According to the US Bureau of Statistics in 2011 the average person aged 25 to 54 with children spends 8.8 hours a day working or in work related activities. Add travel time to and from your job and you are spending a good third of your life at work.
How far are you prepared to travel? How will you get to and from work? Will you drive or take public transport, Is that even a reasonable option, based on the times of day you work and what transport is available? Is it safe?
Today we have web sites like Google Maps that can show you what options there are for your commute.
It can show you options for different modes of transport, alternate routes, the travel times and distance.
Look for a website that can give you real time traffic information. Have a look at that site at the times that you will most likely be traveling.
In New Zealand the best site is AA Roadwatch, which combines a host of information including information about the incidents, so that you can understand why roads are closed, real time journey time for specific routes, including the current travel time, the typical time for that 15 minute segment of the day and how long it would take if there was no traffic. This means looking at the same location several times during a day or a week. This sounds like a lot of work, but how much due diligence do you think is reasonable when you are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, most of which you are borrowing and paying interest on?
Again to benefit from this you need to look at the site at the times you would be traveling. If I was to drive into the city from my home during commute time, I’ll be in the car for an hour, whereas outside of peak times, I can do it easily in 25 minutes. Of course that’s why inner suburbs are more expensive. On the other hand, I can walk to the beach in 10 minutes, it’s a trade-off.
There may be public transport options. Today you will be able to go onto a local public transport website and find most of the information you need. This will include where the nearest bus stops, ferry terminals or train stations are. They will tell you the routes, fares and timetables. Good websites will show you a complete route including how to get to your nearest bus stop, where to change from one to another and costs for concession tickets. They won’t tell you that the park and ride terminal has no car spaces left after 7AM.
That’s where you need to get knowledge from locals. That’s where social media comes in. Another good place is the local convenience store.