Parenture, “Helping Kids Avoid Germs in Transit,” December 21, 2011

“Before having my daughter, I wasn’t much of a germaphobe. Even now, I don’t really mind if she shares her water bottle with a friend. Kids need to build up immunity, right? But planes are particularly dirty places. With grimy and gross surfaces that get cleaned rarely–if ever. (You read this post, right?) So when I heard about the trayGUARD+, a new antimicrobial tray table cover that provides an instant hygienic surface, I was intrigued. I got in touch with co-founder Jason Drebitko, who graciously agreed to share the story behind his great idea (and some travel tips) with us.”

Q+A with trayGUARD+ co-founder, Jason Drebitko

So what inspired you to create the the trayGUARD+? Are you a germaphobe?
Apart from flushing public toilets with my foot and opening the restroom door with my elbow, I’mm not really a germaphobe, at least not like Jack Nicholson in “As Good As It Gets.” But I spend a great deal of time on airplanes both for work and personal travel, and became disgusted by the lack of cleanliness. It was a cross-country flight with yet one more sticky cup ring and seeing a sniffly woman across the aisle from me pile up her used tissues on the tray table that the idea for trayGUARD+ was hatched.

Besides setting up the trayGUARD+, what are some of your other travel rituals?
I drink heaps of water, generally wash my hands, and use hand sanitizer when every I can, and never ever reach into the seat back pocket.

What’s always in your carry-on bag?
Snacks (granola, Cliff bars, bags of nuts), a bottle of water, the New York Times or Wall Street Journal, a change of cloths, a power plug for my Iphone, hand sanitizer, and two trayGUARDS.

What are your three favorite family-friendly destinations?
The northeast coast of England for its wide open beaches and open spaces for our children to run; Paris for its parks, museums, and the fact that our children can eat crepes for every meal; and Costa Rica because of its diverse animal life, it is generally safe, and Costa Ricans are very child friendly and laid back.

Where do you want to go next?
Mallorca, as our children are interested going somewhere Spanish speaking and it has a little bit of everything on offer.

Speaking from my own personal experience, we used the trayGUARD+ on our flight to St. Lucia and while it did make me feel a tad geeky, it also made me feel like Super Mom, protecting babies against diseases. Or something like that. Check it out if you’re traveling by air with the little ones anytime soon. It’s a good addition to the collection of Purell and hand wipes we know you’re already packing.


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