The average commute for Americans is longer than ever – in fact, the average trip is over 27 minutes!

Commuting can be a stressful and boring experience, but there are lots of different things you can do to make it more enjoyable. 

So, how do you make your daily commute a highlight of your day? Read on for all the information you need.

1. Prepare In Advance

You can prepare for your commute the night before, so you won’t be rushing around the next morning.

Prepare everything you need for your day, such as your laptop, books, or lunch. This will help you avoid rushing and forgetting something important.

Bring some healthy snacks to keep you energized and avoid hunger during your commute.

Dress appropriately for the weather and your workplace. If you need to change into work clothes, bring them with you to change into on arrival. You’ll probably want a change of shoes, too – it’s no fun to wear high heels or thick leather loafers during your commute.

Before you leave home, plan your route and check for any traffic or transit delays. Use a GPS app or check local transit schedules to estimate your travel time and avoid getting stuck in traffic.

2. Switch Your Hours

If possible, you should adjust the hours you commute to and from work. Rush hour traffic can be stressful and time-consuming. By switching your commute hours, you can avoid the busiest times and have a smoother, quicker drive or transit ride.

If you commute during off-peak hours, you can save time on your daily commute. This can give you extra time to spend with your family, pursue hobbies, or exercise.

If you use public transportation, commuting during off-peak hours may save you money. Many transit systems offer discounted fares during non-peak hours. 

Switching your commute hours can help you achieve a better work-life balance. You’ll be able to spend more time with your loved ones or engage in activities that you enjoy.

3. Listen to Music or Podcasts

Create a playlist of your favorite pump-up songs or listen to different podcasts that interest you. This can help pass the time and keep you entertained.

There are many podcasts available on lots of different interesting topics, from science and history to personal development and entrepreneurship. Choose a podcast that aligns with your interests and use your commute to expand your knowledge.

Bring a book or magazine to read during your commute. This can help you escape into another world and make time go by faster. If you’re driving yourself, you can try an audiobook instead.

4. Practice Mindfulness

Use your commute as an opportunity to practice mindfulness. Take some deep breaths while focusing on your breathing as you travel. 

Try to inhale deeply and exhale slowly, and focus on the sensation of air moving in and out of your body. This can help you relax before and after your day at work and reduce your overall levels of stress.

As you travel, pay attention to your senses. Notice the sights, sounds, and smells around you. Try to stay present in the moment and avoid getting lost in your thoughts.

Use your commute as an opportunity to practice gratitude. Think about the things you’re grateful for in your life, such as your family, friends, or a job you enjoy. This can help you shift your focus from stress and anxiety to positive thoughts and emotions.

If negative thoughts or worries arise during your commute, acknowledge them without judgment, and let them go. Try to focus on the present moment and let go of thoughts about the past or future.

Consider using a mindfulness app to help you stay focused and relaxed during your commute. There are many apps available that offer guided meditations or mindfulness exercises that can help you stay present and calm.

5. Use Your Commute for Self-Improvement

Use your commute to learn a new language or skill. Download an educational app or listen to audiobooks that will help you improve your skills.

Writing or journaling can be a great way to reflect on your day or plan for the future. You can use a notebook or a digital device to write down your thoughts, ideas, or to-do lists.

Learning a new language or skill can be a great way to use your commute time productively. You can use language or skill-learning apps, listen to language podcasts, or read language or skill-related books.

Choose a skill that you’re passionate about or that you’ve wanted to learn for a while. This will help keep you motivated and engaged during your commute. 

Many online courses allow you to download course materials, such as lectures or course notes, so you can study them offline during your commute. This can be a great way to learn a new skill and advance your career.

6. Connect with Others

Use your commute as an opportunity to connect with others. Strike up a conversation with someone on the train or bus, or call a friend or family member.

Use your commute time to catch up with colleagues, friends, or family members via video or phone calls. This can help you stay connected and build stronger relationships with those who are important to you.

Just don’t annoy strangers in public. That’s bad commuter etiquette.

Be sure to respect their boundaries. Even if you’re on the phone, be respectful and try not to make too much noise.

If you drive to work, consider carpooling with a colleague or neighbor. This not only helps reduce traffic congestion and emissions but also gives you the opportunity to chat and get to know each other.

If you don’t own a car, consider joining a car-sharing program. This can give you the opportunity to meet new people and build connections with other members.

7. Exercise

Consider cycling or walking to work if possible. This can be a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors while commuting.

If you take public transportation, try standing instead of sitting. This will engage your core muscles and improve your posture. 

You can do some simple exercises while standing or sitting on public transportation. For example, you can do calf raises, glute squeezes, or shoulder shrugs.

8. Use Your Commute for Planning

Use your commute as an opportunity to plan your day or week ahead. Set goals for the day or week ahead. Write down your goals or use a goal-setting app to help you stay organized and focused.

There are many planning apps available that can help you stay organized and focused during your commute. Consider using an app like Todoist or Trello to help you manage your tasks and projects.

Use your commute to plan your meals for the week ahead. This can help you save time and money by ensuring that you have a plan in place for your meals.

Take the time to review your calendar and plan your schedule for the day or week ahead. This can help you stay on top of your appointments and deadlines.

Take the opportunity to brainstorm new ideas or solutions to problems. Bring a notebook or use a note-taking app to jot down your ideas and insights.

9. Stay Safe

Of course, you need to keep yourself safe while you commute. This will help improve your peace of mind.

Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert to any potential safety hazards and ensure you have a safe commute. Avoid distractions such as texting or listening to music with headphones.

Whether you’re driving, cycling, or walking, follow traffic rules and obey traffic signals. Be cautious and watch out for other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists.  Use designated paths and lanes for cycling and walking, and stay off highways or busy roads where it’s not allowed. This will help reduce the risk of accidents.

Use safety equipment such as helmets and lights if you’re cycling or skating. If you’re driving, wear your seatbelt and make sure your car is in good condition. Avoid isolated or poorly lit areas, especially during late or early hours. If possible, try to commute with a friend or a group of people.

If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable during your commute, trust your instincts and take necessary precautions such as changing your route or mode of transportation.

If you do get in an accident, protect yourself legally. You may need to contact a truck accident lawyer, for example.

Improve Your Daily Commute Today

Overall, making your daily commute more enjoyable requires a little bit of creativity and effort. By finding ways to entertain yourself or improve your skills during your commute, you can make the most of this time and reduce the stress of your daily routine.

Do you want more advice to make your life easier? We can help you out. Take a look at some of our other posts to help you improve all aspects of your daily life.