Nannies who live in a big city may feel like their commute takes forever. Traffic can get pretty bad if you drive to the family’s home or take public transit. However, nannies in Boston have to face some of the worst traffic in the United States. Among the major cities analyzed, Boston is the second-worst city for commuting via car after New York. It typically takes an average of 40 minutes each way when you drive. And the average commute time using public transit is around 49 minutes. Yikes!
As a nanny, you know that being punctual is very important; parents are usually relying on you to be on time so they can get to work or take care of other obligations. That’s why we’ve put together some commuting tips for our fellow nannies in Boston.
Tip #1: Leave early
This is a simple idea, yet it can be the most effective in making sure you arrive to the family home on time. Try leaving earlier to beat rush hour or to leave some cushion in case of traffic accidents or late trains. How much earlier you leave depends on your commute time, where you live, and how early you’d like to get to the home. You might try getting out the door 15 to 30 minutes earlier than usual to start.
If the parents prefer you to be right on time so they can spend time with each other in the morning, find a place near their home where you can stop and relax until your shift starts. Maybe you’ll treat yourself to a cup of coffee or tea at a cafe, or you can simply enjoy some quiet at a nearby park before work. No matter what, arriving a little early will make everyone’s morning stress-free and less rushed.
Tip #2: Take public transit
Taking public transit doesn’t mean your commute will be faster than driving. However, taking the T, commuter rail, or bus, can ease the stress of driving yourself through and around the city. It can also be a safer option during bad storms or snowy weather. Plus, you can spend that time reading a new book, listening to a podcast, or catching up on your favorite streaming show.
Check out your options on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) site. A monthly LinkPass at $90 gets you unlimited travel on the subway, bus, and Silver Line. You’ll also have access to the Charlestown Inner Harbor Ferry and a designated Commuter Rail zone. If you plan on just using the bus, you can get a monthly local bus pass for $55. It may seem like an extra cost for your monthly budget, but consider the money you’ll save on gas for your car, plus the headache of driving around yourself. Some employers may also offer a transportation stipend, which would help cover the costs of your pass.
Tip #3: Bike or walk if you can
Boston is “America’s Walking City”. Chinatown, North End, and Bay Village in particular are the most walkable neighborhoods in the city, meaning it’s fairly easy to get around and do things on foot. If you’re lucky enough to live within walking distance of your family’s home, take advantage of it by walking instead of commuting by car or public transit. You’ll get a little fresh air and exercise. And in some cases, you’ll get there faster since you’ll avoid traffic.
If you live just outside of walking distance, consider biking to the home instead for the same benefits. Of course, have a backup plan for either of these options in case of inclement weather.
Tip #4: Prepare for the worst
You can do everything you can to improve your commute but still, the unexpected can happen: freezing rain that makes roads icy, blinding snowstorms, traffic accidents, and more. Be prepared for when these things happen. If you have roadside service like AAA, make sure you have that information handy in case something happens during your commute. Keep an ice scraper/snow brush handy, as well as jumper cables, a spare tire, and other necessities in your car.
If you expect the weather to worsen after you’ve started your shift, be prepared to stay the night at the family’s home if you have to. Bring along a change of clothes, pajamas, and toiletries with you. Pack a phone charger or an extra battery pack. Discuss what to do with the parents in case that does happen.
Tip #5: Work with families in your area
As nannies, we all know the families who can recruit our services live in areas that (in general) cost a bit more money. That can be difficult for nannies, who can’t always afford rent in their employers’ neighborhoods. One way to address this is to work with families who live closer, or right off major transit lines, so that you can reduce your commute and get to work on time.
Boston Collegiate Nannies can help you connect with the perfect family for your skills, experience,and location. Learn about joining our team of nannies today!