Children are amazing and resilient. But I’m not convinced that as a parent, I’m included in that equation. Overnight flights are currently not recommended. While it seems like you might all catch some sleep, for us, with two small kids – it fast became a laughable concept. Ah, idealist that I am.
Overnight flights vary, but try to get one that arrives a little bit later than mid-morning at your destination. That way, you actually have a hope and a prayer of lasting through the day until evening before crumpling into a heap of tiredness. Mine managed to stay awake until 6:30 before completely passing out, despite multiple tenuous melt-down moments throughout the day.
You can most certainly expect though, to awaken frequently in the middle of the night with little people in a new country, so far from home, with such a large time-change factor. Mine were up at least five times between them, and seemed to be nonplussed by the musical bed game they had created. No, you sleep here, I’ll sleep here … now switch!
Daddy and I were an exception to this rule; trying to adapt and appease without completely waking up is a feat in itself. The next morning, the kids were doing well – but we were completely wrecked. Thank God for holiday nap allowances.
Our first day fresh, we were eager to get out and see something, but we didn’t want the stress of anything indoors, too stoic, or too far. We opted for a local castle and spent about a 30-minute drive in the car to venture to Windsor Castle, a.k.a.: the Queen’s castle. She did not come out and wave though; she was in Scotland. It offered just enough sight-seeing pleasure for us to enjoy it, without the hassle of having to be indoors terribly long. Some of the Queen’s Guard was there too, so already – we’ve got to see the red coats and properly-tall hats. I think our lunch at the local pub may have even exceeded our time spent at the castle, but with two young children in tow – we were grateful to keep them entertained, without over-exhausting them on the first real day of our holiday.
A cultural note: while it’s a short drive by American standards, visiting “Yanks” as they call us should know: the English don’t typically drive any distance more than 20 minutes. I’ve still no idea why, still, as the roadways are beautiful and entirely well-mannered (compared to the U.S. driving, that is).