Southern California living is fantastic.

The weather is ideal. There’s always something to do. In a single day, you can visit the beach, the desert, and the mountains. It’s my most favorite place on the planet and I never want to leave.

But much like death and taxes, you can always count on LA traffic. And I mean, traffic.

Yesterday it took me an hour and half to go 2 miles (!!!) just to get on the 405 onramp where I faced another sea of brake lights. There’s an SNL skit called The Californians that hilariously sums up what LA traffic is all about.

However, after spending a year and a half out of state, I can definitely say that traffic is a very small price to pay for living in such a beautiful place, especially when you have these things on hand for your gridlocked commute:

1. Snacks! Never get on a freeway without snacks and water (and coffee, if you’re so inclined) because you never know how long it will take you to reach your destination. Yesterday was a good example of me being unprepared. In desperation, I ate an old, crumbly granola bar that was most likely well past it’s expiration date. (My sanity was on the line!) Normally I bring some sort of fruit with me – especially cherries, bananas and apples – because it’s a healthy way to eat mindlessly. Snacks are of the essence.

2. Podcasts! I live for good podcasts. It’s like listening to books on tape without actually having to pay anything! My favorites are Joy the Baker, Jillian Michaels, After the Jump, This American Life and RadioLab. I go through phases where I will binge-listen to particular podcasts. Right now I’m bingeing on Joy the Baker (I could write a whole post on how much I adore her!) and it is making my commutes a million times better.

3. Comfy Clothes! If possible, wear the comfiest clothes that you can get away with. Right now I’m loving long skirts and maxi dresses, which make it easy for me to get nice and cozy while I sit in the driver’s seat for a solid two hours. Also, I never leave home without sunglasses, and if I’m really on top of my game, sunscreen too. Safety first, you guys.

What are your secret weapons for long commutes?


6 Responses to “traffic jam essentials.”

  1. marinadk

    Lived in LA my whole life and couldn’t agree more, especially when it comes to the 405. My must haves are bottles of water, plain and coconut. If I’m feeling naughty then a Dr. Pepper too. Nuts and an apple or peach for a snack. I’m also a big fan of podcasts. My fave podcasts are Fresh Air, Stuff you should Know, Freakanomics, Paperclipping, and This American Life.

  2. mluckie7

    I live in Colorado…though I have taken the four-hour drive from Sacramento to San Francisco. We entertained ourselves with our cameras and took all sorts of funny pictures when we were at a standstill.

  3. Clara p

    A must is podcasts- this American life or The moth via KCRW- ( luv Jason Bentley). Other than that my sidekicks ( kids). Sarah at the controls of the iPhone and Diego in the complaining. Drive them around – priceless.

  4. gina

    So crazy! I’ve never lived anywhere that traffic was that bad…how do you get anywhere on time? Leave 2 hours early for everything??

  5. jenniebites

    Love, love, love, the Joy the Baker podcast. Downloaded some other podcasts before a flight once, but never got around to listening to them. And I’m sort of afraid that they could never live up to Joy and Tracy.


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