Friday, 18 September 2015

10 Tips and Essientials For Commuters

commuting, tips, 10 tips, essentials, commuters, commute

Commuting is a pain. In my opinion, there's not really any other way to put it. I've been commuting to and from university for three years now and I'd be lying if I said it was easy. Although I've been commuting for years now, the four hour journey to uni and back still gets me. After three years of a lot of back and forth, I like to consider myself as a transportation connoisseur of sorts - very serious stuff. With that in mind, I thought I'd compile a list of some tips that make the endless trains, buses and whatever else a bit more bearable. Now, if you're a seasoned commuter, you probably already know the drill, but hopefully you find some helpful tidbits of information anyway!

1. Bring snacks - I've put this first because it is the most obvious, yet the most important one for me. In Switzerland any food that you buy on a long-distance train is exorbitantly expensive and even if you're willing to splurge you get the grand choice of either crisps or about 10 different chocolate bars - it gets a bit dull. I always have a snack box on me, which is basically a tupperware box where I'll store cereal bars, fruit, crackers, anything to tide me over on my travels. More often than not, you'll find yourself travelling with friends who are more than happy to get in on your very well planned snack pack. Am I perhaps a bit weirdly over-organised when it comes to snacks? Maybe.

2. Water - Goes along with the first. Do you want to spend a fiver on water? No? Me neither.

3. Headphones - Another very obvious one, but I like these not just for listening to music, but also to block out background noise. I can't work with music on and seeing as my commute to uni was two hours one way, I did use the opportunity to get a lot of reading done, which is no easy feat when there are screaming children and gossiping teens next to you. In that scenario I'll just pop on my headphones (I use Urbanears) that kind of act like mild ear muffs (practical and cool) and block out the brunt of the noise.

4. Hand sanitizer - Okay, so this one is obvious too. But people do often forget this and it is so important, especially if you're eating on public transport. It's best not to even think about what germs are lurking around when there's people sneezing on each other left, right and centre, but aside from ducking and diving, all you can do is sanitise your hands!

5. Wet wipes - Although tissues are another essential for commuting, I'd advise bringing wet wipes. If you're on a train for a longer period of time, perhaps even eating a meal, tissues just sometimes don't cut it. Last winter I brought a flask of tea with me to uni and it decided to leak all over my bag, leaving everything a sticky and soggy mess. Tissues could only do so much and when it came to ridding my belongings of their sugary film, wet wipes were an absolute saviour. So if you're a spiller like me, stick a pack of these in your bag!

6. Roller ball perfume - I'm sure I don't need to tell anyone that commuting in any form comes with a lot of weird smells. Be it sweaty strangers or bizarre packed lunches being consumed opposite you, it can be uncomfortable to get stuck with a smell you can't stand. To help with this predicament, I like to keep a roller ball of sorts in my bag, whether it's perfume or just an essential oil. You can slick some of this onto your wrists or sleeve and subtly sniff that as opposed to inhaling someone's tuna melt for an hour. It's also less obnoxious than spraying perfume, because in a small enclosed space where you can't really control where and who you're spraying, it can get mighty.

7. Portable charger - I'm quite lucky to frequent trains that have places to plug in chargers above the seats, so if that's your situation a charger alone will do the trick. However, you can't always expect there to be an outlet (or one that works, for that matter), so something like a Juice Cube comes in very handy. You basically charge the cube itself for a few hours and then you can just plug your phone into it on the go and it will restore it to full battery. Because who really wants to endure a two hour long commute without music or Instagram? No thanks.

8. Work - I touched on this before, but getting a start on uni work or any other work that you need done during your commute is really time-efficient. I know this is a tricky one, because after a long day at uni or work, all you want to do is slump into your seat, dive into your pre-packed snack box and listen to music - just me? Alright then. Despite that, it's such a great time-saver to get work done whilst your travelling and trust me, you'll be chuffed when you get home and you've already made a huge dent in your work!

9. Be nice - This might seem like a weird one and it's certainly not one I'd ever thought of until I'd woken up at 5am to get on a train to uni and gotten back home at 9pm. No one's in a cheery mood when you're knackered, hungry and have been shoved in every which way during rush hour, and if you are, then tell me your secret! What makes the whole kerfuffle a thousand times worse is when other commuters are rude and practically trample you in an effort to get on and off transport. A simple smile of solidarity to fellow commuters or just being courteous towards others can really make a journey far more bearable.

10. Get organised - Things that I've mentioned in this post, like snacks, wet wipes, remembering to charge a portable charger and so on, all take some planning. Pack your bag the night before so you don't have a mad rush to get your stuff together the next morning, plan out what work you want to get done on the train and print off any reading the day before. It really doesn't take long and believe you me, you don't want to forget your snacks!

So those are some of my top tips for making commuting a bit more bearable, hopefully this has been somewhat useful! I realise that I went on about snacks quite a bit - can you tell I'm the type to get hangry? If any of you have any other tips for commuting be sure to let me know!



  1. These are great tips! I really need to do some of these as watching around all the time gets boring!

    1. Thank you! I agree, sometimes staring out of the train/bus window just gets tedious! xo


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