The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State

Readers' tips: Lunches on cruises and security concerns when packing

On a cruise

Don't eat lunch the day you board a cruise. A lengthy lunch usually is available as a buffet on the first day. Also, check out your dinner seating arrangements early on the first day as you tour the ship. If you are not happy with the assigned table location or time, change it immediately for the best chance of getting what you want.

Donna Mollan

Anderson Island, Wash.

When packing for the return flight, keep in mind any objects that might attract the attention of security screeners. I put a small jar of plum jam in my carry-on backpack, buried deep within my clothes, not realizing it would set off alarms as I went through the X-ray devices. They tore apart the entire contents of my sole suitcase, satisfied only when discovering the offending jar, then left an unsightly mess of clothes, etc. for me to quickly repack. It was a bit stressful, and totally preventable, had I remembered that I'd packed something that would draw their scrutiny. This also applies to those small bottles of shampoo hotels provide, as well as toothpaste, believe it or not.

Kyle Kimbrell

Playa del Rey

In Europe, eat lots of yogurt for good health and lots of gelato for pleasure.

Shirley J. Lane

Santa Monica

Look for a Laundromat that will do your wash for you. Well worth the money.

Larry Blanton and Starr Sachs


My house apes would meet me at the door when I would return from a business trip with squeals of "What did you get us, Daddy!??" Not only are airport gift shops expensive, but I would never have room to carry any presents home or, in my haste to get home, not have time to shop for anything. A client gave me this great tip. Just go to your local toy store one day and buy a bunch of small toys. Hide them in your closet. When you come home from your next trip, just say you have to unpack first. Retrieve the $5 toys, and be the hero once again.

Joe Franklin

Manhattan Beach

If you are planning on traveling by train in Europe, it is best to bring luggage that is no larger than a carry-on. Train doors open and close quickly, and lugging a heavy suitcase up and down train steps can cause one to possibly miss their stop while angering fellow passengers.

Terri Currie


Bring packages of sealable wet wipes and bottles of hand sanitizer. Airports and hotel rooms (watch out for that TV controller!) are germ havens. And countries like China don't put a big priority on putting paper products in the public toilets.

Greg and Charlotte Nelson

Mission Viejo

Send your reader tips to Please include your full name and city of residence.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World