7 Best Travel Trays | May 2017

7 Best Travel Trays
Best Mid-Range
Best High-End
Best Inexpensive
Keep your little one well fed and amused on long trips or whenever you are away from home with one of these travel trays. They can fit onto most car seats or stand on their own to provide a space for toys, crayons, food and more. Skip to the best travel tray on Amazon.
The Regalo 9001DS is made from solid plastic that can be washed off easily in case of any spills. It has lots of separated trays to hold snacks, toys, drawing supplies and more. It's also 100% dishwasher safe. Clip it on a car seat, or use at a table.
  • slip-resistant foam bottom
  • removable insert tray
  • car seat straps are flimsy
Brand Regalo
Model 9001DS
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The Playtray Kids Travel is nice because it has a full wraparound border, so things won't fall into your child's lap if you accelerate quickly. It also folds flat for storage and has a convenient shoulder strap for carrying.
  • can double up as a bag
  • border is soft and flexible
  • side pockets are a little too small
Brand Playtray
Model pending
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
The Driving with Kids DWK 0015 creates a sturdy, flat surface on which kids can eat and play on road trips. It's a great way to keep them entertained so you can focus on driving. Its rugged construction lasts from kid to kid for years of good use.
  • has removable storage pockets
  • wipes clean easily with damp cloth
  • there is no traditional cupholder
Brand Driving With Kids
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
The Taby Tray is one of the more basic options on our list, but it's also about the easiest to keep clean, which many parents will appreciate. It's made with all FDA approved plastic, so it's safe around snacks.
  • indented design puts tray near child
  • fits most strollers and booster seats
  • holder is too small for many sippy cups
Brand Taby Tray
Model 634-TABYTRAY
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The Brica Are We There Yet is beloved by parents because of its cushioned, thermoformed, ergonomic design that attaches securely to car seats. The tray itself is reversible, one side has a cartoon design and the other is all white.
  • has a lidded snack dispenser
  • designed for kids over 2 years old
  • cushioned bottom is comfortable for kids
Brand Brica
Model 61226
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
The Star Kids Snack & Play offers a lot of room to eat, draw, and more, plus it has high sides, so things won't slide off when you turn. It also comes in at an incredibly low price making it a great value.
  • buckles around children to stay in place
  • soft foam reinforcement folds on impact
  • has 2 large side pockets
Brand Star Kids
Model 100
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
The ZoomKIT ZKBF is a lightweight grab-and-go activity tray/travel tray that has storage space for toys and games. Its lid closes securely, so nothing falls out when carrying it, and it also has a drink holder. Great for kids of all ages.
  • easy pop on and off legs
  • compatible with most car seats
  • soft foam makes it comfortably safe
Brand ZoomKIT
Model ZKBF
Weight 3.7 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Keeping The Kids Happy On The Go

Childless adults may look askance at the parent who boards a plane with a bag overflowing with activities for their child, perhaps wondering if that plethora of books, the multiple boxes of crayons and pencils, and the many toys and snacks aren't perhaps excessive. But what the experienced parent knows is that when it comes to traveling with kids, the old maxim that "Peace at any price is no peace at all" goes right out the window. The savvy parent will go to extreme lengths to ensure a travel experience is calm and quiet, and those traveling near the family should appreciate the efforts of anyone so doing.

Long distance travel with small children can be a harrowing experience, and a bad travel experience can sour the entire vacation, the holidays or the visit with relatives. Whether you and your young child (or children) are traveling via automobile, rail, or airplane, if you are going to be underway for many hours, you will need to plan ahead to make the trip as stress free, and potentially even pleasant, as possible. For indeed if a child "decides" to throw a tantrum while you are traveling, there is no chance for you to take him or her out of the situation to calm down; you'll have to ride out the storm.

When planning for long distance travel with your little ones, you must first, of course, account for all the child's actual needs. That means ensuring you bring with you or have ready access to plenty of foods and beverages that your child will actually eat without protest. Smart travel also means bringing along items your child finds engaging and that, ideally, with which he or she can engage on their own and in relative quiet. (Examples of this are coloring books, lacing cards, and dolls or action figures.) And it means having any specialty items -- certainly including medicines -- such as a backup pair of glasses, a special toy or gift as a reward or incentive for good behavior, or a special comfort item close at hand.

One of the best ways to help a child stay calm and amused during travel goes beyond just providing them things with which to play and engage, but involves providing them their own personal play space. This can be achieved using a good travel tray.

Choosing A Travel Tray For Play And Learning

As you consider which travel tray will be right for your child, consider a few of his or her favorite activities, and use those as the starting point for your review. If you have a young artist in your family, then you should choose a travel tray with a firm, solid top that can stand up to the pressure of a pencil tip, a pen's nib, or a flurry of crayons bearing down onto it. Some travel trays -- particularly those that fold up the flattest -- have softer, flexible surfaces, and while these are fine for many purposes, they are not ideal for the graphic artist, as it were.

On the other hand, many travel trays that do feature those softer, more pliant surfaces are a great idea for use with smaller kids who might tend to flail their arms about a bit more wildly.

Always consider features beyond the surface of the travel tray itself, looking for units with pockets that might accommodate the type of toy or size of book your child likes, for example, and for those with walls around their perimeters that can prevent objects from rolling off.

And don't forget about your own needs, too: some travel trays fold up for remarkably easy transport and storage, while others tend to be bulkier and less convenient for the parent or nanny who has to install, remove, and carry the units. And make sure to check airline, rail, and other travel policies before you assume it will be OK to use a travel tray en route.

Choosing A Travel Tray For Mess Free Dining

Children tend to be messy when they eat. This is especially true for infants and toddlers, and it remains true for children well into their preschool and elementary school years. The lack of refined dexterity when it comes to using utensils and the lack of a general interest in attempting to be a neat and clean diner combine to create plenty of spills, smears, and general disarray.

Eating without making a mess can be all the more difficult for any of us when we are attempting to dine off of a tray folded down at a seat on an airplane or are eating off of our laps in a car, a bus, or on a train. This is especially true for a child predisposed to messiness in the first place.

A travel tray is a great way to serve your child his or her meal as it keeps the foods in easy reach of their hands and close to their mouths. Many travel trays also have attachments that feature multiple different sections, which can be perfect for dividing different foodstuffs up for easy eating and for preventing items like peas or berries from rolling away.

Many travel trays are made of plastic and can easily be wiped clean after a meal, which is another benefit when you are away from home. The easier the post meal cleanup process, the better. Using your family's own travel tray also helps to prevent your child from touching lots of potentially unsafe, unsanitary surfaces.

A travel tray is also a great "life hack" for a child's mealtime even at home or at a friend or relative's residence. On those occasions where your kid will be eating on the couch or when he or she is in a chair but can't quite reach the table, a travel tray provides them their very own dining spot even when you're not actually traveling.

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Last updated on May 24, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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