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Let’s paint a picture: You’ve stood on the platform as three completely packed trains have gone by. The fourth one comes and has just enough room for you to uncomfortably squeeze on. You stand there squished between people and try to keep your balance as the train rattles on because you have nowhere to hold onto.
Or how about this one: You left on time — early even! But on the highway ahead of you awaits a sea of brake lights. You get stuck in standstill traffic and your anxiety builds as the clock ticks closer to the time you’re supposed to be at work.
We’re talking about the ever so wonderful daily commute, people.
Commutes are arguably the worst times of the day, regardless of whether you take public transportation or spend time in your car, on a bike, or on foot. Commutes make people miserable and there is data to back that up.
No matter how you travel, you have to deal with other people or traffic, transporting all of your work essentials to and from the office, and traveling during time when you’d rather be sleeping. And commute times are increasingly getting longer. Woof.
There are ways, though, to make your commute more enjoyable — or at least less dreadful. Queue up a killer playlist or have your favorite podcast ready to go, spend the time meditating or thinking, read a book if you can — plan ahead to fill the time doing things that take your mind off the fact that you’re shoved in a crowded train or sitting in a long line of crawling traffic. Just don’t drive distracted because that is dangerous and stupid!
In addition to activities, there are also some essential products you need to improve your commute.
We’ve found some great headphones to drown out people around you (please don’t wear these while you drive), a spacious backpack that has a compartment for basically anything you can think of, and a cool car mount that wirelessly charges your Qi-compatible phone (you can use this one while you drive).
And if you’re someone who actually enjoys your commute, well kudos to you! You can still grab these products to tackle common commuting issues and make your time even better.
Cars: Issue 1: You’re surrounded by distracting sounds
Taking public transportation almost guarantees that you’ll be surrounded by distracting noises. Block out other people’s music, conversations, and gross bodily sounds with Marshall Major III Voice headphones.
These headphones feature such great sound quality that you’ll forget about everyone around you. Just press and hold the voice button and Google Assistant will play your favorite playlist, read text messages, or give you directions without you having to touch your phone. (For more suggestions on which noise-canceling headphones to buy, check out our guide here.)
Cars: Issue 2: You have a lot to carry
Finding a good professional backpack is a harder task than it should be. You want something that holds your laptop and everything else you need for work, but doesn’t make you look like a dorky freshman. Look no further than the icon backpack from Incase. (Need more suggestions, peep our roundup of the best laptop bags here.)
This bag has a laptop compartment for a machine up to 15 inches, plus a whole bunch of compartments for stuff like pens, charging cables, glasses, and whatever else you need to bring to the office with you. The only drawback is there is no open side pocket for a water bottle, but there are plenty of other spots to keep one.
Cars: Issue 3: You need somewhere to put your phone
SOLUTION: A wireless car charger phone mount
Having Google Maps or Spotify readily available without having to dig around for your phone is vital to having a good commute. This phone mount and charger from Totallee will keep your Qi-compatible mobile device in sight while also charging it at the same time.
The mount automatically grips onto your phone, so you don’t have to do any manual adjustments. The charger does have to be plugged into your car via USB, so the charger itself is not totally wireless, but your phone doesn’t have to be connected to a cord if it’s Qi compatible. The mount attaches to your car via the air vents.