Migrate Ubuntu 16.04 between laptops (same model)

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I would like to learn on how I can make a copy of system to be moved to another machine. My laptop started to fail at few things, most likely hardware issue, and I must send it to manufacturer’s technical service. Before I do so, I’d like to make a copy of what I have in case they format/replace my disk or just send me a new piece of equipment. I will hold the backup on two external drives (just to make sure).
What I would like to “save”:

my home directory obviously (without .cache dir and one other)
all installed packages and applications (compilers, parsers, utility apps, libraries, etc.)
configuration for several things like local web server, PHP-FPM
drivers, drivers, drivers, because last time I tried to make a fresh install, I had to use Ethernet cable because there was no drivers for my wireless card

I have few applications that were installed using .deb package, but these I can lose (NetBeans and QtFramework with QtCreator), the rest of them I’d like to keep.
I think it would be much easier to include whole /etc directory to deal with configurations, rather than selecting them one by one. Are there any other directories that may contain stuff like configs, settings?
Is there any reliable tool I could use for that? It may be command-line tool, I don’t mind, as long as it allows me to specify what I want to include, exclude and that would generate a single file, most probably compressed – so simply copying won’t work.
If it helps you, my home director
y is about 42GB, but I only need about 25-30% of that to be backed up.
EDIT
Just thought I would also mention it in the question itself. It is fair to assume I will not move to another hardware configuration. This is only for the case where configuration is exactly the same. I’m not sure if that changes anything.
EDIT 2
Alright, I figured out the way to backup my applications list using this “tutorial”: https://gist.github.com/brpaz/6d5bbcb5231cae2132ff
Now I’m only looking for some nice GUI application that would let me to backup my home directory excluding few subdirectories. I would much more prefer if it created a compressed file instead of just copying files, but if there’s nothing out there, I will take anything really 🙂 Deja dup does not work for me (it does not exclude directories I want to exclude, no matter what I do). I want to emphasize the need to exclude certain directories (either by selecting them or using a pattern), because 70% of my home directory can be recreated other way (e.g. local git repositories).

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Marisa

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