mostly this post is for us to remember on the way home at the end of our year here.
It is a 14.5 hour non-stop flight to Brisbane from LAX. That is long enough to feel rigor mortis setting in. It's long enough to miss a whole lot of sleep, and it's long enough to drive a mother or father insane with the needs of their children. Having said all of that, our children were amazing. They required very little attention and slept quite comfortably in their seats. However, the poor mother across the aisle from me did not have the same experience. Her child was 1-2 years old and would not sleep, or sit still for that matter. Squirm, wiggle, cry, repeat. The child's mother looked to be on the verge of a mental breakdown.
The only complaining I heard in our family was from my husband. He is a big guy and was on the aisle. We thought it would be best to have the kids in the middle so we could get out when we wanted, but we will not repeat that mistake again. Other passengers and the ever roving flight attendants kept hitting his shoulder or elbow as they passed by. It was just often enough that he didn't sleep at all on the plane.
We each watched 2 movies on our seat back screens. In all reality, we could have packed the iPads away for the flight and saved ourselves some carry on weight. Silas and I ate 3 packages of Kit Kats because they were free at the back of the plane. Why not?
Apples were also free on the flight. Morgan ate 3.
I thought flights were normally cold, but not this one. I packed blankets and sweatshirts, but never pulled them out because it was hot and stuffy.
Our Bose noise-cancelling headphones were super awesome (make sure you don't forget the two prong adaptor). We will definitely find room for them on the return trip. We will take one bag for mommy, one bag for daddy and nothing will go in the overhead bins. I loved my eye covers and my neck pillow. Yes, it was bulky, but so comfy.
I do wish I had brought some powdered protein mix for a meal. The food was pretty bad in my opinion.
Overall, the flight wasn't as bad as I expected and the kids barely noticed any inconvenience. So, take them along and go see the world. Don't wait until they are out of the house.