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7 Ways to Make Your Commute Suck Less

rush hour traffic jam
Kichigin/Shutterstock

There’s no doubt about it—commutes suck. But, we do have some fun tips for making those long hours in the car, train, or bus a little more bearable.

Read (or “Read”) a Book

Want something meatier than a podcast? Try a book! If you take a train or a bus to work, bringing a book can help transport you to another world, one far away from your daily route. Pack a book into your bag or grab a Kindle and download hundreds.

If you drive, try out an audiobook! You can purchase audiobooks from Audible. Many libraries also rent audiobooks out to members for free.

Listen to Podcasts

Young woman listening to podcast on headphones
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For the unfamiliar, podcasts are digital audio files that you can download and listen to. In human speak, it’s a radio show you can download over the internet.

Podcasts are amazing for commuters because they’re usually free and there’s a nearly endless selection of content from which to choose. Want to keep up-to-date on politics? There’s a podcast (or 100) for that. Into movies? There are podcasts about everything from reviews of new movies to snarky rewatches of cult classics. Into true crime? Have I got news for you!

Podcasts are also great for commutes because they vary in length. You can find a podcast to fit basically any commute length—from ten minutes to a few hours. Just download one and press play. You’ll reach your destination in no time!

Not sure where to start? Our sister site, How-To Geek, has an article on getting started with podcasts that has all the answers.

Meditate

Has traffic got you down? Are you feeling stressed about heading into another day at the office? Use your commute to meditate!

Apps like Calm have meditation training specifically designed for commuters. Use this time to get yourself centered and do some self-reflection. Commutes can be stressful, but meditation calms these feelings.

If you’re driving and can’t close your eyes, many apps still have deep breathing exercises you can practice to relieve stress. So the next time someone cuts you off, turn to some centering exercises instead of flipping them off.

Get Comfy

What’s worse than spending hours on your commute every day? Spending hours commuting while you’re uncomfortable.

Let’s face it—business casual clothes aren’t always the comfiest. Rather than forcing yourself to sit perfectly still so you don’t wrinkle your outfit, bring something comfy to wear while you’re in transit. A simple change of shoes from loafers to sneakers can improve your comfort dramatically.

If you’re using public transportation, try out layers. You never know when the subway will be extremely cold—or extremely hot.

Find a Buddy

casually dressed business people in car
gpointstudio/Shutterstock

Misery loves company, and nothing’s more miserable than a commute. So, how can you make your commute better? Find a buddy to suffer along with you!

Whether that means meeting a friend to hop on the same train or scheduling a carpool, getting a buddy to share the load can help turn wasted hours into happy hours (literally, if you decide to head to a car that serves alcohol).

Bring a Tasty Snack

After work, your blood sugar tends to crash, especially if you have a long commute right before dinner. Bringing a tasty snack, like an energy bar or a piece of fruit, can help keep you evened out and even eliminate some of those feelings of frustration.

You’d be surprised how much better your commute looks when you’re not starving.

Look for an Alternative Mode of Transportation

If your commute really sucks, consider changing it.

If you drive to work every day, see if you can take public transportation. It might be more costly, but giving someone else the reins can free up your mind to read or relax.

If you live close enough to your office, see if you can ditch the car or the bus for a bike (or even walk). Moving your body can have a huge impact on your morale and turn your commute into something you look forward to every day.


If you’re commuting every day, you’re the expert in making your travels bearable. What tips and tricks did we miss? Let us know in the comments.

Hayley Milliman Hayley Milliman
Hayley is a former Teach for America teacher turned curriculum developer and writer. Over the past five years, she's written hundreds of articles on everything from education to personal finance to history. She's co-author of the book Museum Hack's Guide to History's Fiercest Females. Read Full Bio »

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