Stop right there, and put down that hanger! I’m about to save you substantial frustration. Have you ever arrived at your destination only to discover your travel bottle of shampoo has spilled all over the interior of your luggage?

If you’re about to take a vacation, take a quick look at these top 10 travel tips. Ellen Paderson has been traveling around the world for 20 years, and distilled all the trials and tribulations that come along with hitting the road into some sage advice.

Whether you’re headed on a cruise, a National Lampoon style roadtrip to Las Vegas, or on an overseas adventure, be sure to plan ahead, and spend a few minutes online surfing the best travel sites for tips, secrets.

Here’s Ellen’s “Top 10” travel tips:

1. Roll your clothes — Tightly roll most items into compact pieces. Fold stiffer and dressy ones.

2. Use soft-side travel bags (e.g. Packing Cubes  from Eagle Creek) – uses every square inch of your travel bag. Compresses when zipped. Minimize wrinkles, maximizes space.

3. Inflatable hangers –  for hand laundry; pack with individual packets of Woolite. Vinyl folds small, inflates with a few breaths so you can drip-dry creaselessly.  

4. Plane sheets- aircraft seat covers make your seat more comfortable and germ free.

5. Silk travel blanket — as warm as a regular blanket, yet takes up much less space. Pocket at bottom keeps feet toasty; blanket rolls up and tucks into a 12 x 4″ pouch you can toss in your carry-on.

6. Wet Wipes to sanitize seats and trays on the plane, and for a million other uses in your travels.

7. Sealable plastic bags, different sizes—handy to store snacks, small electronics; keep them safe from the sand and sea.

8. Pack as few clothes as possible. Take a pair of black, beige or white pants and tops that will go with all three colors.

9. Collapsible cooler  – pack snacks when out on excursions (can pay for itself in one day!)

10 Comfortable shoes – Try to limit each person to 2 really comfy pairs.

Oh, one more thing: don’t forget to check the weather conditions and forecast for your point of travel so you’ll know what to pack; layers are generally best.

Ellen Paderson is founder of Smiles and Miles, and a member of The Affluent Traveler Collection, a hand-picked, elite group of independent travel advisors.

Monica Turner
Contributor to Stark Insider for tech, the arts and All Things West Coast for over 10 years.