Desert oasis to Pacific paradise a bit of a stretch

My 40th birthday is coming up and I want to do something special. Two of my must-go-to destinations are Hawaii and Dubai. I will be travelling with my three-year-old son and would like to break up a long flight, so can I combine these two places, with Dubai as a stopover?

- M. Cousen, Palm Beach, Qld.

You could but I wouldn't. Sydney to Dubai is a 14-hour flight with Emirates (, which operates a non-stop service between the two. This is challenging for any three-year-old but the next leg is much worse.

Dubai is about 14,000 kilometres from Hawaii, which is like flying from Cairns to Sydney seven times. The fastest route between Dubai and Honolulu is a flight to Sydney and onward to Honolulu. Total travel time is 26 hours 45 minutes, including a three-hour layover in Sydney. This is a marathon that would make even a hardened frequent flyer tremble and probably not something you want to do with a three-year-old.

Unless you want to drive him – and possibly quite a few other passengers – to a state of feral hysteria, leave Dubai for another trip. Make it just Hawaii, pictured, instead and you'll both have a lovely and relaxing time. If you're afraid you might miss out on shopping opportunities, the malls of Honolulu have all you could wish for, whether it's from Bulgari or Big Kahuna's Marketplace.