Are You a First-Time Commuter? Here Are 8 *Helpful* Tips to Keep in Mind

by Renee Isabella Aguila   |  May 16, 2023
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Commuting isn’t as easy as it seems. There are the hurdles of dealing with unpredictable weather and the game of chance in finding a ride. You could even experience being lost in an unfamiliar area just because you got off at the wrong stop. With the return of face-to-face classes, student-commuters need to be ready to face the challenges that come with commuting. You should be able to have a good sense of direction and know where to go when heading to school. be prepared before heading out for your travels. 

READ MORE: 7 Struggles Only Student Commuters Can Definitely Relate To

If you’re a first-time commuter heading to college in Manila, don’t worry because we gotchu! We’ve prepared eight tips for commuting around the metro, check them out below: 

1. Research where you're going beforehand

When commuting for the first time, it’s important to know where exactly you’ll be going and what modes of transportation are available in the area. With just a click of a button, you can search online for a map of the place you’ll be going to. Apps like Google Maps or Waze can give you directions and different routes to get to your destination. You can even ask your parents or a friend who’s familiar with commuting how to get to your destination and what are the best times to leave the house. 

2. Bring more than enough money

Did you get off the wrong stop and you need to take another ride going back? Bringing more than enough money prepares you for situations like this. It’s better to have some extra cash with you so that you’re sure to have a *backup* plan in case you get momentarily lost. 


3. Keep your valuables secure

Make sure to always check your things while commuting. That way, you can avoid being pickpocketed when you’re in public transit. From your notebooks to your ID, you don’t want to come to school unprepared. Also, if you lose your wallet, you wouldn’t be able to go home which is a big *yikes*. It’s better to secure your things in a bag that won’t put your valuables at risk. So maybe you should skip putting all your things in a tote bag and instead opt for a messenger bag that has a zipper. 

4. Familiarize the routes you're taking

On the way to school or your home, you should take note of the routes you’re taking such as the street names or building landmarks. This is so you know your way around a certain location when you’ll be commuting again. Over time, you’ll know exactly where to go, thanks to muscle memory!

5. Update your family or peers on your location

Remember to let your loved ones know where you plan to go and what routes you’ll take so they’re aware of your location. You can use applications like Life360, FamiSafe, and Geozilla to allow your family and friends to track you whenever you’re outside.  This is especially helpful when emergency situations happen such as earthquakes or typhoons. That way, your family and friends are reassured that you’re safe and not in any immediate danger.

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6. Avoid losing your ticket

When riding a bus, you’ll be getting a ticket as proof that you paid for your ride. Make sure not to throw it away after making your purchase because the conductor may check your ticket for validation. Better to keep your bus or train ticket in your pocket until you get off at your stop. 

7. Don't cut in line

It’s basic etiquette to *never* cut in line. Whether it be buying a ticket or rushing to get on a jeep or bus, you shouldn't skip ahead—you’re not the only one waiting to get to your destination. It’s better to line up properly, have patience, and be polite when commuting so that you and other passengers can travel stress-free and with ease.

8. Always ask questions

Unsure if you’re going in the right direction? It’s best to ask a nearby security guard or ticket staffer on which way to go. Asking questions would definitely save you some travel time. You wouldn’t want to end up walking around for minutes on end in an unfamiliar area, right? So don’t be afraid to ask questions! 

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