Survival Tools- Driving Essentials

los angeles map- 8-14When thinking of LA, there is a lot to smile about.  The weather is gorgeous year round, as are the people.  But, without a doubt, one complaint comes to mind.  The traffic.  I would like to say that complaining about the traffic in LA is a cliche, but it’s not.  It is absolutely horrendous.  It doesn’t matter the time of day or the neighborhood in which you reside.  Side street or freeway, you’re going to hit traffic.  Guaranteed.  And it’s going to suck.

The traffic here is unavoidable.  We are a car city.  I know that there are some people who take public transportation.  They’re like unicorns.  I’m told they exist but, until I see one with my own eyes, I’m skeptical.  Therefore, as your LA Survival Guide, I’m here to help you navigate the traffic a bit more stylishly and comfortably.  I can’t eliminate it.  But, hopefully, this will help you stop wanting to eliminate yourself the next time your stuck in it.


Wazewaze-iphoneI considered writing an entire post about Waze because that’s how much I love the darn app.  For those of you living in the dark, this may be my greatest gift to you yet.  (Even better than those pictures of me in a mini skirt.)  I cannot sing Waze’s praises highly enough.  I can honestly say it changed my life.  (In case you are wondering, no.  I am not sponsored by Waze.  But I should be for how often I talk it up.)  Ok, now that I’ve got you tittilated, I shall explain.  Waze offers real-time traffic, via an app on your phone, for navigating both highway and street traffic.  It gives you a head’s up on traffic jams, accidents, police, construction, etc.  It will send you on wild goose chases throughout the city and through neighborhoods you never knew existed, all in the name of saving you drive time.  Which it will.  Not only does Waze give you the gift of time, it also offers you peace of mind.  Nothing is more frustrating than being dead-stopped on the 10 and not knowing why.  With Waze’s user reports, you will now know whether there’s an accident, a movie filming or just way too many people on the road.  I cannot oversell this app.  Oh.  And it’s free.  Boom.  (That’s the sound of me dropping the mic.  Not you getting in an accident.  Because you’ve avoided it.  With Waze.)


ProClipproclipThis second item is an extension of the first because, if you cannot tell, I am obsessed with Waze.  For Christmas this past year, I asked for only one thing.  A ProClip.  ProClip is a cell phone holder and charger customized to both the make and model of your car and telephone.  I got one because I was sick of looking down at my iPhone in my ashtray slip-sliding around as I tried to follow Waze.  It puts your phone more in your eye-line, so you’re not looking down every two seconds.  This doesn’t mean you can now text and email more frequently.  Although, that’s neither here nor there.  But, it really will help you drive more safely while keeping your phone juiced.


SunglassesAS9A4688_HRSunglasses are a necessary accessory in LA.  We wear them, rain or shine, outdoor or indoor, morning, noon and, for some, night.  Not only are they an essential style accessory, shades are also a required driving necessity, both for safety and vanity.  They keep the sun out of your eyes (duh), protect that sensitive skin around your eyes from wrinkles and offer you a little anonymity when checking out (or glaring at) your fellow traffic fighters.  I recommend keeping multiple pairs stashed around your vehicle, home and purse.  A few of my current faves by Prada (seen above), Oliver Peoples, Ray-Ban and Chloé.


Sunscreenhow-to-choose-sunscreenIn the town where Botox starts in our twenties, youth is everything.  Therefore, sunscreen is an obvious must.  People forget how much damage the sun can do, even from the so-called safety of our tinted windows.  Wear it.  Everyday.  Even if it’s raining outside.  Which, chances are, it’s not.  Or you’re only driving down the street.  Because, in traffic, that could take forever.  (A little less forever with Waze, though.  Is it annoying yet?)  And, don’t forget!  Sunscreen isn’t just for your face.  Nothing gives away someone’s true age like a saggy neck or shriveled hands.  Think from the nipples up, plus forearms and hands.  I like to keep an extra tube in the car, for those forgetful mornings or spur of the moment hikes.  I’m currently loving La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid and Alba Botanica Kids SPF 45 Very Emollient Sunscreen.




This one is pretty obvious.  You’re spending multiple hours in the car.  There are minimal tolerable stations on the radio.  (Actually, in my opinion, only one: KCRW.)  Make the drive a little more bearable with satellite radio.  No commercials and basically every style of music, news and talk known to man.  My dad gave this to me a few years ago and it really was a lifesaver.  I still change the channels like a maniac, but now I have so many more stations to flip through.


Those are my absolute essentials.  At the risk of losing you (if I already haven’t) to this unusually long post, I will keep my other lesser essentials (but still highly recommended) a bit more brief.  You’re welcome.

Water Bottle– Because you need to stay hydrated.  Do your health and the environment a favor and bring your own.  As glass seems to be the choice of late, I recommend these by bkr.  Pricy, but pretty.  The cost of those smartwaters add up anyhow.

Snack- To know me is to know that I am always munching.  Like a little bunny (or something less or more cute depending on your opinion of me).  I always keep a few snacks in the glove compartment so that I’m not tempted to stop at a gas station or fast food establishment.  I usually lean towards Kind Bars, some sort of trail mix or string cheese and a piece of fruit.

Caffeinated Drink- Caffeine is your best friend on long drive (and in life).  I am a full-fledged addict.  Starbucks runs are great (they also double as a bathroom break),  but I also try and bring along my own source.  To drink in between Starbucks stops.  Check out Guayaki Yerba Mate and Runa Clean Energy Tea.  Both have zero calories and heaps of caffeine.  Win win.

Sun Gloves- Last, but certainly not least.  These are an extension of the sunscreen rant.  Gloves with SPF to further protect your aging hands.  My aunt gave them to me a couple months ago and now I don’t leave home without them.  I have these.  Love ’em. P.S. They’re on sale right now!


That’s it, guys.  Sorry for the lengthy post.  Too bad you can’t read it while you’re stuck in traffic.  Wouldn’t that just be the bee’s knees.  Kidding.  Don’t do it.  Drive safely.



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