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Looking for an idyllic vacation? A free Times Travel Talks event on Sunday divulges the secrets to taking great trips

Looking for an idyllic vacation? A free Times Travel Talks event on Sunday divulges the secrets to taking great trips
Lake Davis and surrounding mountains on a morning without wind in the Eastern Sierra. Come hear writer and photographer Christopher Reynolds' tips on how to create the best digital travel memories. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

You desperately need a vacation. Or just you want to travel. But you worry. Did you choose the right place? Do you have the right gear? Will you be safe?

Join Times Travel staffers Catharine Hamm and Christopher Reynolds on Sunday afternoon for a fun and informative event—with four guest presenters who promise to help you make good travel decisions.

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The event is from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 30; check-in begins at 12:30. It's free, but we ask that you register in advance. Come to the The Times building at 145 S. Spring St. in downtown Los Angeles.

Joining Hamm, who writes the On the Spot travel advice column, will be retired Det. Kevin Coffey, who will talk about travel safety.

Coffey, a favorite at the Times Travel stage at the Festival of Books, gives practical advice based on more than three decades of law enforcement experience and a wealth of knowledge earned as a world traveler.

And just a sneak preview: Coffey will tell Hamm why she nearly cost herself a boatload of heartache on a recent flight—because she didn't follow his advice.

At 2 p.m., Reynolds will talk about cool and close-to-home travel ideas straight from the California Bucket List, your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State.

the daily feature began Jan. 1, which means by Sunday, he (and staffer Chris Erskine and various other writers) will have published more than 200 great ideas.

He will be joined by Laurel Moglen and Julia Posey, authors of "111 Places in Los Angeles That You Must Not Miss," and Andrew Bender, guidebook author (including Lonely Planet's "California") and contributor to the Los Angeles Times, among other publications.

Reynolds also will host a session titled "How Amateur Photographers Get Great Pictures" at 3 p.m. He'll offer ideas for creating "visual keepsakes" of all your travels.

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