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7 Best Baby Travel Play Mats (parents will LOVE to travel with)

Curious and so adventurous, babies are just little explorers in tiny bodies! We use a baby play mat at home so much that it only makes sense to have a travel play mat! Having one of these best baby travel play mats is perfect for traveling with a baby. It gives baby a space to play and work on those development skills, even when traveling!

It can be easy to overlook the fundamental things between the late nights, early mornings, messy diaper surprises, and food spills.

baby on portable play mat.

But, a simple problem needs a simple solution like a travel play mat for baby! Entertain those growing minds with colorful designs, sounds, and textures,  strengthen their muscles with active play, and give them the simplest of pleasures. Maybe even find some time for yourself in the process!

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7 Best Travel Play Mats for Babies

baby playing on A to Z Adventure Gear Lay and Play Mat

Why Travel with a Portable Baby Play Mat

For hygiene and safety reasons, letting your baby play on the ground at the park, hotel, and airport isn’t ideal. While baby travel toys and a blanket may be enough for short outings, choosing the best travel play mat is essential for longer trips.

smiling baby on portable baby travel play mat.

Here are some reasons to have one of these play mats in your baby travel gear:

  • Baby travel play mats are much safer than playing on a bed because they allow the baby to explore on solid ground, without the risk of falling.
  • Play mats and travel blankets are hygienic as they keep your baby and their toys off dirty carpets and floors.
  • Tummy time is the most effective way to aid baby muscle development. Increase the time your baby spends on working these muscles by using portable baby play mats.  
  • Once your baby is comfortable on their mat, you can move their toys and other playthings out of their reach. Their curiosity will make them stretch and reach for their toys, encouraging babies to interact with their surroundings.
A to Z Adventure Gear Baby Travel Play Mat with baby on it with volcano in distance

Most Important Features for Travel Play Mats

Small purchases matter just as much as the big ones when it comes to caring for your baby. From choosing the right bottles, clothes, and crib to the toys they need, the decisions are endless. Picking out the best baby travel play mat for you and your baby is no different.

Between functionality, material, cost, and design here are a few pointers to help you make the right choice for your little one. 


This is the most important thing to check when buying a baby travel mat as babies spend a lot of time playing on it. If your baby is going to be in contact with anything for a long time, it should be baby-safe, thick, and soft. Foam mats tend to provide the most cushioning, so be sure to opt for them whenever possible.

Most mats are guaranteed to be free of harmful chemicals such as BPA, phthalates, lead, latex, PVC, and formaldehyde. However, it is always a good idea to do your research and check the material descriptions of the products. 

With that being said, comfort isn’t the only thing that the mat’s material will affect. Questions about textured surfaces, the play mat’s durability, and ease of cleaning and washing are all things to you’ll want to consider.

Textured mats are excellent for developing your baby’s sense of touch.

Machine-washable mats are preferred for ease of use and cleaning. Babies are messy. Play areas are messy. Reduce clean-up time to a minimum with these mats. 


A compact yet functional mat with good portability is a must for travel or even easy storage at home.  Some mats even convert into quirky toy storage bags, making cleaning and organization that much simpler.


Most play mats will cost you a pretty penny but are worth the investment considering their benefits. Priced anywhere between $20 and $100, there are some travel baby play mats that are easier on the wallet and others that come with more high-end features. Worry not for you will find every kind on this list!

Developmental Activities

While focusing on product details is important, answering what the mat can do for your baby’s development is most important. Developmental activities encourage and facilitate everything from sensory, cognitive, and motor development to self-awareness. 

Play mats allow babies to move freely. The extra space allows for more activity and exercise. 

baby on travel play mat.

Once you have a play mat in your possession, investing in toys with colors and sounds will promote the baby’s other senses. These toys may come as a package deal with some mats or you may have to buy them separately. 

Having baby-safedangling toys around the mat encourages babies to exercise their arms and legs as they engage with the bright colorful objects. Consider looking for play mats with these included. 

The right play mat can really prove to benefit a baby’s overall development. Let’s look at some of our top picks for travel baby play mats.

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Best Travel Play Mats for Babies

This post was written & edited by:

Celine is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's been helping new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade.

Celine also writes about family travel on the site, which she co-owns with her husband. Being from the Canadian Rockies, she shares her passion about her home and travel to Banff National Park and area on their site