Florida Challenge #1: The stopover challenge

Ok, making a stopover seemed like a good idea at the time.  We spent hours researching the best and cheapest flight options to get us from Abu Dhabi to Orlando. It is not a direct and straight forward route and with a 7,700-mile journey a stopover somewhere was required.

The most convenient option we could find was travelling via our neighbouring Gulf state of Qatar on Qatar Airways who fly direct to Miami then road trip it up to Orlando. We have yet to visit Doha, or Miami for that matter, so decided an overnight stop rather than a short overnight connection would be our best bet, do some sightseeing and be well rested before the long leg.

We have booked a few nights in a Miami hotel for our arrival no problem.  So what exactly is the stopover challenge then? “Hello, a room 5 please”. Yep that old chestnut. It is honestly mission impossible in Doha asking to fit 5 people into a hotel room, three of them are really very little! We have several times now stayed in a room with two doubles and a cot, its physically possible, we are happy with the ‘close’ living arrangements. But can you book this online – No! You ring up to inquire – No!  On a wing and a prayer now we are booking a room for four and will simply need to ‘smuggle in’ young Master J – it’s been done before.

The other challenge of the stopover will be taking enough supplies (food, clothing and entertainment) in our carry-ons to last over 40 hours until we are reunited with our suitcases.  Flying the same airline within 24 hours we are allowed to take advantage of checking our main luggage all the way through to destination without needing to collect at Doha, a huge advantage when only making a quick stop – and hey think of all that extra space we’ll have in our hotel room to fit a cot. I’ll cover more on what we’ll pack later in the month.

Read here how we survived the 40-hour journey


More reading:

“5 Travel Challenges for a Family of 5”

“5 Savvy Strategies for Flying Success”

Stopovers, the good the bad and the ugly? Have you had a stopover backfire?  Do you think it’s simply easier to plough through all your legs with short layovers or is the stop over a must with kids?

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