Getting to and from work is never a fun part of the day, but at times it can feel nothing short of dismal and depressing. However, there is no need for you to resign yourself to an inferior travel experience.
A lot of us live on the periphery of London and in commuter areas such as Kent and Surrey. So, how do you pass the time?
We asked Ashford estate agent Evolution Properties for advice on passing the time commuting – here are a wide choice of tools, apps and tricks that can give you a helping hand in making your commute as short as well as enjoyable as possible.
1. Live Traffic Updates Are An Absolute Must
The majority of sat nav apps you download to your phone have traffic updates in some form or another; they can let you know if there will be any traffic issues on your journey, in fact some are more superior to others. Waze, now owned by Google, allows users to post alerts about traffic problems such as traffic jams and the like; this works at its best on busy routes when plenty of users are travelling on the same route and can make posts that are relevant.
2. Get Automatic Weather Alerts
If you don’t already use it, IFTTT (If This Then That) is a great app – not only is it free, but it taps into other websites and apps to provide you with plenty of information to make the life of a commuter much easier. One great example is that IFTTT can give you a weather warning for the next day, all you need to do is log in and make ‘weather’ a trigger action. That means if there is going to be rain or snow the next day, you will get an alert by text, email or phone notification.
3. Change Up Your Route
Regardless of your means of transport, whether it be bus, train, bicycle or something else, a lot can be said for changing up your route every now and then – certainly mapping apps have a use in this regard, however they cannot always understand how traffic lights work, how packed a platform may be and so on. Experiment yourself with various routes to see whether you couldn’t shave a few minutes off your commute time.
4. Make Use Of Twitter
To find out about problems or issues in advance, Twitter really comes into its own. The Web interface and mobile apps allow you to search for tweets for a specific hashtag or simply in your location – it may come as a surprise to see the amount of people who turn to Twitter as an irritation release for cancelled trains and traffic jams. You can also check real-time updates from transport companies who have dedicated feeds.
5. Get The Grey Cells Working
It can be a challenge to get things going in the office first thing in the morning, especially when your mind still clings on to the comfy bed you left behind not so long ago. If this sounds like you, it is time to get the grey cells working during your commute; you could do a daily crossword, listen to a podcast or do something else that interests you and gets your mind in active mode.
6. Consider Different Time Slots
Changing up your route can help you shave time from the journey, however, changing the time you leave home can make all the difference too. Leaving slightly later, or slightly earlier, could result in a shorter travel time and a few extra minutes to indulge in a hearty breakfast. Using an app like My Tracks will help you analyse and compare your progress on each day.
7. Understand The Tube Exits
Talking about little changes that can really count, do you have the optimum position when taking the Underground? The 69p app, Tube Exits, lets you see the exact place you should sit for the exit you plan to use. If you notice another person who always sits in the same seat, you may be looking at a fellow Tube Exits user.