Find out 10 easy ways to help improve your commute from London to the Home Counties, for a more enjoyable daily journey.
Horsham and Reading have seen over a 200% increase in residents commuting to London, a similar amount seen in those travelling to and from Holborn. It’s something so many people are choosing to do, so that they can enjoy the beauty of the Home Counties, whilst also being able to make a great living in the bustling capital of the UK.
The challenges of commuting to London, though, can be one of the trickiest aspects of this kind of daily schedule. Crowded trains, waiting around, bad weather – it can feel like a very long time, maybe the longest part of the day somehow.
The good news is that whilst you will need to commute to get to and from work, there are lots of tips that can help to ease that journey. We have 10 practical ideas to help you to breeze through that daily trek to the city and back. Let’s make your commute a little bit easier and joyful:
1. The Early Bird Catches The Train
Sick of squeezing onto a busy train during rush hour? If you can get one even earlier, you could enjoy a quieter commute. This small adjustment can make a huge difference to travel. In some instances, you might be able to completely switch your working hours so that you can miss the main bulk of rush hour. It might not be possible, but it is worth asking.
2. Your Backpack: A Commuters Best Friend
A reliable backpack is a true commuting buddy. If you choose the right one, you can pack it with an umbrella, water bottle, snacks and a change of clothes, as well as things like hand cream, antibacterial gel and cleansing wipes. To ensure your backpack is always a helping hand and not a hindrance, it is a great idea to tidy it and pack it the evening before work, so you can just grab and go in the morning.
3. Cycling For The Win
Have you considered cycling to the train station? It is a great idea because you can use it when you get to London, and enjoy scenic routes when you move between home, work and different stations. You also get exercise, save money on parking your car in the park and ride, for example, and actively enjoy your commute time. If you want to save space or keep the bicycle extra secure, consider leaving it at local self storage either in London or in your local area at home between uses.
4. Comfortable Shoes Are Your Friend
Being on your feet on train stations, walking across London and during the working day can leave you with really sore, aching feet. This is why investing in supportive shoes is a great way to ease the impact of the commute on your body. They don’t have to be ugly, lots of companies make beautiful supportive shoes these days. You could also consider wearing comfy trainers for the commute itself and then changing to work shoes when you get into work.
5. Audio Books & Podcasts Are The Best
Whether you are driving or catching the train, commuting with a good audio book or podcast is so helpful for passing the time. You have something to focus on hands free as you travel, and if you’re really invested in the book, you might even look forward to commuting so you can listen to your book again.
6. Consider Hybrid Working
The majority of UK workers hate commuting at least 50% of the time. If you find your commutes are truly getting you down, consider speaking to your employer about a hybrid working scenario. This means you will need to go into the office some days, but other days you might be able to work from home. This could give you back the work/ life balance you need.
7. Get Some Excellent Headphones
Commutes can involve a lot of noise. People speaking, children screaming, traffic – it can be relentless. As well as having headphones for music, audiobooks and podcasts, having some to simply cut the noise out is an asset, regardless. With the simple press of a button you can cut out most of the noise around you, giving you a bit of peace as you travel.
8. Have Portable Chargers
We use our phones to store our debit card information, to call people and let them know we are on our way to meet them, or to warn people we will be late. We also use them for storing transport cards, to play podcasts, and simply just to keep an eye on the time. Although there are ways to charge on the train or in coffee shops, it always makes sense to have a quick backup like a portable charger so you never get caught out.
9. Consider Sharing A Commute
Some people operate car shares for their commute which helps to keep the costs of the commute down, and also provides an opportunity to be social during this time of the day. Various apps enable you to find car sharing opportunities, or to offer them.
10. Have Breaks Between Commutes
This day and age is a technological age, which means that so many of us can come home from our commute and continue to work by responding to emails and doing work through the evening. Before you know it, you are getting up and commuting again, with no break in between. Some people also start working on their commute as well.
If you continue to do this you will burn out, because your brain never gets a break from work. For this reason, do turn off notifications, resist checking work emails outside of work hours, and have proper down time when you are at home. Your brain needs time to recharge.
With the tips above and the right adjustments, your commute can be an opportunity to relax, enrich your brain, learn and maybe even have fun!