Trip Reports

Flying to Japan with Kids and Hotel Nights for Only Some of the Stay

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You may be right.  I may be crazy.

So in going on this trip to Japan we were taking many leaps of faith.

One, the kids wouldn’t go insane (and take us down with them) on an almost 14-hour flight. The longest flight they had been on before this was 9 hours. Jeanne’s husband told us if it wasn’t our kids he would feel for us and our fellow passengers. Which was a nice compliment, but I wasn’t sure if even our kids could handle it despite how much they’ve traveled.


The kids and I waiting to board our flight.

Two, we were staying for two weeks and only knew for sure that we’d have a place to stay the first and last three nights.

Three, that we could navigate public transportation in a place where the only words we knew were “hello” and “thank you” and we couldn’t read any of the language.

The flight went WAY better than I could have anticipated. Several factors helped this; we were on a 777 (a 200, not a 300) so it had individual games and movies at each seat. Not as many options as the 777-300, but it was enough to keep the kids entertained. They also still served free alcohol in coach, which helped us anyways even if it didn’t help the kids. 😉 The flight was maybe half-full, so we had a row of two by the window, and a row of five in the middle for the four of us to share.


Some of the tasty beverages to help moms and dads. =)


My comfy socks for the plane. I may have a “thing” for “Hello Kitty”. I’m having trouble from refraining buying every “Hello Kitty” item I see. 😉

So far, it has worked out wonderfully. We ran into a friend of ours at the airport that we hadn’t seen in 9 years and he and his family just moved out here 4 months ago. We were able to catch up and pick his brain for several hours getting some ideas of what to do and how to go about doing it.

We’ve had no trouble extending our stay on base. We are staying “space available” and were only allowed to reserve a room for three days before we arrived. We’ve already extended for another three days, and should be able to get the other two we need, no problem. Since we’re on an American base we can also get a single room for the four of us (instead of having to get two rooms). The kids are sleeping in a separate room from us and we have a full kitchen so we don’t have to eat out for every meal which is nice for the kids. It’s not luxurious by any means, but the space is the most important thing for us.

We are about an hour away from central Tokyo taking public transportation, but that’s nothing we haven’t had to deal with before. Thankfully we found out most of the signs are written in Japanese script and rōmaji (writing Japanese out phonetically in Roman letters).

We’ve had to take this trip at a much slower pace than our usual travel pace since there is no cruise later in the trip and we have to build-in “off” days for the kids.


Bowling our first day here to try and get the kids adjusted to the time change.

The kids woke up at 4:30 in the morning the first two days (and were hungry of course). By the third day I insisted they go back to bed, they weren’t going to eat at 4:30 in the morning and they went back to sleep and slept in until 8:30. Tonight is the first night they aren’t both been falling asleep before 8 pm.

Next, our first dining experience in Tokyo! Stay tuned.


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Tiff's first big vacation was a Caribbean cruise when she was six. She first started getting interested in deals when her husband showed her the tricks to getting bought off your flights back in the late 90s. She started flying nonrev when they got married; the first unusual nonrev she did was in '05 when her family flew through San Juan to get to Dallas from Philly. They have two boys, ages 11 and 7, who she usually drags along on their travels and hopes they will grow up to love traveling as much as she does.

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