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

Letters: Airfares list lands a great deal

Highlighting airfare sales each week is much appreciated by this reader. I just returned from an impromptu trip to Seattle, which I never would have done before reading about it in a recent Airfares column buried in the back of the Travel section. Not only was the price remarkably inexpensive [$158], but the travel time was very quick: a two-hour flight and no time change. Seattle is a pleasant city and full of friendly faces during a decidedly off-season. Readers should keep an eye on Airfares deals in each week's Travel section. A great and unexpected experience could await.

Kyle Kimbrell

Playa del Rey


Enlightening article by Tom Parsons on making the most of airline mileage programs ["Easy Sky Miles for Casual Fliers," Nov. 10]. Here's my tip: If you have a United Mileage Plus account, you can access many online retailers through their Web portal at My regular retailer is Target (5% off and free shipping with debit card or credit card).

Lisa Chattler

Seal Beach

Life-changing African safari

Thank you, Carol Stogsdill, for the reminder of my safari in 2005 ["Voyeurs," Nov. 10]. Her description is as accurate as my wonderful memories, and the photos have allowed me the pleasure of reliving my trip. The one thing she did not say was how life-changing this adventure was. I have traveled all over the world, and nothing will ever come close to this experience called an African safari.

Ed Sinderman

Porter Ranch

Home sweet home exchanges

I enjoyed the home-exchange article ["My House for Yours in Paris? Oui!" by Brady MacDonald, Nov. 10]. We have been enjoying successful home exchanges for the last 10 years. Our favorite organization is HomeLink International, but we've also used for areas that HomeLink doesn't cover.

We believe home exchange is the best way to travel. We've met wonderful people all over the world, made good friends and saved lots of money. Mutual trust is a very important factor, and we've never had a problem.

Our exchangers have always respected our home as we have theirs, and we've had reliable pet care as well. Of course, certain people are uncomfortable having strangers in their house, and home exchange is not suitable for them.

Michael Sulman

Rancho Palos Verdes

We started doing home exchanges in 1979. MacDonald commented that he "lucked out" with this exchange. I think you will find that the good far outweighs the bad. I have never had a really bad experience. Also, many people do not do this to save money but for the fun of meeting people and staying in the local neighborhoods and not hotels and restaurants. We have remained friends with several exchangers from years ago.

We recently got back into exchanging and use Look us up — No. 51041.

In 2012, we had a great apartment on Rue de Buci in the heart of Saint-Germain, Paris.

Just set up a week in Manhattan on the Upper East Side.

Steve Leonard

Dana Point

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