5 Tips for a More Pleasant Atlanta Commute

An Introduction to the Atlanta Commute

Welcome to Atlanta, home of the Braves, the Falcons, Coca- Cola and last but not least….TRAFFIC (commute)!! Yes, our beautiful city has the 8th worst traffic in the WORLD and the 4th worst in the NATION! But have no fear. We have ways of helping out even the most traffic weary commuter!

1. BE PREPARED!

This seems like a no-brainer but a little time spent preparing the night before can drastically reduce your stress before even setting foot in the car. Here’s  what can EASILY be taken care of the night before:

  • Clothes picked out
  • Coffee maker set up
  • Lunches made
  • Breakfast items at the ready
  • Bags & Backpacks packed

This applies not only to the adults in the family, but the kids as well. Decide what snacks are school appropriate and have those in an easy to reach area.

My kids enjoy being the ones to decide what goes into their lunch boxes, and that’s one less task for me on a busy school and work morning. A peaceful and organized start to your day can ONLY help your morning drive!

2. STAY AHEAD OF THE TRAFFIC!

Use an app  like Waze… Click for iPhone       Click for Google

or Google Maps… Click for iPhone       Click for Google

…to help you navigate the worst spots on your commute.

Waze works in real time, and gathers data from it’s users to provide the most up to date information regarding accidents, traffic jams, speed and police traps.

Google Maps will also show accidents updates and traffic patterns. 

It’s like having your own personal traffic reporter that’s focused on your specific route! Keep Waze open as you drive to make the most of it’s up to the minute alerts. But remember…to set your phone down or place it in a phone holder; checking your phone while driving is never a good idea! Use the “Planned Drive” feature on Waze to schedule your arrival time. Waze will then plot your best route and let you know what time to leave.

Here’s How it Works…

  1. In Google Maps type in your destination and hit “Directions”.
  2. This will take you to the map screen.  
  3. In the top right hand corner there are three dots, click on them and choose “Set a Reminder to Leave”.
  4. This screen will let you choose arrival or departure time.  
  5. If you choose an arrival time, it will figure out what time you need to leave and will send you a reminder at that time. 

3. “SET THE MOOD” INSIDE YOUR CAR!

You’ve prepared for your morning routine, and thanks to Waze or Google Maps, you know which route to take and how long your commute will be.

Now comes the hard part…

…dealing with the other drivers on the road!

Even if you’re feeling calm, chances are once you start driving someone is going to do their best to spoil your mood by tailgating or cutting you off. Instead of reacting to them, try distracting yourself by listening to music, a podcast or an audio book. Here are some of MY favorites…

Podcasts:

Terrible, thanks for Asking:

You know how every day someone asks “how are you?”

And even if you’re totally dying inside, you just say “fine,” so everyone can go about their day?

This show is the opposite of that…

Hosted by author and notable widow (her words) Nora McInerny, this is a funny/sad/uncomfortable podcast about talking honestly about our pain, our awkwardness, and our “humanness”

…which is not an actual word.

Reply All:

If you’re obsessed with Internet culture and find yourself getting lost in Reddit forums and social media threads…

Reply All will feed your nerd…ermm…I mean need…

The creators mine the web for personal stories, such as a man who wants to turn his family’s struggle with cancer into a video game, and dig deep into mundane-sounding topics, such as domain names, but it’s anything but dull.

The Bill Simmons Podcast:

Bill Simmons is a sports columnist, founder, and CEO of The Ringer, a blog and podcast network, and the former host of HBO’s Any Given Wednesday. His self-named podcast covers sports and pop culture, and where they converge, such as the Rocky movies. It features interviews with celebrities, athletes, and journalists, and often delves into that hard to avoid topic: politics.

Audio Books:

Here are some of my favorite websites to find audio books.

LibriVox:

LibriVox is a non profit initiative to record public domain books and release them as free audio books. The site boasts over 10,000 projects with a diverse set of titles ranging from War and Peace to Leaves of Grass to The Dream of the Red Chamber to Anne of Green Gables.

 

You can even volunteer to read a section for books-in-progress!

OverDrive:

OverDrive is a personal favorite of mine and has virtually replaced my trips to the library.

Using it gives you FREE access to eBooks and audio book, by pairing with local libraries. They have over 2 Million books and videos and partner with more than 30,000 libraries. All you need to get started is a library card from your local library. Trust me, this app will change your reading and audio book habits..

…it did mine!

Listen to an audio book during your commute and feel like you are anywhere else but traffic!

4. SHARE THE RIDE!

When my husband and I were newlyweds, we worked in the same building in downtown Atlanta. Riding to work together saved us so much time and money. We saved money because we used less gas and we were able to share a parking pass in our building. We saved time because we were able to use the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) land during our commute. Plus, it  was a pleasant way to start and end our work days. Need help finding someone to commute?…

 

Click here to learn more

This site has everything you need to find others willing to carpool or will find a van pool that works for your schedule/location. Here’s more information about both options:

Carpool Options

  • Earn up to $5 a day by sharing the ride with at least 1 other person.
  • Earn $25 by logging your clean commute options.
  • And by sharing your ride with 3 people, you can earn a $40 gas card for the group.
  • Sharing the ride with 4 or more people makes you eligible for a $60 gas card.

All the details can be found here

Van Pool Options

  • Ride in a van pool with 7-15 other people who share the ride to work.
  • You split the cost of gas and never worry about wear and tear on your own car.
  • Van pools get to ride in the HOV lane, and you can kick back and relax (unless you’re the driver, of course).

Click here to get more info on van pools and how you can find one in your area.

5. SKIP IT!

The best way to not be stressed by a long commute is well…to skip it entirely! There are so many options for working from home that many employers embrace. Maybe yours is one of them? Even working from home 2-3 days a week would be a change for the better. And there is technology to support almost every work from home need.

Conference calling, video calling, instant message, texting

…all these ways to communicate can make working from home a breeze.

We all know commuting can be stressful.

Try at least one of the ideas we have given you and see if they don’t change the way you think about your commute!

Check out some of our other blogs by visiting our archive.

About the Author