Recently (about 2 days ago), I made the oh-so-long trip from Lugano, CH
to D.C. Here are some packing, as well as traveling, tips that I thought
would be helpful:

1. Before packing your suitcase, be sure to check the weight regulations of the airline you are traveling with. For example Swiss Air (partnered with United Airlines), has a luggage weight limit of 32 kilos. My suitcase was 2 kilos over the limit, so I ended up taking 2 kilos worth of chocolate out of my suitcase… it kinda sucked cause I had to carry it around with me instead.

2. Be sure to check the regulations for carry-on luggage as well! I saw far too many people getting liquidy things taken away from them because the containers were too big or something. Usually if your liquids can fit in a little ziplock bag, you should be good to go.

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3. Not having layovers is nice, but try not to book your flights in a tight sequence. I went from Lugano to Zurich, then waited in Zurich Flughafen (or whatever the German word for airport is), for about 35 minutes. No problem there. Then I flew to Munich where I had to catch my flight to the States… which brings me to Munich airport….

4. Remember that you go through security before every flight you board. I almost missed my flight because Munich Airport is anal and asked me 3909434156 questions. You know, those pointless questions like, “Did any strangers give you anything to put into your suitcase,” blah blah… I wasn’t expecting such pointlessly stringent security, and my name was announced, (along with 3 other Turkish names), repeatedly over the intercoms. Let’s just say I didn’t like Munich airport too much. Just be sure to give yourself enough time between flights to get through security.

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5. Last but not least, make sure you have plenty to do on a long flight (in my case 9 hours). United Airlines does show movies, but this time they weren’t really my cup of tea. My advice: don’t waste your time watching “Lady in the Water.” Bring a good book (I recommend “The Kite Runner”), or bring your iPod (or any music-playing device). When you can’t sleep, these things come in handy… trust me. 🙂

Happy Traveling!