For many of us, the daily commute is an unavoidably monotonous aspect of modern life. Even the brightest of morning people can have their resolve tested by a delayed train or a seemingly never-ending traffic jam.
Whatever your particular method of travel, sometimes it's not quite as easy as keeping calm and carrying on. Over 69% of the people we surveyed told us their journey was more stressful now than two years ago.
We may not be able to do anything about the (continuously rising) price or the crowds or congestion. But we can help you make the trip more bearable.
To help keep the stress of your journey to a minimum, here's our list of commuting do's and don'ts.
Keep yourself entertained - Preparation is important in most situations. Never is this more evident than on the daily commute. If you get on the bus/train/tube and you've forgotten to take something to read or something to listen to, prepare for a long journey. You don't want to be the one peering over someone's shoulder to glance at their mangled copy of the Metro.
(But remember, if travelling by bike, safety first. Headphones and cycling don't mix. You're better off humming).
Give up your seat - It's a matter of common courtesy, but on the long journey into work, we can all be guilty of this particular mistake. It's not patronising, it's just being polite. If you see someone who looks like they need a seat more than you do, do the decent thing and give it up. It'll make you feel good.
Stand on the right - If you find yourself on an escalator and you're not in a hurry, just enjoy the ride and the pretty colours. Stand to the right and let the morning-rush pass you by. If time is of the essence, make a break for the left and keep it moving. Fall foul of this rule and standby for the wrath of your fellow commuters.
Shower - You have to prepare for the worst. You may be running late and have to make a run for it. Your train may be delayed. But once you step through those doors, personal space will be a thing of the past. Your arms may be raised for long periods of time. For the sake of your fellow passengers, keep it clean.
Smile - Let's face it, we're all in the same boat. Granted, it's a pretty depressing boat at times, but at least we're in it together. Put on a brave face, and everything will seem a little bit better. And it really annoys miserable people. Which can only be a good thing in our eyes.
Other tips for Commuting: take your backpack off, stay hydrated, have your travel card/Oyster ready, always wear a helmet (N.B. bikes only - getting on the tube wearing a helmet will garner you a lot of unwanted attention).
Take up more than one seat - Everyone's feet hurt after a hard day at work. This is not, however, an excuse to put them on the seat in front of you. The same goes for your handbag/manbag. It's a seat... for sitting. The clue's in the name. Keep your luggage and appendages to yourself.
Forget to check the volume - You may think you have the most amazing taste in music. But your fellow passengers may not agree. It can be pretty annoying getting on a crowded bus and hearing a song you don't like that you can't turn off. If you're sharing your journey, be considerate. If you're in the car, feel free to ignore this (unless you car share).
No wonder over 50% of you said that the car was their preferred mode of transport over the next 12 months.
Phone a friend - Ok, so there's nothing wrong with making a quick phone call, but it's easy to overdo it. There are few things as irritating as sitting next to someone who spends the entire journey on the phone. If you hear the person next to you say 'Oh nothing, I'm just on the train. Yeah, I can talk...', it may be time to find another seat.
Eat - There's nothing wrong with the odd banana or breakfast bar. It begins to become problematic, however, when you eat your entire dinner on the underground. The mess, not to mention the smell, doesn't make you a particularly desirable travel companion. Moderation is key here, and also a bit of self awareness.
There's a big difference between a burger on the last bus home, and a risotto at rush hour.
Stare - Sometimes it seems unavoidable. Sometimes you don't even notice you're doing it. Sometimes maybe you just want to make a travel buddy. None of these is a good enough excuse. If all else fails, stare at your phone and pretend you're somewhere else. The same goes for talking to people. Saying hello to the person you see every day can be friendly, but don't say everything you think.
Remember: It's ok to think someone smells incredible. It is not ok to say it out loud...
Other things not to do: fidget, fall asleep (on a stranger), tap your fingers, forget the tissues (because no-one likes a sniffler).
Of course, everyone's commute is different, and what works for some people won't necessarily work for others.
It's important to remember that sometimes the journey is just as important as the destination. Having a terrible commute into work can start your day in the wrong way, and often it can be difficult to recover. Whether you go by car, bike, bus, tube or train, try and keep positive.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey... Good luck.comments powered by Disqus