We promise, it can happen.

Landing a dream job in a big city has a lot of perks, but relying on mass transit generally isn’t considered one of them. From inclement weather to unexpected track delays, I can speak from experience in saying that any given morning can turn into a chaotic adventure.

Whether you’ve got a 15-minute subway ride or an hour on the bus, a public transportation commute can come in all shapes and sizes. Leaving your car behind can be a little intimidating for the first-time commuter, but trading your keys for a monthly pass might just be better than you think.

So, for those of us relegated to the busses, trains, and ferries of the world, take this as a completely biased survival guide for getting to the office and back.

Entertain yourself

If you’ve ever sat in traffic on the way to your job, you know that local talk radio can get old pretty quickly. But now that your eyes aren’t glued to the road, your options for passing the time open up a heck of a lot.

With all this newfound attention to spare, one great option is to crack open some new books and listen to your favorite playlists. But then again, if your interests are a bit more aligned with this decade than mine are, your smartphone or tablet can make it very easy to catch up on some shows and movies on the go.

To that end, remember that a great pair of headphones can completely make or break your commute. If this sounds a bit dramatic, just wait until the person next to you decides to take a personal call for the first time. The words “noise cancelling” will sound like magic.

Picture of good health

One of the sadder realities of mass transit is that more people translates to more germs. Sure, maybe it isn’t fair to assume the worst of your fellow humans, but please save your judgment for after your first mass transit bug puts you down for the count.

Stocking up with a couple cold & flu aisle staples can help to keep you on your feet without weighing you down. A small bottle of hand sanitizer, a couple packs of Emergen-C, and a to-go packs of tissues should usually do the trick!

Not-so-weary traveler

So, exactly how do you plan on juggling all of these essentials from Point A to Point B? If you’re used to having your front passenger seat as a convenient storage area, then you’re probably in for an adjustment.

An easy answer is to channel your former school-aged self and break out a new backpack for your travels (some habits are just hard to let go of). Of course, a purse, tote bag, or laptop case can do just fine too, depending on how much you take with you day-to-day.

And with that, good luck and happy travels! Whether you plan on commuting for the long haul or you’re just riding out your lease, these tips should all ensure that your time spent with the masses doesn’t feel like time wasted in the end.

More Articles