Another wide topic but I feel duty bound to add to the wealth of wisdom on the subject to be found all over the internet, and to share what we have learned through bitter and expensive personal experience.

We wasted a lot of money on either stuff that we bought but which wouldn’t fit in the backpack or stuff that we did manage to squeeze in the backpack but which suddenly, only 3 days into a 9 months trip, did not seem quite so vital.  A lot of money.  The weight of our backpacks were crippling us to such an extent that in Warsaw, Paul seized his opportunity when he could tell that after struggling under the weight of my belongings I would have quite happily have exchanged it all for a toothbrush and a pair of pants.  He gleefully discarded lots of items he considered superfluous to requirements (and I had previous thought of as essential).

The following we consider vital and a checklist of what you need:

  1. Passport(s)
  2. Several hard copies of passport(s), visa(s), and other important documents you are travelling with or may need access to.
  3. Soft copies of items 2 on a memory stick, memory card and/or computer.
  4. Bank cards (tell your bank where you are going so the ATM doesn’t eat your card) – at least two so you have one for back up.
  5. Hard drive to back up computer (for your photographs and music)
  6. Phones and/or iPod (or similar)
  7. Compact portable speaker
  8. Kindle
  9. Small laptop
  10. Regular medication (and doctor’s letter/prescription should you lose it/run out).

However, here are the Wooky’s Words of Wisdom on:

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