3 Apps & 3 Tech Items I Use for Commuting By Public Transport

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Man waiting for a train
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo

Public transport is a very popular method of moving around the country with 5.1 billion passenger journeys being made in the 2022 ending financial year. 

That’s a lot of people and I’m one of them!

I tend to use public transport to get to and from work on a weekly basis and I’ve been doing it for a while now! 

I find that the time I use to get to and from the office is great for creating content, especially as a part-time solopreneur. I’m actually writing this very article on the train!

That’s why I decided to share the apps and tech I use when commuting using public transport!

So without any further ado, here are 3 Apps and 3 Tech Items I use for Commuting using public transport…

1. Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Whether you’re catching a bus, a train or any other mode of public transport, it can be a loud experience! That’s why I recommend getting a decent set of Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) earbuds.

Not only will they reduce the noise around you, but they will also make your journey more pleasant and bearable! 

I tend to prefer using earbuds over headphones for commuting as they are easier to carry and less bulky.

As a tech content creator who reviews products, you’ll often see me wearing different earbuds, but the ones I use most often are the Google Pixel Buds Pro, mainly because I use them for work, but also because I like the sound they produce and their features.

ANC earbuds were possibly the best investment I ever made for commuting and the best part is that they don’t have to be expensive. You can actually pick up some really good deals!

I’m a huge fan of Soundpeats (No they are not paying me to say that!), I am generally a fan of their products as they are very affordable and deliver great sound quality. In fact, when I’m not commuting to work, my main go-to earbuds are the Soundpeats Capsule 3 Pro, which seriously impressed me!

If you haven’t checked out my review on my YouTube channel, I highly recommend that you do, you can find it here.

2. The Trip.com App

When commuting, I always like to be prepared for the unexpected. Whether it’s train cancellations, delays, strikes or some other form of disruption. 

That’s why I use the Trip.com app, which allows me to book all sorts of tickets including trains, flights, hotels and more!

A few months back, the app actually helped me book a hotel in Cardiff after I missed the last train home that night and the entire process was easy and stress-free! When I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to make the train, I just booked a hotel at a very reasonable price and used the app to book a train the following morning!

But it gets better! The app allows you to earn points by making bookings which you can then redeem to make more bookings or to count towards your bookings! If you are a regular traveller, I seriously think that it’s a great initiative!

While Trip.com are not paying me to say what I said above, I am an affiliate, so if you are interested in checking the app out and you want to support me, feel free to use my affiliate link

3. A Decent PowerBank

Another important tech item I always take with me on my travels is a decent power bank. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been using the GreenCell PowerPlay 20, which has honestly served me well! 

It’s a 20,000 mAh power bank which comfortably allowed me to charge multiple devices at the same time. I recently decided to retire this power bank, as it was starting to show its age and I went with the Energizer EU20011PQ which was available at a similar price to what I paid for the Green Cell.

As of yet, I haven’t really had a chance to try this power bank out, but if I like it I’ll let you know!

I am fully aware that there are trains, buses and even cafes that have charging facilities, but with everything being on my phone, I don’t want to take a chance of not being to charge my phone to access my train tickets or hotel bookings.

On top of that, I tend to stay away from public USB Ports as a rule of thumb as they can be quite dangerous as explained in this article on Juice Jacking by Laura Fitzgibbons.

4. NordVPN

Speaking about security, it’s also important to remember that public WiFi hotspots can be dangerous! 

I mean people seriously don’t realise the number of threats they are exposing themselves to when connecting to free public WiFi hotspots. This article by Norton explains this in greater detail.

But to summarise, attackers can use the WiFi hotspot for eavesdropping and distributing malware. They can even create fake WiFi hotspots to trick you into thinking that it’s a genuine hotspot when in actual fact you’re connecting to the attacker’s hotspot.

The best way to protect yourself from these sorts of threats is by not using these hotspots unless you really have to. The way I look at it is if I have data that I can use on my phone, I use that.

But the trouble with that is that it can be quite expensive, especially if you’re abroad.

That’s why I use a virtual private network (VPN) which effectively creates an encrypted connection for your data and it can protect your online identity by hiding your IP address.

At present, I’m using NordVPN as it was available at quite a good price and it seems to be working extremely well for me! 

At the time of writing this article, NordVPN is offering 64% off the two-year plan and you get an additional 3 months!  That makes it a one-off payment of £72.63 for over 2 years of protection, instead of the £186.03 they are advertising. Bargain!

NordVPN is a product that I’ve purchased myself with my own money and after using it for a while I can highly recommend it. If you are interested in getting the deal, I will leave my affiliate link here

5. My 11-Inch iPad Pro

As mentioned before, I tend to use my commuting time to create content whenever I can. I find the 11” iPad Pro to be an ideal device for just that!

It’s not too big or too small and I could use it to write blog posts, YouTube scripts and even to edit videos! 

I tend to use my iPad with 3 other accessories including the Apple Pencil, the legendary PaperLike screen protector as well as a keyboard case. At present, I’m using this keyboard case by HOU, which has lasted me for ages and feels great to type on.

The 11” iPad combined with the HOU keyboard case is the ideal size to use on small train tray tables and in cafes. I can even comfortably use it in the waiting area where there are no tables!

The iPad combined with the way I utilise my time with it has seriously helped me create more content and has been extremely beneficial for my side hustle.

6. Google Maps

I couldn’t end this article without Google Maps, an app that I’ve talked about on many occasions and even dedicated an entire article to, which you can read here.

I honestly can’t count the number of times this app has saved me! From finding my way abroad to finding new routes to bet me from A to B avoiding traffic.

On top of that I’m a huge fan of the Local Guides community, I think it’s a great way of helping locals, people who are new to the area or just people passing by.

You can even use it to plan trips using public transport! For example, last summer we went to Budapest in Hungary. We decided to use the public transportation system to get around the city. 

Google Maps showed us exactly what routes we needed to take and when to get of the bus or tram. It made the entire experience just so much better, especially for someone who doesn’t speak Hungarian. 

Final Thoughts

As someone who travels a lot using public transport, being prepared and organised is essential, especially if you’re a long way away from home, which in my case does tend to happen quite often. 

Travelling with public transport can not only help the environment, but it can also help boost your productivity. Those two hours it takes to drive to my usual office and back can definitely be utilised for productivity, especially if you run a part-time side hustle!

Now it’s your turn! 

I’m curious to find out what are the top 3 tech items and 3 apps you use to take with you when commuting using public transport. 

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links for Amazon, Trip.com and NordVPN. As with most of my affiliate links, I wouldn’t include them if I don’t already use them or have purchased the product with my own money. Read more in my disclaimer.