The recent rise of remote working has given many people the chance to ditch the daily commute – whether it’s for a couple of days a week or for good. But for those of us still braving the rush-hour dash, the journey can be tedious, stressful and frustrating.
According to TUC, before the pandemic Brits spent just under an hour on average getting to and from work every day. And even if you caught the train, you were likely to spend around the same amount of time on just one journey, says Statista data.
So, if you’re still battling the traffic, it’s worth investing in a product or two with the power to perk up your commute. We’ve listed our favourite commuting gadgets below, with options for walking and cycling, as well as driving and taking the bus or train.
Our favourite boredom-busting commuting gadgets
What could be better than a book to keep you occupied on your commute? An e-reader with access to millions of different publications, including newspapers and audiobooks!
The Kindle Oasis is Amazon’s most advanced e-reader so far, with a seven-inch screen and ‘e-ink technology’ for a realistic reading experience and fast page turns.
One of the best features of this model is its ability to sync up with Bluetooth headphones or speakers and start playing the audiobook from wherever you stopped reading. (You’ll need an Audible account to make use of this benefit.)
Plus, the Kindle Oasis can survive being dropped into water, so you can read in the bath or on a lounger by the pool without fear.
Bose 700 Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones
Being able to shut out the hubbub of public transport makes for a less stressful journey, and a pair of noise-cancelling headphones could be the most useful commuting gadget yet.
Bose is a highly respected brand when it comes to audio technology, so why not treat yourself to these headphones, with no fewer than 11 noise cancellation levels? You’ll also get up to 20 hours of battery life, Alexa/Google Assistant connectivity and four microphones to elevate audio quality during phone calls.
You can even use the handy ‘conversation mode’ to pause noise cancellation if you need to interact with people around you.
Jabra Elite Active 75t Wireless Earbuds
If you want to listen to your favourite tracks or podcasts without carrying a bulky pair of headphones around, try these wireless earbuds. Thanks to their grippy coating, they sit inside the ear as you move – and they’re waterproof to survive rain showers.
A full charge can give you up to 7.5 hours of power or 5.5 hours with noise cancellation activated. Or you can get an hour of battery life with the fast 15-minute charging feature.
Like the Bose headphones above, these earphones connect to common voice assistants and have four microphones to improve call quality. They’ll work within 10m of your phone and come with a handy case to keep them safe when not in use.
Take a look at the best wireless earbuds for all budgets in our useful guide.
ANYDAY John Lewis & Partners Handheld Foldable Fan
You may not need a handheld fan all year long, but it’ll be invaluable when warmer weather rolls around. Say goodbye to stuffy trains and buses – or cool yourself down after a run or cycle – with this budget-friendly folding fan.
It has three different speed settings and you can top up the battery with the included USB cable. A five-hour charge should provide up to nine hours of power.
The folding design makes it easy to slip into your bag or prop up on your desk if you want to use it in the office. And as an added bonus, the simple design makes it easy on the eye; you can choose your favourite colour from white, steel, olive and magenta.
Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch
You don’t need us to tell you how useful smartwatches can be. This little gadget will come in handy in lots of different ways, but it’s particularly insightful when it comes to travel. If you’re walking, running or cycling to work, a smartwatch can provide statistics to help you track your progress and improve your health.
The Fitbit Versa 2 not only has a pedometer, heart rate monitor and calorie counter; it can also read and reply to texts, receive social media notifications and play music. Plus, it’ll help set you up for a productive day, with alarms and reminders, a sleep-quality score system and calendar and weather apps.
Cocoda Bluetooth FM Transmitter for Car
There’s no need to feel left out if you drive to work; there are plenty of ways to access entertainment in your car.
This clever bit of kit plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter port and streams music from Bluetooth devices, SD cards and USB flash drives. It can also take calls, provide GPS navigation through your phone’s app and charge two devices at once through the USB ports.
It’s relatively easy to set up: simply put your FM radio on a blank station between 87.5-108MHz, then tune the transmitter to the same frequency.
The Bluetooth transmitter has a useful LED screen displaying audio volume, power voltage and FM frequency. And there’s an ambient blue glow when it’s plugged in, which gives your car interior a snazzy feel.
NextBase 122 Dash Cam
NextBase is a great brand to consider if you want to get yourself a dash cam. While these gadgets may not be the most entertaining products on the market, they’re worth the investment if you find yourself involved in a roadside incident.
The 122 is NextBase’s entry-level dash cam and marketed at the first time driver, but it’s also ideal if you don’t want to spend a fortune. It comes with a 720p HD camera and 4G lens to record crystal clear footage.
Also included with this model is an intelligent parking model to protect your car while it’s stationary and a Click&Go PRO Mount, designed to make set-up simple.
Have you ever misplaced your keys, wallet or bag while out and about? The Tile Mate is here to help. Sync it up with its free mobile app to keep track of your belongings. It works for items up to 60 metres away, and gives you the option to ‘ring’ the tile if you’re within 50 metres.
Handily, the Tile Mate is water resistant to survive the odd rain shower, and compatible with the Alexa app, making it even easier to use.
You can also access a range of extra features by signing up for the Premium service. You’ll be able to receive alerts and free battery replacements once you’ve subscribed.