When booking flights to the UK and Europe, one of these family-friendly stopovers will help make the journey less painful.

1 Taoyuan International Airport Taipei, Taiwan

There's a new stopover destination on the cards — Air New Zealand will launch direct flights from Auckland to Taipei in November. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport has plenty to keep the kids entertained, with several play areas — including one devoted to Hello Kitty. There's a Hello Kitty aircraft cabin, cartoons on show, a big pink slide and a shop selling kitty-themed merchandise. Big kids will love it too — it's perfect for Instagram photos. Eva Air also has Hello Kitty-themed check in kiosks and planes. Air New Zealand's direct flights begin on November 1, available up to five times per week. Connections are available to Paris, Rome, Amsterdam and London.

2 Hamad International Airport Doha, Qatar

The kids will have their minds blown when they first spot the giant yellow teddy bear/lamp hybrid at Doha Hamad Airport. You can't climb on this particular artwork but there are other sculptures by artist Tom Otterness from his Other Worlds collection, which have slides and seats for limbs and play-pen chambers in the torsos. The airport also has "activity nodes" especially for young travellers that have televisions, internet browsing, toys, mini-rides and climbing frames. Qatar Airways flies direct from Auckland to Doha, with connections to the UK and Europe.

3 Singapore Changi Airport Singapore

It's known as one of the world's best airports for a reason — and Changi is great for the kids as well. While you're waiting for your next flight, kids can burn off some energy on its indoor playground — which includes a three-storey slide. There's also a butterfly garden, a Balinese-style swimming pool and a Koi pond, where kids can feed the fish. If you've got some extra time, you can even take a free tour of the city. Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines fly to Changi, with connections to the UK and Europe.