How do you stay awake on a long drive?

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By: Nicholas A. TonelliCC BY 2.0
I’m about to embark on a weekend-long road trip. I’ll be driving, by myself, for 12 hours both there and back.

I’ve made the trip before and it sucked, but at least my radio/CD player worked. Now it’s busted, and I’m worried about getting tired on the road.

Anyone have any tips on how to keep myself awake without a passenger or tunes? -Cassie

This is a toughie. I’m all about cranking the tunes and singing my guts out on long drives. When I get tired of singing, there’s always audio books. But… driving sans radio? Ouch.

I’d recommend driving with the windows down. I also like to have something to munch on while I road trip. Sour Patch Kids for a sugar rush, or I pull over at the next fast food chain and grab the largest french fries they have. And coffee coffee coffee!

But, of course, the number one tip is to always be safe. Pull over and sleep if you feel too tired to go on. Even a cat nap can help a LOT.

Now it’s your turn, Homies. How do you make sure to stay awake without a radio on long drives?

Comments on How do you stay awake on a long drive?

  1. When we do the drive down south (New Zealand so always starts with a 3 hour ferry crossing) we scheduled breaks, make sure we eat light healthy foods often to keep our energy levels up without massive sugar spikes or carby tiredness and drink a lot of water and coffee. We make sure we have a good mix of really upbeat driving music (can’t fall asleep with skrillex blaring at you) keep the car a little cooler than usual and always stop for a 20 min nap if needed. We also play eye spy and 20 questions when we run out of things to talk about lol.

  2. My car has a radio, but no tape or CD player, so I bought usb powered speakers, and I plug them into my ipod, then I bought a usb adapter that plugs into my car’s cigarette lighter, and voila portable sound. I also have a wireless speaker that holds a charge after being charged via usb which is great because then you don’t have to deal with cords all the time, just while it charges.

  3. Ring Pops!

    I have travelled many 15 hour+ trips by my self and this is the best tip I have. Not only are they sugary but they make me smile so it makes the trip a little better.

    PLUS nothing makes me feel like more of a baller then having a huge ‘diamond’ on my finger 🙂

    Have a great trip

  4. Talk radio! Stitcher! Books on tape! Music gets too repetitive and lullaby-ish to me. I listen to a lot of This American Life and Savage Love podcasts. Radiolab. Freakanomics. It’s goood.

  5. 1. Water- even better if you have a water bottle with a straw so you don’t have to tilt your head back. Cold water keeps you refreshed, you aren’t eating a bunch of food, you can get more pretty much anywhere, and YOU’LL HAVE TO PEE EVERY HOUR! (either a distracting thing in of itself or a good reason to stop the car.) Maybe make a game of it and take pictures of all the ridiculous places you’ve had to pee on your road trip.
    2. Wint’O’Green Lifesavers- They’re one of the few candies that aren’t a rip off in gas stations. You get a whole bunch of um for about $3, and you can play games with yourself by making them last until the next town, or only allowing yourself to get a new one on mile markers divisible by 3 or something. Plus, delicious.
    3. Make up songs about your surroundings: “I’m driiiiiiiving, driiiiiiving through Kentuckey!”

    This is all from the person who drove 9 1/2 hrs with only a whale song CD and a busted radio. Yes, I sang along to that whale song.

  6. I used to drive 3-4 hrs to see my bf and sometimes the radio just wouldn’t help out. I would pull over and do 10-20 jumping jacks on the side of the road. I’m sure I got weird looks but it woke me up and helped me keep going.

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