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Travel for L.A. Hipsters Guide

Part of: LA , Travel

[Breakfast: a chocolate chip pancake]

The Travel section of this past Sunday’s LA Times had a Travel for Dummies Guide that was quite pedantic. Though, I did learn some interesting advice on dealing with money matters before and during travel. One of the funnier sections was about how to dress for somewhere cold 'cause you know we Southern Californians have no clue.

Adding a hat, scarf and other accessories, especially if your overcoat is light, can keep you comfortable. You can lose as much as half your body heat through a bare head, so choose a hat that covers your ears (or add earmuffs or an ear band). Wool and fleece are the warmest options. A scarf retains heat around your neck and can cover your chin and nose too. Remember the Inuit adage that goes, "When your feet are cold, cover your head…"

Layer it on. Outdoors survival experts say multiple thin layers of clothing trap body heat best. Pack a variety of pieces so you can add or subtract to be comfortable. You should have long underwear (top and bottom), turtlenecks, shirts, vests, sweaters, jackets and pants to choose from. [LAT]

Um, this is good advice if you’re going skiing, though I think that all turtlenecks should be destroyed. But if you’re going to a cosmopolitan city, you’re not going to look very hip. Besides, I think it’s much harder trying to find resort wear in November and December in L.A. than worrying about the proper layers to wear in the winter. If some man wants to whisk you off to Mexico or Hawaii and your summer clothes aren’t the best, or your bathing suits aren’t the most flattering, what are you supposed to do?

The best place to buy a bathing suit year round in L.A. is at Turtle Beach. This place has the cutest designs and not only is everything mix and match, but you can also get custom designed suits. It’s not the cheapest place to buy a suit, but the quality and cuts are worth the price. Also, their bikini bra top is the best. If you’re on a budget, Diane’s has some lower priced suits. Diane’s is really the place to buy cover-ups, casual dresses, skirts and stylish thong shoes. It has a good mixture of prices too. For basic tanks and T-shirts I go to Planet Blue (For less expensive basics go to American Apparel). My favorite Planet Blue store is the Malibu one because the salespeople are the nicest and they have a good selection. James Pearse is supposed to have their basics year round—they just change the colors. But when I tried to get my favorite summer dress in another color in November, they didn’t have that style. For hats, Fedora Primo in Santa Monica is great.

Buying an after sun moisturizer is vital. My favorite is Calendula Cream from Jurlique—Calendula is good for sensitive skin and helps your skin if you’ve gotten too much sun. I also use their cleanser for sensitive skin. The best after sun lotion, Save-A-Tan, I found years ago in Hawaii (but you can order it online). This stuff really helps your sunburn turn into a tan. It takes awhile to rub into your skin, but it’s worth it. If you want to do some pre-tanning via a tanning salon, you need to do it a minimum of 3 weeks before your trip to get in 5-6 sessions for a healthy glow. If you don’t have the time, you can always do a Mystic Tan or SunFX (which is pricier, but more natural.) These tans last up to a week. Don’t forget that chemicals are going into your skin, so it’s not way better for you than a tanning bed. I always stock up on Neutrogena sunblock before I go somewhere warm so I don’t have to buy overpriced stuff at hotels, plus it doesn’t have bad ingredients in it.

For classic beach reads go for Valley of the Dolls and Diary of a Mad Housewife. If you’re going out of the country definitely buy magazines before you leave the airport. Otherwise you'll being paying $10 if you can even find a North American magazine.

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