- Helen Yudo
Commuting Tips and Tricks
Disclaimer: Most of these tips are for people commuting via bus and/or metro. If you are driving, some of these tips are not for you (as you will soon see).
If you have never had to experience the sheer terror of arriving at your bus terminal, watching helplessly as the bus you planned on taking you to your destination leaves, count yourself very, very lucky. I have had my fair share of this experience, and there are few things more humbling than running (in my case slightly jogging) after a bus. Alas, that is the reality for many commuters like myself. The same thinking applies to dealing with the metro. Just recently, I saw a guy pull off an almost Mission Impossible-esque stunt, sprinting towards the metro and miraculously making it through the doors before they closed. Was it graceful? No. Was it relatable? Yes (to some extent). If you can relate to this, you are in the right place. This article is my gift to you as a fellow commuter. Here are a few tips to help you survive your commuting experience. Are you ready?
Tip #1: Get a good night’s sleep the night before. Obviously, situations differ from one person to the next, but if you can, put down your phone, close your eyes and try and get those 8 glorious hours of shut-eye. Trust me, you will fare a lot better commuting as someone who’s well-rested versus being absolutely and utterly exhausted.
Tip #2: Leave earlier than you think you should. Google Maps and the Transit app are not 100% accurate. Whether it is because of your bus not coming on time, or an emergency on your end, if you always leave exactly when recommended, chances are you may end up arriving at your destination later than expected. Leaving early often means that you get to your destination early, which isn’t the worst thing in the world whatsoever. This tip is especially important during the winter when the roads are unpredictable as ever. In a nutshell, better safe than sorry.
Tip #3: Pack some entertainment. If you have ever forgotten your AirPods or another listening device of choice, you know how important this tip is. Having your favourite music playing in your headphones can make an already arduous journey not so difficult. Music can be a great motivator and mood booster, giving the much-needed energy boost to get you through your day! If you are somehow not a fan of any kind of music, consider bringing a book, or watching a movie or tv show. I find that commuting can be a great time to catch up on shows I have been too busy to watch during the school week.
Tip #4: Plan your trip beforehand. There are few things more nerve-wracking than going to a location you are not familiar with, and not knowing where exactly you’re going. My tip is, to plan your trip beforehand on google maps. Make the most of the street view feature on Google Maps so you at least have an image of what your destination is supposed to look like. This next part might not be for everybody but have a backup ready if you get lost. If you can afford it, consider taking an Uber or calling a taxi if you are going to be late. If you can’t, I really hope you followed tip #2.
Tip #5: Be productive. I probably definitely should follow this tip a lot more than I give it, but the truth is commuting can be a great way to get a lot of things done. Whether this is catching up on a reading you never got the chance to do, or quickly revising from a coming test, consider doing something productive and killing two birds with one stone!