two boys looking at planes

Our top tips for a smooth international transfer with toddlers!

Spending hours at the airport with your child in tow is quite AN ADVENTURE IN ITSELF!  So Flyaway Designs has joined forces with Bébé Voyage to share our favorite tips from parents on how to survive international transfers  with babies, toddlers or kids in tow.  So take notes 😊 you’ll thank us for it later!


Debra Pally: Flyaway Designs founder and mum of 2

Everyone will be exhausted after the first leg of your long-haul flight. Your kids will either be asleep or wondering if they’ve arrived at your destination!

Make sure you allow plenty of time between your flights to juggle carry-on luggage and sleeping children through a second round of security checks. You’ll need around 1.5 to 2 hours transit time. It’ll take at least 20 minutes to walk to your next gate, 30 minutes to go through security, and you’ll have time left over for a trip to the toilet and nappy changes before boarding your next flight. 

I highly recommend checking your stroller though to your final destination. This way you’ll have your hands free to push the trolley with your family’s hand-luggage. It’s quite a walk between gates and while ride-on luggage is fun for kids before the flight, you’ll probably end up stacking it on the trolley with your own carry-on luggage during transit. Singapore airlines have great luggage trollies that double as a stroller for babies and toddlers. Otherwise kids are more than happy to hitch a ride through the terminal sitting on top of the luggage trolley, so they don’t have to walk.

If you are travelling with toddlers, consider booking a stopover hotel especially if you have over 3 hours between connections. You can usually book rooms by the hour. Relax, have a shower, change your clothes, and enjoy some time to yourself before the next flight.

If you decide not to book a stopover hotel, take full advantage of the airport facilities. Take turns having a foot massage and find out which terminals have the best viewing decks or indoor play-areas next to restaurants. Singapore has a great transit hotel with a roof-top pool, which is perfect for fresh air and a quick swim before continuing the next leg of your journey. Plus, the kids will be exhausted after swimming, so they’ll sleep soundly on the next flight. Just don’t forget to pack swimwear in your carry-on!


Liz McEachern Hall: Bébé Voyage Photo Editor and mum of 1

We make a big deal about going to an airport cafe and having special drinks (hot chocolate, babycino etc) and a special snack. I always bring TEGU blocks with us - the travel ones are easy to pack and when combined with other everyday objects (napkins, spoons, etc) she comes up with all these pretend stories that keep her occupied for much of the time. We also started playing I-Spy!


Tips for transfers with kids at the airport

Marianne Perez de Francis: Bébé Voyage Co-Founder and mum of 2

We try to transit through airports that have play areas and always make a stop there. Stockholm Arlandas play areas are the best. And the play area in the Frankfurt Lufthansa terminal is right next to an adult seating area with a free  Nespresso machine... Something for everyone. Otherwise if we have access to a lounge with our travel credit card, we go there, but play area trumps lounge.


So, there you have it! Be sure to research the facilities that are offered at the airport where you’ll be transiting before you fly. Give your family plenty of time between flights, and most importantly give your little ones a chance to “run-off” any extra energy before boarding your next flight. And coffee – don’t forget coffee! You’ve got this Mama 😊


Girl pushing suitcase on international transfer at airport


Author: Debra Pally is the Swiss/Australian CEO of Flyaway Designs and inventor of Flyaway Kids Bed – an award-winning travel bed that helps children sleep and play on planes. She has 2 young boys and lives in Zurich, Switzerland.


Just like Flyaway Designs, international travel community @Bébé Voyage helps make every moment with your children special. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating (and signing up for!) Bébé Voyage’s new membership program! Join now for exclusive discounts from great family travel brands (including us!) and awesome advice on how to travel with kids via

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