Old school essentials



An old mobile phone
Okay whilst everyone loves their iphone or Blackberry, it costs a whack; with its £40 a month contract, plus calls and texts, plus daft roaming charges, and the true cost of ownership is soon going to add up to over half the cost of most RTWs. Not that clever. So get a knackered old mobile, make sure it's unlocked, and buy a local SIM card as you go. Plus you're a lot less likely to get it nicked. 

A notebook that connects to the Worldwide Web thingmy

Buy the cheapest one that works. They start from £70 but a pretty good one is around £200. We like Acer. Just make sure it has wifi and make sure you know how it functions. And set up a blogger account for photos, or flickr. Plus make sure you leads fit. 

Powermonkey Classic 
It charges everything and costs £35 on Amazon. It's small and it works and will keep your phone and netbooks working when you're in the middle of nowhere and *need to know* that essential football score


A One Sim card
They say" OneSimCard is for savvy international travelers wanting the freedom, savings and convenience of no-contract cell phone service in nearly 200 countries." We've chatted to a few travellers, all savvy, and they said it worked, which is nice. Clever idea. Good backup to local SIMs.

A guide book
Apps are great, we like apps, but sometimes you canny whack a good old fashioned guide book. It's physical, it's personal, it's yours and it won't run out of juice at 2am after just getting off a bus in Arusha. Plus they look so great on your shelves and might well add to your overall gravitas later in life.

A Swiss Army knife

In the words of Billy Bragg, all a girl needs are "Intelligence, a Swiss army knife and charm." The Bard of Barking is not wrong, but we would add a caveat - get a Victorinox one *with a corkscrew*. There's nothing less becoming of any human being that trying to open a bottle of red wine at 2am with one of your opposable thumbs. Trust me it's messy.

A sheet sleeping bag

Here's a joyful task when you arrive at your first stop on a RTW. Go to a department store and buy a sheet. A big strong white cotton sheet. Then go a tailor or cobbler and get them to triple stitch it into a sheet sleeping bad. You'll have spent money locally, had some japes and have a sheet sleeping bag that will last years. Plus it can keep a lot of creepy crawlies out of your sleeping space.

Some American Express US$ Travellers cheques

Most people rely on their ATM cards and their credit cards on the road. What happens if you get your wallet nicked? Well if you don't have a backup plan you are grounded. So stick $200 worth of Amex US$ Travellers cheques at the bottom of your rucksack. You can always cash them when you get back or in Duty Free on the way home.

A pre-paid credit card
The Post Office do an okay one. Look they're not perfect (some don't work online or over the phone) but they're a good alternative if a bank is shut on the weekends

$100 cash
Stick it in an inside chamber of your rucksack. It's the ultimate Plan B. You can live for quite a long time on $100 if you really have to...


By Stuart from roundtheworldflights.com