If you sat down and calculated how much time you spent in the car, you would probably be shocked. Between commuting, kid chauffeuring, and running weekly errands, people spend more time on the road than they’d like to admit. Constant driving can be monotonous, time-consuming, and expensive over time.
Do you want to spend less time in the car? You’re not alone. Many people are looking for ways to cut down on their carbon emissions and save money on transportation costs. If you’re not sure where to begin, review these helpful tips for keeping the car in park:
1. Book Virtual Appointments
Traveling to and from an appointment can require a lot of driving. Take into account any waiting time you might experience, and a single appointment might fill up half of the day. There are likely many other things you could be doing during that time. Free up your schedule by booking virtual appointments whenever possible.
Let’s say you need to refill a prescription but don’t want to drive 30 minutes to your general practitioner’s office. A consultation with an online doctor typically takes less time without needing to start your car once. Online prescription services provide a consult and prescription refills in a fraction of the time.
Virtual appointments are available for counseling, therapy, tutoring, and more. You might even be able to justify signing up for guitar lessons with driving time out of the equation. Of course, you can probably find a virtual course for that as well.
2. Lean Into Delivery Options
So many products can now be ordered online and delivered right to your doorstep. Why take a trip to the grocery store when everything you need could be shipped directly to you? Delivery companies such as DoorDash promise to deliver everything from fresh produce to toiletries and even batteries.
There is typically a delivery charge when using one of these companies. Some drivers may even expect a tip for their services. Even with that considered, the amount of time you save using a delivery service might be worth the additional cost. And considering current gas prices, that’s even more true today.
Check to see whether your favorite local companies offer delivery options. Supporting a local bakery or florist without having to leave the house is certainly the best of both worlds.
3. Plan Out Your Trips
You won’t be able to avoid driving every single day. On those days when getting in the car is inevitable, make an effort to plan your trips. You’ll spend less time in your vehicle if you intentionally plan each journey before you get on the road.
Perhaps you’re planning to take the family out to a nice dinner to celebrate a birthday. Check online to see what time the restaurant is busiest and analyze traffic patterns in the area. Be sure to avoid the five o’clock work rush if your goal is to keep driving time to a minimum.
If you’re making multiple stops, planning will help you avoid unnecessary backtracking. A nice loop will take a lot less time than a zig-zag path going in every direction.
While this won’t reduce overall driving time, carpooling ensures you get out of your car every once in a while. Driving to work with a colleague or helping other parents take kids to sporting events will save time and money.
If you take turns making the work commute with a friend, you can split the cost of gas. Additionally, this will put a little less wear and tear on each person’s car. After all, one of the biggest reasons driving can be so expensive is the cost of upkeep.
Carpooling with other parents for sports and other activities is a great way to save time. If your kids have soccer practice every afternoon, collaborate with other parents and take a single shift each week. The entire neighborhood will be grateful that they don’t have to make the drive every single day.
5. Use Public Transportation
If you live in a city with adequate public transportation, try it out next time you need to go somewhere. Public transportation admittedly takes longer than traveling by car, but you will get more done en route to your destination.
For example, while you’re riding the bus to work, you can catch up on emails or finalize your to-do list. You most certainly shouldn’t attempt to do this while driving a car. It’s worth looking into if this can make your daily workload more manageable.
Public transportation might be more time-consuming, but it is significantly cheaper than using your own vehicle. Some estimates state that you could save thousands of dollars a year just by taking public transportation. Plus, there’s no need to worry about gas prices, vehicle upkeep, or expensive repairs. Your only job is making sure you’re at the station or stop on time.
Whether you’re looking to save time, money, or even to save the planet, spending less time driving is worthwhile. Try out some of these tips and see how they can change your daily routine for the better.
Alton Clarke was born and raised in Syracuse. He has written for MSNBC, The Business Insider and Passport Magazine. In regards to academics, Alton earned a degree from St. John’s University. Alton covers entertainment and culture stories here at Diving daily.