Commuter Guide to NYC

Commuting is a huge part of my life – from door to door, it takes me at least two hours each way to get to and from my job in NYC. Over the past year and a half, I’ve learned how to make the best of it. If you’re looking for ways to help make your commute a little more bearable, continue reading for some of my top tips.

Renew your library card. There’s a good chance you haven’t used your library card since childhood, but what’s better than free books?! Definitely get a library card, so you have endless options of books to read on your commute. Plus, you can sign up to be on the waiting list for the most popular books of the season.

Create a Netflix account. There is a new (ish) feature that allows you to download episodes into the cloud and you can watch without using data! I’m not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed, but I’ve watched the following shows on my commutes, and I’d recommend them all:

  • Parks and Rec
  • House of Cards
  • Master of None
  • Girlboss
  • 13 Reasons Why
  • The Ranch
  • Riverdale
  • GLOW
  • Orange is the New Black
  • Friends from College
  • The Office
  • Shameless

Bring headphones. As I mentioned in my podcast post, I’m a huge fan! While you’re stuck sitting on the train, why not get educated on all kinds of topics from dating to travel to fitness and healthy eating. iHeartRadio also allows you to listen to radio stations from all across the country.

Sit in the quiet car. Many people don’t know this, but the first and last train cars during rush hour are the designated quiet cars. This means you cannot speak when you’re in there – people take this VERY seriously so beware. Personally, I really love sitting in this car because I can peacefully read my book or watch my show and know that no one will bother me.

Find your clique. Ummm, are we in high school? No, seriously you will find your commuting clique and it will be awesome. I like to call them my train dads. I take the same exact train every day, so I see the same people on my commute. As I mentioned, I sit in the quiet car where I met these lovely fellas. We always look out for each other and I feel like they’re my dads away from my actual dad and they keep me safe. I like to think that they think of me as their train daughter since I’m the only girl in her 20s!

Wear layers. Even though it may be 80 degrees and sunny outside, the AC is always blasting on the train! Make sure to bring a cute little denim jacket or cardigan to put over that sundress.

Plan ahead. Public transportation is not always 100% on time and you definitely don’t want to get hangry. Pack snacks and water in case there are delays. You won’t regret it. Also – try to be 10/20 minutes early, since you never know what Penn Station will have in store for you!

Choose your seat wisely. From my experience, if you sit on the inside/window seat, people are more likely to sit next to you. I think this is because they don’t need to ask you if you can get up so they can get the inside seat. If you sit in the seat with four people facing each other, it can get really crammed during rush hour – I wouldn’t recommend.

Hope these tips are helpful! Let me know if you have any other tips and tricks for surviving the commuting life.

xo C

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