11 Easy Ways to Make your Commute to Work More Enjoyable

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Proper car maintenance such as regularly replacing your in cabin and engine air filters are a great way to keep your car running smoothly for the daily commute. Check out 10 other easy ideas to make the most out of the time in your car.

It is not an exaggeration when I tell you that I used to spend at least two hours each day in my car, commuting to work. And Sonja still does so, every work day, along Canada's busiest highway. 

We honestly hadn't thought that much about the quality of the air we breathed in ours cars, much less knew that there was something we could do about it until we learned about FRAM Fresh Breeze Cabin Air Filters. The fact that we can reduce our exposure each day to particulate matter is reassuring. These filters can remove up to 98% of dirt, dust and allergens from the air passing through our car’s air conditioning and heating ventilation systems. It’s the only cabin air filter that uses Arm & Hammer® baking soda and activated carbon to absorb and eliminate odours.

So last weekend hubby and I popped over to Canadian Tire and picked up the appropriate cabin air and engine air filters for our car, a Honda Odyssey. 

Shopping for a FRAM Fresh Breeze Cabin Air Filter and a FRAM Engine Air Filter at Canadian Tire.

However, rather than asking him to change them I was determined to try and do it myself. Seriously, if I could do it, anyone could, and you can see from our video below, it was really easy and took less than 10 minutes to change the cabin air filter and 5 minutes for the engine air filter. 

We’ve also wanted to share with you some of our tricks and treats that we’ve learned over years of commuting to help make the drive in the car each day a little more enjoyable - check them out below!

1. Keep the Air you Breathe In Your Car Cabin As Fresh as It Can Be

It was pretty shocking to learn that the air inside your car can be up to 6x dirtier than the air outside! Regular car maintenance including changing your cabin and engine air filters is important for both keeping your car running optimally and making your time in it more enjoyable.

And it’s super-easy to do with the FRAM Fresh Breeze Cabin Air Filters and FRAM Engine Air Filters. Here are the steps I took to change the cabin air filter on my 2011 Honda Odyssey. Be sure to check the instructions for your car’s particular make and model!

STEP 1. Fully open the glove compartment. Push in the posts on either side of the glove box until they pop out so that you can pull the compartment completely out.

STEP 2. Un-clip the dampening lever from the glove box. You should now have full access to the glove compartment.

STEP 3. Find the cabin air filter tray and gently slide it out. It may take some wiggling to get past the glove box enclosure.

STEP 4. Remove and discard the old filter. Insert the new filter making sure that the “Air Flow” arrows match.

STEP 5. That’s it! Repeat these steps in reverse to put everything back in place.

And if you’d like to see how doable it was for me to install the FRAM Fresh Freeze Cabin Air Filter, check out our YouTube video:

FRAM recommends to change your cabin air filter every 24,000km (you could see in the video that ours was pretty filthy). However, be sure to follow the recommended change intervals as noted in your vehicle owner’s manual

It’s a good idea to replace your engine air filter at the same time as you’re changing your cabin air filter. A clean air filter is important as it improves airflow and prevents dirt and dust from entering and damaging the engine. It took me less than 5 minutes to replace my old filter with the FRAM Engine Air Filter (it was a bit messy though!).

Regularly replacing your engine air filter is a great way to keep your car running smoothly for the daily commute. Check out 10 other easy ideas to make the most out of the time in your car.

Now that you’re breathing easy, read on for a few more ideas to help you make the most of your time in the car.

2. Enjoy your Morning Coffee in a DIY Inspirational Travel Mug 

Nothing beats a good cup of coffee to go in the morning! We'll show you how to easily personalize a simple ceramic travel mug to make those long drives more tolerable.

3. Bop along to your Favourite Music

Listening to a good soundtrack can make the time go by faster and keep you alert. Get extra oxygen to your brain by singing along as loud as you can! I tend to mix up the tunes and listen to anything ranging from the 80s up to the current stuff. What’s your preferred sound?

4. Make Yourself a Beautiful Commuter Tote

If you have to be on the road, why not pack all your essentials in a lovely tote bag. You can make your own or find one you love at Society6.com .

5. Learn Something New and be Inspired with Podcasts

Don’t judge me, but I only “discovered” podcasts about a year and a half ago. I know (facepalm)! No matter what your interest, there’s a podcast for that - and they’re typically free! If you’re interested in:

6. Write a Novel (or just capture your thoughts)

There was always something about being in the car, at a standstill on the highway, that started my brain going. All the to-dos and did nots and great ideas seem to rush into my mind, just when I couldn’t do anything about them. So I started using a voice-activated audio recorder to capture these thoughts on the go. If you try this make sure you are using a totally hands-free option and keep your focus on the road.

7. Be Entertained with a Good Audiobook

Listening to a good story made all the difference in my long driving commute. It helped to keep my mind off the traffic delays and focus on the story being told. You can try a 30 day free trial at Audible.com and get 2 free audio books (affiliate link) or they can be easily borrowed for free from the library! 

8. Invest in some Great Lumbar Support

Take it from me, long drives can be VERY hard on your lower back. We found this fairly inexpensive lumbar support from Amazon that relieves lower back pain and tightness and promotes a healthy posture. Another tip if you’re on a budget is to roll up a towel and place it at your lower back. You’ll be amazed at the difference in your posture!

9. Pack Some Delicious, Nutritious and Non-Messy Snacks

There's nothing worse than being stuck in traffic with a growling tummy (OK, having to go pee is worse). Keep a little stack of non-perishable, tasty and non-messy dry snacks that are perfect for the road such as these Baked Banana Chips with HoneyNo-Bake Double Chocolate Crunch Peanut Butter Snack Bites or Roasted Chickpeas Four Ways or these Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Four Ways.

10. Relaxation and Deep Breathing

Simple meditation tricks can make all the difference! We often don’t have time for this while at home so a long commute is the perfect place to take some time for yourself. The thing is meditation doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply breathe in and out, that’s it!

11. Get a Cute Pair of Sunglasses

Clearly, the best possible visibility is critical for safe and comfortable driving, and why not look great along the way? These polarized, UVA & UVB blocking vintage style wayfarer sunglasses are just perfect!

Like it? Pin it for later!

Regularly replacing your in cabin and engine air filters are a great way to keep your car running smoothly for the daily commute. Check out 10 other easy ideas to make the most out of the time in your car.

Those are all of our top tips and tricks. Do you have any suggestions that have helped to make your commute a little more enjoyable? Leave us a comment below!

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You may also enjoy these other DIY ideas of ours: