Long drives can be both boring and somewhat stressful, and late night drives become especially tiring after hours and hours on the road.
Listening to engaging audiobooks, podcasts, and talk radio are just a few of your road trip entertainment options to stay alert on long drives. But what are some other tips to help keep yourself occupied when the long road starts to get to you?
Caffeine Is Your Friend
Caffeine improves your attentiveness, and nothing beats a strong cup of black coffee to jolt your senses awake. If nothing else, the bitter taste will wake up your taste buds while you’re waiting for the caffeine to hit your bloodstream. Pull over for a hot cup of joe at a roadside convenience store, as frequent stops to stretch your legs will also help to get your blood flowing. If you don’t like the taste of coffee, consider an energy drink or even just a cold beverage. Try to avoid anything containing too much sugar; a sugar crash can result in drowsiness and brain fog after digestion.
Share the Drive
Bringing a buddy along for the ride and stimulating conversation is a good way to stay sharp when the miles seem to go on forever. Your friend can also provide road trip entertainment in the form of games like “20 questions,” “Name that Tune” or “I Spy.” “Slug Bug” (or “Punch Buggy”) is also a useful game because the physical contact can help keep your overall awareness high. Plus, you can take turns driving and ease the burden.
Chew Gum or Sing Out Loud
Chewing will keep your mouth busy and help you stop yawning, helping you to avoid the feeling of needing to doze off. The same can be said of singing, and trying to remember lyrics will stimulate your brain. Anything that keeps your mouth moving to stifle those pesky yawns will be a boon to your long car trip.
Open a window or lower the temperature of your air conditioning. You don’t want to be icy cold, but a strong, cool breeze in your face can help you stay fresh and ready. Just keep the vehicle a few degrees below your ideal temperature; too warm will just make you sleepy.
Road trips and long drives on the highway can get monotonous and even dangerous if you start to lose focus. But with a few handy ideas to amuse yourself and keep yourself alert on the drive, you’ll be ticking off mile after mile in what will feel like no time at all.
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