Do you face long morning and evening commutes on either side of your workday? According to data from the Washington Post, the average worker commutes 26 minutes each way. This adds up to 9 full days per year. An hour-long commute one way means that you spend over 20 full days per year in transit.
While it can seem daunting, here are three habits that will help you make the most of every commute. Drivers in notoriously high-traffic areas, like the Golden State, can also ensure they are protected on the road by comparing car insurance for California with CoverHound.
Mix Up the Entertainment
Fiddling with the radio tuner in your vehicle gets old fast, as does listening to the same handful of albums saved on your phone. Eventually, you might even start to lose your passion for your favorite programs because they become part of your routine. One way to combat media fatigue and expand your worldview is to download a rich variety of podcasts ahead of time, being sure to mix it up every day.
Create a schedule that works for your lifestyle, and be sure to try a new genre each day. The Muse came up with a list of 51 podcasts that range from food to branding, storytelling, social justice, comedy, economics, and many more. Your commute can be a valuable chunk of time to educate yourself and cultivate new interests that enrich your lifestyle outside of your travels.
Pack a Healthy Snack
It might seem natural to drown your driving sorrows in a temporarily rewarding yet less-than-healthy snack. Perhaps you’ve become accustomed to chugging a caramel coffee drink to wake up in the morning, or answering your growling stomach with a bag of your favorite kettle chips on the ride home. It’s easy to use boredom to justify these decisions, but day after day, the adverse effects can really add up. Unfortunately, research shows that a longer commute can have negative effects on health, including blood pressure, waistline, and exercise habits.
What can you do about it? Be mindful of your snacking habits on the road. Pack portable snacks like carrot sticks, fiber-rich granola bars, apple slices, and any other decently healthy foods that will fill you up without detriment to your health. When it comes to beverages, try to stick with low-sugar or no-sugar options, and be sure to refill your water bottle before you leave work so you can sip throughout the journey.
Plan the Best Route
Nothing is more frustrating than an already-lengthy commute compounded by an accident or blockage that sets you back even farther. Equipping your smartphone with the latest traffic apps can help you avoid delays and maximize your route home. As Time points out, Waze, ETA, and MotionX GPS Drive are popular choices for frequent drivers. Just make sure your data plan is up to the challenge or you may face overages.
It’s time you take steps to hack your daily commute by making it less of a time drain and more of a chance to explore new habits and learning opportunities. Make sure you pair these newfound habits with the appropriate amount of car insurance coverage, CoverHound’s here to help.