Caltech Home > Home > Parent Resources > Parent Advice Corner
Search open search form

Parent Advice Corner

Thank you to all the current parents who submitted useful tips, recommendations, and general advice for the incoming class of parents. If you have any additional recommendations, please submit them using this form.

Restaurant Recommendations

Buca di Beppo
Cafe Santorini
Celestino Ristorante
Coco's Bakery
The Counter
El Portal
Golden Deli Vietnamese Restaurant
Great Maple
Green Street Restaurant
Smitty's Grill
Marston's Restaurant
Mi Piace
Pie 'n Burger
Urth Caffe
Yard House
Zankou Chicken

Packing Tips

"Pack lightly and get more stuff later. We sent Felix out there with just a suitcase and then boxed up his ‘extra' stuff and shipped later on."

"I would suggest hot weather casual clothes, bedding, laptop and adapters, hand soap for the in-room sink, a large plastic bin with a tight-fitting lid for snacks and a water bottle until your son or daughter settles into his or her house. All of those "must have" photos, books and decorations were unimportant very quickly. You can ship anything else later."

"Be prepared to move your kid in while the temps are 100 degrees! If you are shipping big boxes from far away (East Coast for us), make sure and tape every corner…all over! Our boxes were broken by the time they got to Caltech and we were lucky nothing fell out!"

"My son came from Miami, and even though he packed light, he still had too much stuff. Your frosh will be getting T Shirts galore from multiple events, and most of the items anyone will need they have locally, like Fridge rental. The only things we ended up shipping to him were cookies (can't get enough cookies) and a dress shirt for some of the events that a T Shirt won't do for. Pasadena has a Target, with the most aggressively helpful staff you will encounter (at least compared to Miami), so students can get the usual things they needs to replenish with little trouble."

"Order a mattress topper for pickup at Bed Bath & Beyond in Pasadena (getting big packages from the central mail area is a bit of a hassle for students, especially at the beginning of the year)."

Travel Tips

"LA traffic is as bad as advertised. I do try to book flights to avoid rush hour, and we have also used the Flyaway shuttle to Union Station - it's cheap and is faster than driving to the airport. My son has also used Uber and that worked well."

"If you live in the central or eastern states, consider sending your child back to school on the first flight on Monday after holidays (especially Thanksgiving) for an extra day at home, often a cheaper flight, and an on-time arrival for the first morning class given the time change."

"The SuperShuttle to the airport takes a lot longer and often doesn't save that much over Lyft."

"Langham outstanding hotel!/lodging"

Other Tips and Advice

"Students that do "work study" will need to have and show their original Social Security Card."

Many thanks to the parents who offered their words of wisdom:

Kathleen Allen P'17
Pauline Askenfeld P'20
Charles Crotteau M.D. P'21
Tina DiMino P'20
Aaron Fager P'20
Susan Goldstein P'20
Donna Hashe P'19
Karen Hearty P'19
Juli and Bruce Melton P'19
Aimee Messner P'20
Roslyn Myers P'17
Ngoc Nguyen P'19
Elsa Valdiviezo P'18
Richard Weilacher P'19