We timed out commutes from the north, south, east and west of Tampa, and our numbers prove the "pain in your drive" all depends on what time you leave.
Palm Harbor to Tampa.
Our commute time during summer break: 40 minutes
Now that school's back in: 51 minutes
We left at 8:20 a.m.
After school, we left at 7:53 a.m. That's 27 minutes earlier.. Add that to the 11 minute longer drive and it's a total of 38 more minutes to your morning.
Citrus park to Tampa
The summer drive time: 20 minutes
Now with school in session: 32 minutes
So how much earlier did we have to leave? 8:25 a.m. during the summer.
But now that school's in, we're leaving at 8:00 a.m. sharp. That's 25 minutes earlier, but we're still spending 12 more minutes on the road for a total of 37 added minutes.
Lutz to Tampa
Before school: 27 minutes
After school: 51 minutes
And we left 5 minutes earlier.
But what happens if we reverse our strategy, and leave an hour later in the morning?
We tested this on "Palm Harbor to Tampa" and it shaved off 19 minutes!
We left at 9:10am and got to work in 32 minutes, compared to the 51 minute slog when we left before 8 a.m.
The Bottom Line
If you have the option of moving your schedule and leaving later in the morning, do it. It can save you a lot of time.