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Tips to stay awake on a road trip

Updated on August 10, 2012

Every year I have to drive my Grandfather to Florida from Missouri. It can take anywhere from 19 to 22 hours depending on what route we take. I am leaving to take him tonight when I get off of work and I thought it might be handy to write a Hub on ways that I use to stay awake. An FYI I drive straight through without letting him drive at all because his driving scares the shit out of me.

1) I take a cooler with me loaded down with lots of drinks to keep me awake. My favorite drink is a Starbucks doubleshot, this thing has enough caffeine to kill an elephant. Another drink is a 5 hour energy drink. In my opinion these things taste horrible, but it does keep you awake.

2) Listen to music that you do not like at all. I like a lot of old music but I find the God awfullest music that my Grandfather likes, but that I despise. This causes an argument in your head for hours on how much you hate the music.

3) Roll down the window. This can be good and bad. The cold air hitting you in the face does wake you up, but it also makes you want to piss like a racehorse.

4) Stopping off at a rest stop or gas station. This is nice to get out and stretch. I get out and walk around for a few and let the blood circulate. maybe get some snacks.

5) Snacks. I found the best snacks to be things that you can chew on. I usually get beef jerky, sunflower seeds, corn nuts, and/or bubble gum. Another good one is chewing on ice, but I try not to do too many liquids during the trip.

6) Talking. One thing about this trip is I get to talk to my Grandfather during most of the drive. It keeps me awake and it is nice that I get to learn a lot of things about him that I would have never known otherwise.

My Grandfather is 86 years old and refuse to stop off at a motel or hotel. We have to rush all of the way through so he can get to the other end and watch television. I stopped questioning it years ago. But this is the reason that over the past 8 years I have become a master at staying awake during long trips. If I ever started to fall asleep then he would want to take over on the driving, and like I mentioned before that scares the hell out of me. He sees brake lights and punches the gas until right before impact then he locks the brakes up, he refuses to let people in front of him because they might slow us down, he follows so close to the white line that I am scared that we are going to hit telephone poles, mailboxes, or other cars, and as of this year his eyes aren't as good as they used to be. If you have the chance to pull over and get at least a 15 minute power nap, then I highly recommend it. God bless and stay safe out there.


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    • daskittlez69 profile image

      daskittlez69 5 years ago from midwest

      That would definitely not be good. Thanks for stopping by TexasBobby

    • TexasBobby profile image

      TexasBobby 5 years ago from Deep in the heart.

      Enjoyed the hub. If I am afraid of falling asleep though I just let my wife drive. I can fall asleep a lot easier while I am driving... than I can while she is driving.

    • daskittlez69 profile image

      daskittlez69 6 years ago from midwest

      Thanks for stopping by Peggy. You are absolutely right about the bonding time. Life is short, we should spend as much time as possible with those that we love. As well as learn about who they truly are.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Road trips are great fun...but 22 hours non-stop...not for me, I'm afraid. I had the opposite marching orders one time when I drove an elderly family friend from McAllen, Texas all the way up to Ely, Minnesota. She did not want me to hit ANY interstate highways if possible (had to at some points) and we stopped every day between 4:30 to 5PM to look for a night's lodging. Then up by for an hour, look for a breakfast stop at get the idea. Very regimented...but I had a great time up in Ely before my return flight home which she paid.

      You actually have some good ideas for staying awake in your humorously written hub. Voted useful and funny.

      The best part of all is the bonding time and learning more about your grandfather. Hope you get to enjoy many more trips with him.

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

      ThoughtSandwiches 6 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Hey das...thanks for taking us along on the road trip with Gramps! I like that he won't stay in a motel and you no longer question that fact. You have much better ideas than me...I tend to chain smoke and the pure foulness of the practice keeps me awake. Great hub!

    • daskittlez69 profile image

      daskittlez69 6 years ago from midwest

      Thanks for stopping by Danette. It seems the older I get the longer that trip gets. We made it safely though.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      hope your trip went well. I always told my kids better to have protein (cheese, the beef jerky) rather than sugar. Protein is brain food and will keep you alert. Sugar just gives you the short high.

      I love road trips. I remember getting off work on a Friday, napping, getting up at midnight to drive 12 hours from lower Mi where I grew up to visit my sister in the Upper penninsula, arriving at noon, visiting for 1-1/2 days, driving back home Sun and going to work on Mon. But that was when I was 18, 19, 20 and smoked to keep myself awake the whole trip. Did I say smoke? LOL that and cigarettes kept me going. (don't do either any more)

    • daskittlez69 profile image

      daskittlez69 6 years ago from midwest

      Thanks for stopping by Arlene. I am sorry to hear about your accident. I am glad you made it through okay.

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 6 years ago

      This is very interesting. I have to hand it to you because I couldn't do the Starbucks or the energy drink thing. The last time I drove and thought I had it under control after working graveyard, I woke up to find myself wrapping my Geo around a tree and the windshield was breaking in slow motion. There was blood all over the place because the air bag broke and split my cheek (requiring 47 stitches). I don't do well with caffeine. I drank Go Girl once and was awake for 2 days. When I go on road trips, I sleep and let my husband do the driving. I gather up the money and pay for the trip. It's the least and safest thing I could do. Voted up, useful, funny and interesting.

    • daskittlez69 profile image

      daskittlez69 6 years ago from midwest

      lol, thanks for stopping by Lapse. I have never tried "conservative talk radio douchebags" I might have to give that a go. It seems if I play music that I like, that I start drifting off. But music I hate keeps me going.

    • Lapse profile image

      Lapse 6 years ago from East Coast Rules

      I agree and like the ice chewing suggestion. After you finish your fountain beverage, eat each piece of ice. You get more miles out of your drink.

      Never tried music I hate as a method. I myself prefer talk radio. Maybe the music is more soothing, but I find the talk keeps me more alert. Unfortunately unless you bring an audio book or something like that, there's a lot of luck involved in finding a good talk station. I do end up listening to conservative talk radio douchebags a good deal though. HA!

    • daskittlez69 profile image

      daskittlez69 6 years ago from midwest

      Thanks for stopping by eclecticme. You are right you do look like a nut. The good news is that you will probably never see those people again.

    • eclecticme profile image

      eclecticme 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Car dancing is always good. Of course you look like a nut, swaying and bopping in your seat, but it keeps you awake. Stay safe.

    • daskittlez69 profile image

      daskittlez69 6 years ago from midwest

      Thanks for stopping by Zabbella. You are right I would definitely stay awake, frightened out of my mind but awake.

    • Zabbella profile image

      Zabbella 6 years ago from NJ-USA

      Good advice on the friend made a CD entitled "Driving Music" It's wild,loud and can certainly keep anyone awake! On the other side of the coin...with your grandfather driving, you WILL stay awake.

    • daskittlez69 profile image

      daskittlez69 6 years ago from midwest

      Thanks for stopping by Sam. I hope you enjoy Virginia.

    • Sam Dolloff profile image

      Sam Dolloff 6 years ago from Maine

      Road trips are tons of fun! I took a trip this year from maine to Virginia and am planning to move down to Virginia from Maine in the next two weeks! That trip is about 15 hours but I do it all at once and I do all the driving.... 5 Hour energy shots, Amp, and Espresso Shots are my friends. :) great hub and enjoy your trip tonight!