Everyone knows what genuine bonafide travel essentials are – passport, tickets, money.
Then, assuming you don’t want to buy everything on arrival, the rest of the essentials – clothes, chargers, camera, guide book and so on.
It’s a more flexible list than most of us think. I went on holidays in my 20s with a frankly ludicrous selection of ‘essential’ shoes and nail varnish but (just about) managed with a very limited array after my suitcase got lost by Air France en route to Madagascar – a destination not often visited for the shopping potential.
My last trip to Paris saw me travelling without my beloved camera, which I still consider pretty essential. Smartphones have improved dramatically, thankfully, but I’d prefer not to do that again.
And having a toddler in tow means a whole new set of essentials – yes, nappies, wipes and baby food exist the world over but I can’t imagine being carefree enough to set off without any of those in my luggage.
Needless to say, her essentials tend to take priority over a lot of mine (yes, I’m still bitter about the camera).
What I hadn’t bargained for is the unexpected essentials. The ones where there’s no question you could live without them… but life is so much easier if you don’t have to.
Meet our latest. A plastic monkey high chair toy.
When our original pre-loved one snapped a few days ago, I found myself straight on the internet searching for a replacement.
Why so essential? Minnie’s a pretty good eater – but she’s also a toddler with all the illogical fussiness and unreasonable stubbornness that entails. However, if monkey can be persuaded to ‘try’ some of her food, she’ll usually join in.
Playing with him tends to mean there’s less temptation to entertain herself by throwing spoons/bowls/cups as well. And however grumpy, making him go ‘boooiiiiiiiiiiiiiing’ has never failed to raise a smile.
So for now, wherever Minnie and I go, so does the monkey.
Like the blog? Got a minute to spare? Excellent – because voting is now open for the MAD Blog Awards 2014 if you fancied nominating me in the Family Travel category. Or, well, any category. Just click here before March 14… Thank you!
Image: noizyboy/Flickr; copyright MummyTravels/Cathy Winston