Commuting times in the U.S. have never been higher, rising to 27.6 minutes in 2019. That’s a lot of time to spend in your vehicle each day, so it’s no surprise that we tend to dread our daily drive.
Luckily, there are ways to make your commute to work or time spent shuttling the kids around a bit more enjoyable. Below, we’ve got the seven best ways to make your commute easier — with these helpful tips, you might just find some enjoyment while behind the wheel!
Mix up your routes
Using different routes to get to your destination can make your boring commute an adventure. Finding alternatives with less traffic or fewer stops can reduce frustration. Taking routes past parks or through wooded areas can help you relax and prepare for the stresses of the workday. Knowing other roads to take can also help you avoid delays due to accidents or road construction.
Give yourself more time
It’s easier said than done, but leaving earlier can make a world of difference. Having more time to arrive can reduce stress and dangerous driving habits. If you typically commute during the peak of rush hour, leaving sooner will open up the roads and make the drive less overwhelming. Leaving earlier will also help if you run into traffic delays.
Having a positive mentality about your commute can change the entire experience. Spend your time behind the wheel catching up on your favorite podcast or listening to music at a level that’s unacceptable at home. Ebooks are a great way to catch up on reading while in your vehicle. Try to find ways to enjoy your drive that don’t include distractions.
Find a carpool
If you’re more of the social type, finding some carpool partners could transform your drive. Not only will you save money on gas, but having someone to talk to can make the drive more enjoyable. If possible, try rotating who drives so you aren’t stuck behind the wheel every single day.
There’s no doubt that commuting isn’t great for us, and finding healthier alternatives might make your trips something to look forward to. If work is close enough, try biking or walking at least once a week. Any amount of time behind the wheel you can cut out is worth it in the long run, and it’ll save you money on fuel and maintenance for your vehicle.
If you’ve got a particularly long commute, maximizing comfort should take priority over everything else. Wear comfortable shoes and change into more work-appropriate footwear when you arrive. Investing in a comfortable seat cover or even massager can make your drive a relaxing experience — just make sure to keep your eyes open.
Keep your car prepared
Basic preventive maintenance on your vehicle can greatly reduce stress and unexpected delays on your morning drive. To start, make sure your tank is full and your tires are inflated heading into the workweek. Not sweating your fuel gauge the whole drive can do wonders for your stress and anxiety levels.
You’ll also want to keep up with things like oil changes and brake inspections to keep your vehicle safe on the roads. Staying on top of vehicle maintenance can save you money on costly repairs and help you arrive safe and on time.
As more people leave remote life behind and start to commute again, it’s important to make your daily drive as enjoyable as possible. Following these tips can help you relax, save money, and drive safer. And with the right mental approach, you might finally be able to enjoy your time stuck behind the wheel.
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