We fought our way around the world over luggage. I think we take too much, Julie defends every last item as essential. There is no regular winner.
Here though, are a few things that we definitely agree on as essentials for taking a 2 year old around the world.
1. The travel rucksack by Deuter was a very good alternative to the MacLaren stroller (that we also took - and love!) in busy cities like Singapore or Tokyo and great for walks off the beaten track.
It's comfortable and has a big pocket at the back to store nappies, wipes, water, toys etc. It comes with a 'roof' protection for the sun or rain.
2. Ophelia loved her LittleLife Ladybird day sack. She was happy to carry her dolly in there and for us it was peace of mind to be able to hang on to her with the added lead. This was especially useful in busy airports or when she wanted to walk down busy streets.
3.JVC tiny headphones. We bought them at Heathrow airport (you can also buy them online here) just before boarding for a 12 hour flight to Japan. Why, when you can get headphones on any plane? Well, the headphones you get on planes are always too big for children, and these headphones have a decibel restriction which is great for little ears. Oh, and from Ophelia's point of view....they were pink. We used them throughout our trip - plugged into the iPod with Ophelia's favourite movies or shows...... 'Mary Poppins', 'Charlie & Lola', 'Pingu' and 'Petit Ours Brun'.
4. This is my personal favourite - and still very much in use. The LittleLife tent. Ophelia's real home from home. One thing I think can be occasionally difficult on children when you're travelling is the constant change of sleeping venue. It's just a bit unsettling (and confusing when you wake up!). This little tent neatly overcame that problem, in fact Ophelia loved it which made bedtime a real pleasure for all. It takes less than a minute to put together and it's light and compact (and not so expensive as I remember).
5. Finally, we've bought lots of these little Muji bags. They are cheap, have lots of pockets, and bits can be pulled on or off with their velcro attachments. It's on this list because we used one of the larger bags to house all of Ophelia's toys for travelling. Farm yard animals in one, In the Night Garden dolls in another and pens pencils and crayons spread across a few more compartments. You'd be surprised by just how much these little bags can hold, and how easily they will slot into a larger rucksack to take on a plane (to be whipped out as things turn pear shaped....).
Anyway that's our top 5 for Ophelia. We'd love to know any of your essentials that you would add to our list - let us know!