Last summer Chris and I drove 12 hrs straight thru to Durango, Co. I have a 2014 Ford Focus hatch-back with just enough space in the back seat for one of us to pass out in for a few hours while the other takes his turn while driving. I had already a few tricks to stay awake while driving, being that I drove back from climbing in Austin usually pretty late in the days. Chris had a few other tricks to staying awake from his adventures along the Pacific NorthWest. I thought I'd share a few:
Eating food is an awesome way to stay awake while driving. I have no clue the science as to why it works, but if you keep shoving gummy worms into your face hole you will keep your eye balls open. We used some strange cereal type stuff Chris brought along on the drive to Colorado. Just be careful when storing the food you eat in the car. A dog ran out in front of the car in New Mexico and I slammed on the breaks and the cereal when ALL OVER, mostly the floor.
Music and Singing to music horribly is my favorite way to stay awake in the car. I'll get down to some Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Coldplay, Drake, but my ABSOLUTE jam is "Jumper" by Third Eye Blind. The song has a great story in it and an EPIC ending where you can scream your heart out at all the sh*t thats going on in life. It's very cathartic, and I always feel wide awake after I've had a good yell sesh to a good song.
Listening to Comedians on Pandora/Youtube is something Chris and I discovered after Chris got sick of hearing "Ophelia" by The Lumineers for the 500th time or something. There's really nothing like laughing uncontrollably with one of you best pals in the car. Mainly nothing like having your best pal on a road trip, really an awesome time.
Deep thought is something I'll slip into sometimes. I've driven back from Austin with nothing but my mind keeping me awake before. Enthralled in a thought or idea I drive for hours contemplating decisions, or actions that I could've done different. Contemplation on the future or what to write next for the site. Really all things that you can dive your brain into wholly can keep you wide awake even in the dead of night.
Of course if none of these things are working, you're probably just exhausted and need to pull over and take a break. I've pulled into gas stations, Wal-Mart parking lots, residential neighborhoods, and good ole camping spots to rest my eyes and mind during a long drive. No shame in taking a break to keep you alive for your next adventure!