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Top Tips From the Majors: Travel Secrets to Make Your Vacation Even Better

Travelers Today       By    Maxine Wally

Updated: Apr 30, 2013 04:26 PM EDT

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Advice is valuable when it comes to travel, when so many best laid plans could go horribly awry.

Huffington Post writer Laura Manske has arranged the travel tips she gleaned from major players in the industry in one comprehensive list-these are some of the top travel secrets from savants in the business.

1. Consider space.

You will always need a compact piece of luggage, both for the plane and for transport on the ground. So make a list of the essentials, with a different list for specific destinations.

Clint Brownfield, travel journalist, suggests you rethink travel-size toiletries. Use sample-sized containers that are small and will travel well-those huge tubes won't make it through security, anyway.

Instead of bringing a bulky can of shaving cream, travel editor Ed Wetschler says conditioner will do just fine, and that already comes in the hotel room.

Author Eileen Ogintz suggests bringing articles of clothing that are designed to conserve space, like Mountain HardWear's Nitrous Jacket, which folds into its own pocket, is lightweight and can double as a pillow on the plane.

PR President of Lou Hammond & Associates, Lou Hammond says carry-on luggage is a must-don't even bother checking your stuff. For ladies, she suggests to pick one to three colors, then build outfits based upon that palette. Each sweater or jacket comes with a skirt, dress and pants to compliment. Only bring two pair of shoes-a low and high heel, a sneaker and a sandal, etc.

2. Have a good flight.

A bad flight can make or break the beginning of your trip. It is best to make the actual travel itself as easy and smooth as possible, to set the tone for the rest of the vacation. For some, this means bringing a personal effect such as blanket or pillow, for others, it means bringing a couple of good reads on the plane.

For international editor Mark Orwoll, relaxation is key on a flight.

"I refuse to work on airplanes," he says. "I cherish the in-flight experience as much-needed "me time"-drinking an extra glass of wine, watching silly movies, attempting to defeat spider solitaire in my iPod."

Editor Bob Payne claims a middle seat is underrated, and you should even request one.

"It doubles your changes of having an interesting conversation and learning something new," he says.

It is important to stretch your Achilles tendons and calf muscles on flights, so take a break mid-way through to walk around.

If you're in serious pain from your tiny seat, bring a tennis ball that you can roll around under your feet or on your back. Senior Vice President of the Westin Hotels & Resorts Brian Povinelli says it works well for a slight massage, is small, inexpensive and easy to replace.

Bring some cough drops for the flight-not for yourself, but for neighbors hacking away. If the person sitting next to you is sick, offer them a couple. You'll be saving both parties an uncomfortable trip.

3. Use everyday items like you never have before.

A silk shoe bag can work as a purse for evening.

A hot lightbulb serves as a surrogate iron. Just pop off the shade, and use a towel to hold the metal bit so you don't burn yourself.

Use duct tape to repair sandal straps, purse handles, or backpack breaks. Also bring scotch tape to seal those little plastic containers for toiletries.

Bring a big bulldog clip for hotel rooms with curtains that don't close all the way. Marketing president Geoffrey Weill of Geoffrey Weill PR and Marketing says, "it is invaluable!" 

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