As the price of gas continues to go up, many people are choosing different methods of getting to and from their chosen destinations. As much as public transportation or carpooling can be cheaper and more accessible, factors, such as delays and construction, can make it more complicated than it needs to be. Here are 10 of isure’s tips to remember for better (and easier) commuting in Ontario.
1. Give yourself more time during rush hours
First, it’s important to remember that certain times of day will result in longer travel times, even when commuting. During both morning and afternoon rush hours, which fall approximately between 7-9 am and 4-6 pm, it’s important you give yourself more time than you normally would for commuting in Ontario. Even if you are only travelling a short distance, the amount of people commuting during rush hour will limit space inside buses and trains, and often results in more delays on the road. Plan ahead if you know you are travelling during these busy times and give yourself more time.
2. Try carpooling when commuting in Ontario
Another way you can improve commuting in Ontario is by carpooling! Carpooling saves both time and money on gas, and gives you the opportunity to catch up with a friend or family member, or get to know someone new. Ask around and see if any of your co-workers live in your neighbourhood, or if any of your friends are also looking to commute. You can split gas prices or alternate drivers, and give everyone a chance to socialize while getting where they need to go.
3. Map out your public transportation route ahead of time
If you’re looking to commute using public transit, take time to map out your route before you leave. Knowing which subway line, street cars, or buses you need to take will help save time and stress during your commute. This tip is especially useful if you are primarily taking the subway, as Toronto’s subway lines don’t offer cell service or WiFi while onboard the train. Even if you are commuting somewhere familiar, such as work, mapping out your route will alert you of any delays or closures across the TTC.
4. Remember to pack snacks when commuting in Ontario
If you’ll be commuting in Ontario for a long time, such as into Toronto from outside the GTA, it’s important to be prepared for the journey. Planning ahead by packing snacks or a water bottle will help ensure your commute is enjoyable and stress-free. Additionally, purchasing snacks can add up if you commute regularly. So, making a habit of packing snacks will also help save money. Make sure to pack snacks that will help you stay alert and aware of your surroundings when commuting for an extended period of time.
5. Minimize your screen time
As tempting as it may be to spend your commute watching tv shows or scrolling social media, use your commute as a time to disconnect and recharge. Too much screen time can be detrimental to your health, even while commuting. Instead of staring at your phone, spend your commute reading or listening to music. When you get to your destination, you’ll feel more refreshed and ready to take on the day.
6. Make a schedule
In order to make the most of your travel time, we recommend making a schedule to help you remember the important parts of your commute. The schedule can include what time you need to leave home, when you need to be at work or an appointment, which forms of transit you need and, if applicable, what time they leave and arrive. Having all of this information out of your head and organized will help keep your commute stress-free. If you have a clear understanding of where you need to be and when, you can focus on making your commute a time for relaxation.
7. Use your gas and brakes sparingly when commuting in Ontario
If you are commuting in Ontario by driving, make sure you’re aware of how much gas you’re using and how much pressure you’re putting on the brakes. If you drive your car a long distance every day, gas can add up. Additionally, important functions, such as the brakes, are at a higher risk of malfunctioning. If you’re using your car to commute, make sure to budget enough money so you can fill up gas frequently. Ensure you’re able to address any issues with your car right away. Being aware of how frequently you’re using your car will help you plan your routes effectively, such as when you should drive and when you should take public transit.
8. Make connections with other commuters
Similar to carpooling, reach out to friends or co-workers to see who takes the same route when commuting. A long commute can pass by quicker if you have someone to share it with! Spending time on the TTC with someone else gives you built-in social time, helping strike a work-life balance. Having someone to talk to can be an enjoyable and relaxing way to travel. So, even if it isn’t someone you know, perhaps you can make a new friend that shares a common route each day.
9. Make a playlist
Listening to music is one of the best ways to pass the time, and what better time than commuting to discover new music and enjoy old favourites. Music has the ability to both calm us down or keep us engaged. So, whatever you need during your commute, there’s a song or an album that you can enjoy. If you’re carpooling with others, you can even create a group playlist where everyone can add their favourite songs! Check out this example on Spotify.
10. Meditate when commuting in Ontario
Finally, one of the best ways to prepare yourself for a busy day or to relax is to meditate. Depending on how long you’ll be commuting for, meditation will look different for everyone. Regardless if you’re taking 15 minutes to focus on your breathing or two hours following a guided meditation, practicing mindfulness is a great way to stay present when commuting. Meditation can be as simple as looking out the window and breathing deeply, or if you’re taking a long train or bus, closing your eyes and following a guided meditation or sleep story. Two of our favourites are Headspace and Calm.
However you choose to travel, we hope this article will help you find calm and comfort while commuting in Ontario. As always, if you have any auto insurance questions or would like to reduce coverage because you’re driving less, give us a call.