Through many miles of travel up in the air and on the ground, there was a secret weapon we learned early on could make a huge difference in kid contentment during travel time. It wasn’t one single toy or snack, but something that could help keep entertainment, snacking, and creativity all on tap during times trapped in a car seat–or stroller–or sometimes even those impossible square wooden restaurant high chairs: kids travel trays.
The Kids Play Travel Tray Bag
What I like about this particular travel tray is that it not only has raised edges to prevent crayon and snack roll-off and side pockets to keep extra toys handy for the child, but it sits higher on the child’s lap making it a little easier to use (with less strain on the neck) for small children. Better still, it sits higher because of a storage compartment, which also allows for the cup holder depression in the surface, and adding to that: a new outer expandable storage pocket for more books and toys. The strap used to secure the tray to car seat, stroller, or child, doubles as a shoulder strap for mom or dad when on the go. Note: This particular travel tray is smaller than the others I recommend at 13″ x 8.7″ with part of the surface area lost to the cup holder. I think it’s best for babies and children up to 3 years, but from there I would recommend either of these:
Compared with: The Snack N Play Travel Tray
The Star Kids Snack N Play Travel Tray is similar to this, but has a larger surface at 15″ x 10″ and larger side pockets, making it a good fit even for kindergarteners. It does not have a cup holder depression, though sippy cups and water bottles can go into the side pockets if needed. It’s soft and lightweight, and can be rolled up and stuffed under the stroller or into the backpack/diaper bag if needed.
Also compared with: The Taby Tray (Yay, it’s back!)
The Taby Tray may not be the most practical kids travel tray for air travel, but for road trips, the Taby offers up a whopping 19″ x 15.5″ of surface space, with a built-in cup holder and even a depression for crayons or markers (or Cheerios!). The hard surface makes it ideal for aspiring artists and writers.
Hope this helps make your next road trip or flight a little easier. Click here to see all of the Pack This recommendations so far, and click here for more Great Products & Gear recommendations at TravelswithBaby.com. I’ll be back next week with the next installment in the Travels with Your Unique Child series.
Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning Travels with Baby guidebooks
What?! Your kids aren’t babies anymore? Head over to Family Travel 411