Wouldn't it be nice, before every trip, to call up an expert and get her advice on what to pack or how to upgrade to first class? Well, we can't promise a phone chat, but we can give you those tips right here and now. Shout out to all these travel-industry editors, bloggers, and TV hosts who were kind enough to give us the scoop on killer tips that will have you asking, "Why didn't I ever think of that?" On their behalf — you're welcome.
Pack and Unpack
"Once you're done packing, unpack one third of your loot. You'll have a hard time leaving what you thought was essential stuff behind, but it'll be worth it — just think of how much more shopping you can do! But make room for some duct tape and a few binder clips. You never know when you'll need a makeshift clothesline, shampoo lid, purse handle, sandal strap, curtain rod, lint brush, hemming solution . . . "
— Emily Wolman, editor at large of Lonely Planet
Your Phone Camera Isn't Just For Selfies
"Hopefully, you don't ever have to experience travel's pitfalls, but if you do, be prepared. Before you travel, use your phone's camera to take photos of all your emergency contact information. In the event your wallet or passport is stolen, you'll have all the information at your fingertips. Snap your passport, the backs of credit cards for phone numbers, driver license details, health insurance cards, travel documents, etc. In an emergency, you'll be able to verify your identity, show proof of travel, and get in touch with people at a moment's notice."
— Melanie Nayer, travel writer
Pens and Sink Stoppers Are Essential
"Always carry a pen when you take an international flight. You will probably be asked to fill out a customs form, and they often don't have pens on the plane or in the airport. Carry a universal sink stopper, too. It is a cheap $2 piece of rubber that will let you do laundry in the sink or use a bathtub that otherwise won't fill. It takes up little to no space, but it is totally worth it."
— Gary Arndt, Everything Everywhere
Pack Peppermint Oils
"Peppermint essential oil is perfect for calming nerves for jittery fliers and great for headaches or potential colds that may be coming (rub some on your temples and under the nose). It's also great for upset stomachs that come with constant travel and eating new foods."
— Jeannie Mark, Nomadic Chick