how to avoid crawling under airplane seats…


…to pick up your child’s crayons/markers/pencils.


The TRAYblecloth from the folks over at Love To Travel Products is a must-have for any mom juggling children, bags, snacks and toys on a flight. This is a product which your child will use from toddlerhood all the way through to middle school.

The clear vinyl surface can be used as a dry-erase board with or without the reusable activity sheets which are also included. The front pockets can be used for small items: markers, headphones, ipod, hand-held video games and the teeny-weeny games which come with them (which trust me, are impossible to find on the floor beneath a dimly-lit coach class seat).

I’ve got a red Trayblecoth to give away. Post your strangest, messiest or funniest airplane-with-kids story as a comment below and I’ll include you in a drawing to win your very own TRAYblecloth. Deadline is September 30th.

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This entry was posted in Advice And Resources, Giveaways and tagged , on by .

About wandermom

". . .life is short and the world is wide" - Simon Raven I'm not sure I've ever consciously planned a trip based on this sentiment, but it definitely influences my subconscious! I've been traveling as frequently and widely as possible since I finished school. And I love it. I love the research, the planning, the fervent packing and the curiosity of exploring somewhere I've never been before. My husband & I are both Irish - as in born-in-Ireland. But we live in Seattle. We have two boys: wild, boisterous, regular boys. So, since becoming a Mom, I've been a WanderMom. Given our slightly-unusual family situation, routine "visits-to-Grandma" are international trips requiring passports, 10hr-flights and (oh joy!) airport transfers. I have rants, raves and opinions about how, where & why to travel with kids (start them as young as you can, I say!). I hope to learn even more by researching topics which other wandermoms may be interested in reading about on this blog. Passports, pacifiers, diapers and gameboys at the ready - off we go! Contact Info: Email Michelle: michelle (at) murphnduff (dot) org

30 thoughts on “how to avoid crawling under airplane seats…

  1. Lachelle

    When my daughter was 9 months old she had a major diaper blow out about 5 minutes before we started the descent. There I am covered in stuff, she’s covered in stuff and stinking up the whole plane! Of course it would be the day we have to taxi forever to get to our gate too.

  2. Kari A.

    We were taking a small plane ride to visit some family. The plane would go up level out and then go down. Little did I know that it would be so rocky. I was so sick, I threw up the whole time into a air-sick bag. I was so embarrassed I hid behind my son. When the flight attendant came back and asked if I was ok my son said, “Yes maam, she is using the sick bag because I don’t need to, even though she said I would. I like planes, I guess she is sick of them.”

    nateandjakesmom at gmail dot com

  3. Ann

    Well, last August we flew to Belgium via Chicago and Washington DC with 3 kids of which the youngest was 14 months. A couple of hours into the flight we get our food and my little girl decided she really, really wanted to eat her yoghurt by herself in which I was trying to help, but she pulled the spoon and the yoghurt flew….on my neighbor (who wasn’t my husband)! Now luckily he had kids and understood and actually thought it was funny!

  4. Sandy

    we had a kid- not ours as we left vegas for the east coast decided he was going to throw up on himself and his mom, then turned to do it across the aisle and mom walked him to the potty and he threw up all thru the aisle- really gross and the whole flight stunk

  5. Sundi

    My two-year-old was extremely excited to go on her first plane ride. I was apprehensive, but she seemed fine. Until we got just above the clouds on takeoff. Then she started screaming like a maniac…the whole entire flight. Nothing would calm her down and I know the people in front of us were ready to kill us. Fortunately the flight was only a hour and a half long, or they probably would have made an emergency landing and booted us off :)

  6. Angela K

    I don’t really have any funny stories to tell since we’ve only flown a couple of times with our little guy, and they were pretty uneventful. I hope it continues that way for our next trip!

  7. Danielle

    One of our friends sons scramed for over a hour on his first plane trip. When they got him calmed down and asked him why he was so upset, he replied JayJay(the jet from the tv show) is mad at me…he won’t talk. I always thought that was adorable:)

  8. blima

    Excellent giveaway. thank you. Um the detail I remember most is going up and down the isle the whole THIRTEEN (yes you read correctly) hour flight with her everything else is a merciful blank lol
    This would make it a lot easier.

  9. chris

    It was my sons second plane ride and this time we had to switch planes with a short layover. Well the layover turned out to be 8 hours and way past his bedtime. Try chasing a tired cranky 3 year old around Chicago airport. Thank goodness most of the Starbucks stores were open and my husband and I just keep drinking coffee to keep up with him and attempt to keep him happy:-)

  10. sarah b

    my son has not flown yet but we are hoping to travel to europe within the next year. i can’t imagine how hard it will be. ive always seen other parents fly with kids but now i have one of my own … will need extra prayers to survive!

  11. Maquel

    I adopted my 2-year-old. When he was 2 weeks old, we flew from St. Louis to Salt Lake City. He spit up about every 5 minutes the entire flight. I arrived smelling horrible and about to be mob-slaughtered by everyone who had been on the flight.

  12. Marci

    When my oldest daughter was 6 months old I had requested a bulk head seat for our very long flight from England to WA state. Needless to say I did not get it. I was put in between two business men in their business suits while holding my daughter. When it was time to eat, my daughter kicked the tray and my food went flying all over the two men on either side of me. Needless to say it was very messy, embarrasing and frustrating.

  13. kellie

    We haven’t flown with our daughter YET. But when we do this would be great to have!! I just have fears of a total meltdown once we take off. I’ve seen it happen with other kids! I feel for those moms though – everyone will be ‘those people’ at some point right!

  14. Kelly

    My daughter was an accomplished flyer by the age of 2. On a trip when she was 3, she stopped the flight attendant before we ever took off and said, “I would like a Sprite and some tea biscuits please.” Needless to say they brought her cookies, which, as she informed them, were not “tea biscuits”.

  15. Denise

    The first time my daughter flew was last Christmas – she was almost a year old. She was actually an angel given the circumstances. We were flying from Minneapolis to Milwaukee (for a visit with the paternal side), then from Milwaukee to Phoenix (for a visit with the maternal side). In Minneapolis our flight was first delayed by weather, then after several hours canceled. We sat in the Minneapolis airport for most of a day, then finally got on a flight to Milwaukee. Our luggage and carseat arrived a few days later. On the next leg our flight was also delayed but only by an hour or so. Our luggage and carseat – yup – arrived a few days later. The trip home was the only one that was actually delay-free and our luggage and car seat actually arrived when we did.

  16. Nadia

    I was on a flight with my then 2 year-old boy from Omaha to La Guardia and had to entertain my son for more than 2 hours while we waited because of “technical difficulties”. We had to be in our seats the whole darn time (no getting up allowed) and also with NO AIR CONDITIONING in the blistering month of July!. Needless to day I was more than relieved when we finally took off and the little one fell asleep, lulled by the sound of the engines.

  17. MaryBeth I

    My daughter, then 6, kept pushing all of the buttons even though I kept asking her not to. Finally the flight attendant came over the loudspeaker and asked her to stop. I wanted to die.

  18. Sarah W.

    Please feel sorry for me because my husband and i will be flying for NINE hours with our 1 and 2 year old during the holidays. (Well, I am excited to be traveling so do not feel entirely sorry for me). This would be the biggest help in making our trip more fun.

    A not-so-funny but true story…..when my son was 16 months, I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter. My mom and I took a trip. During take off, I was throwing up from pregnancy. My son was SCREAMING!!! The flight attendant would not let me give my son to my mom (she was across the aisle, and that side did not have an extra oxygen mask. I know there are rules, but she was like 2 feet away). The plane was moving, so we could not switch seats.
    So I was forced to hold my screaming, squirmy son while puking in the barf bag.
    Nice, huh?
    Oh did I add the lady in front of me turned around and stared at me the whole time???
    I swore I’d never fly again. That has not happened, but I assure you I would love this trayblecloth!!!!!

    my email is

  19. Xenia

    My almost 2-year-old daughter just went on her first plane ride last month and did really well. We had brought along our portable DVD player in case we needed it and pulled it out and had Sesame Street on pretty low but the flight attendant still came over and said that we would need to use headphones with it. Right, headphones on a 2-year-old, I’m sure she would love those on her head. Needless to say, the flight was ending soon anyway and we were all happy to get off.

  20. Stacy

    We flew with my son when he was 6 weeks old and he puked on me right as the plane took off. We had packed extra clothes for him, but not for me.

  21. fay123 (F. Topp)

    When DS was about 15 months old, we were flying NYC to England. Knowing that he has reflux, I packed 2 extra changes of clothing. He threw up so much, that he was already in his last change before we were even 3 hours into the flight. I was just praying so hard that he wouldn’t have another major one within the next 6 hours!
    To entertain himself, all the toys I brought were useless. Actually, he did enjoy the crayons! But I had to take them away (tantrums…) bec. he was coloring all over the table, rather than the paper.
    What he did enjoy doing, was poking between the seats to the ppl behind and infron of us.
    On the way back, the guy in front of us, put his seat all the way back. Imagine holding a child, without much space, and they guy told us we better stop the child from kicking his seat. When I asked him to please raise the seat a bit, he ignored.

  22. Jenna

    My son loves airplanes! Last year we took a five hour red eye flight and my then 2 and a half year old spent the entire five hours yelling at the top of his lungs “look mum airplane”. His dad had been working nights so he slept through it. He was the only one on the whole airplane i think! I tried everything I could to distract him but nothing could contain his excitement!

  23. Marie

    Our first flight with our infant will be a 12 hour trip from Mexico next year. We’ve been ‘lurking’ on this site for months now to get all the tips we need! Having a site like this is really helpful in advance of our trip.

  24. rebecca

    My worst flight was LA to London on my own with my son, who immediately got on the plane and said, I want to get off now. It was one of those journeys!

    He wouldn’t come to the bathroom with me because the flush was too loud, but if i attempted to go on my own, he would scream at the top of his lungs and be heard!!! – difficult to do on a noisy aircraft.

    The rest is a mere blur.

    thanks for the give away.

  25. Roberta

    On a long haul flight, my child was busy amusing himself with crayons, books I had bought with me and had even found a friend to do this with. However, they were kneeling on the floor and using the seats as tables. This went on for a couple of hours and I thought I was in heaven, until a stewardess came and told me it wasn’t safe etc etc.

    So, after that I left the kids to their own devices and I’m sure that the stewardess wished they were still kneeling on that floor. -A truly awful flight.

    I have to say though, that surrounding passengers can make all the difference, some just ignore the little ones, while others engage them, in converstion or play for a minute and it sets a really positive tone for the flight. If I am ever on my own travelling, I always look out for families and make an effort to help.

  26. jessica

    well, only have been on the plane with a 11 mo. old, wasn’t too messy, but a bit uncomfortable as I had to nurse between two strangers! They never knew though, they were both sleeping!

  27. Rebecca C

    I was on the airplace with my littlest and someone was also on it with their baby. Their baby would cry and wake up my baby and my baby would cry and make the other baby cry. It was like constant marco polo between them two. I am sure everyone wanted to kill us!


  28. missdenise72

    My son was only 6months old when I flew with him. He slept the entire flight! Sorry, not a messy story but I really appreciate a chance to win.

  29. Noreen

    My girls are usually great on planes but once a man two rows in front of us kept turning around and giving my daughter dirty looks. At this point she had done nothing, no crying, loud talking or even sing!! He kept trying to catch my eye and let me know he was unhappy. I really have no idea what set him off

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