Sometimes, a long commute for work or school is unavoidable.
I drive 3 hours roundtrip to work and back everyday. My boyfriend Anthony drives 4+ hours roundtrip to work and back, based on traffic.
That totals up to a LOT of hours in a car per month, for each of us.
After 7 months of these massive commutes we’ve learned some tips and tricks for surviving a long commute that we’d like to share with you if you find yourself needing to commute a long way for work or school!
I think the biggest pain of commuting long distances via driving is getting stuck in stop and go traffic, that ends up hurting your leg from pressing the gas and brake so much.
Use cruise control. Any chance you can. If you’re going to be staying on one road or freeway for longer than 5 minutes and the traffic around you is moving consistently at the speed limit, using cruise control is a great way to cut down on the physical pains that can come with commuting.
Podcasts are the best way to spend your time while commuting! No matter if you’re driving or taking public transportation – podcasts are a great way to keep your mind sharp and attentive, feel like you are doing something productive, and stay entertained for long periods of time.
The first podcast I listened to, and fell in love with. It is not only entertaining and humorous but also relatable as heck and has a massive following that you can join!
You knew I couldn’t resist 😉 My podcast, The Quarter Life Crisis Club, is hosted by myself and my BFF Sara as we navigate our quarter life crises and help you get through yours by talking about hot topics like managing money, networking in the corporate world, mental health, and relationships! Listen to The Quarter Life Crisis Club Podcast here!
Hosted by Dax Shepard and Monica Padman, Armchair Expert interviews a new “expert” (usually an actor) each week about their life and experiences. Very entertaining, funny, and the episodes are long featuring a fact check review of what was said at the end which I love! Listen to Armchair Expert here!
This self-proclaimed “#1 millennial morning show” goes live each morning on YouTube and then a podcast version is posted in the afternoon. Focusing on entertainment and reality TV news, this podcast is great to laugh and sort of veg out while driving to work each day! Listen to The Morning Toast Here!
Calling Loved Ones
Right now Anthony and my schedules completely conflict. I work days, he works nights, so we pass each other on the freeway going to and from work everyday. We can go weeks without seeing each other.. and we live together!
Calling each other on our commutes to and from work are a nice way to connect, chat about our days, update each other on our lives, and stay entertained on the long drives.
Change of Shoes
This may just be me…. but I despise driving in heels and even most flats. My most comfortable driving shoes are my ratty old sneakers… but those aren’t exactly work appropriate.
In the back seat of my car I keep 3 different pairs of work shoes. That way I drive in my comfortable driving shoes, and then change into my work heels as soon as I park at work.
Spending 3+ hours in the car everyday really does a toll on my body. When I step out of the car, I stretch. When I have a free moment at home, I need to put aside time to make sure my body is moving and exercise is the best way to do that.
Cell Phone Holder
If your commute has you driving long distances, a good sturdy cell phone holder is a must for playing your favorite podcasts and using a GPS app to find the fastest route around. I recommend a phone holder with significant support that won’t let your phone bounce around as you drive.
When you spend a long period of time in the car, it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable. Adjusting your seat position to make sure it is ergonomic can help to minimize back pain from sitting all day.
Something that I didn’t think about at first was to make sure to wear sunscreen, even if the rest of the day I am staying indoors, and to bring chapstick with sunscreen in it with me at all times. When driving long distances, the sun can get magnified through the car windows and cause sunburns just from driving!
Keep Car Clean
At this point, I spend more time in my car each day than I do awake at home… which means I need to treat my car like my room and keep it clean and taken care of! While I may not wash my car as often as my dad may like me to (whoops, sorry dad!) I make sure to keep the inside free of trash and extra belongings and wash it whenever I can.
Keeping that space clean makes it feel a little bit less like a chore when I have to spend so much time inside it.
Lastly, when you drive a lot of miles it’s important to keep your car maintained. Keep an eye on your mileage, bring it in for regular maintenance checks and oil changes, learn how to check the fluid levels and and keep a small tire pressure gauge in your car so that you can be prepared just in case.
Do you have a long commute? What do you do to make it more bearable?