5 Ways To Stay Occupied During a Long Solo Drive!

5 Ways To Stay Occupied During a Long Solo Drive!

Written By: Alyssa Hanson

Posted to Blog on August 6th 2012


I DO NOT condone distracted driving. Do NOT perform any of these if you feel it will distract you from driving.

When I lived in Grand Forks, it was a four hour drive back home to central MN for major holidays. That was a painful drive, especially when you were driving it alone. Plus, heading back after a holiday usually meant I was on the edge of falling asleep.

Now that I live south of the Twin Cities, the drive isn’t so bad. This past Saturday night, though, I was still fighting to stay occupied and awake during the hour and a half drive. I acknowledge that driving while drowsy is really stupid, but it happens. You start your drive home, and after sitting still for 15 minutes, your body wants to shut down and chill out.

I present to you my list of ways to stay alert and pass the time.

1.) Alphabet Game

I started this one on my Saturday drive home. It’s pretty simple: pick a theme like food, businesses, etc. Then, go through the alphabet and find a word to match the letter and the theme. And speak it out loud, that way you don’t get lazy about it. Sometimes, it requires extreme creativity. For example, while doing the food category, I was unable to think of a word for R. I could have gone with ‘raisin’ or something, but instead it was ‘race car cake.’

2.) Listen to aggressive music

This is different than listening to LOUD music. For me, aggressive music has a powerful bass behind it and the lead singer is pretty much SCREAMING the lyrics at me. Some bands that work for this: Avenged Sevenfold, Slayer, Rise Against, Thrice, and so forth. For the older generations, try Inna Godda Davida.

3.) Bounce Your Left Leg/Caffeine

A long time ago, I had a high school teacher tell me that if you take an ibuprofen and you’re still in pain after half an hour, go for a walk. It gets the blood pumping and works the medicine into your system. This also works for caffeine.

Many times, I’ll sip caffeine drinks while driving, but it won’t kick in until I’m home and ready for bed. Bouncing your left leg, if you have the room for it, is really effective for getting it into your system quicker. Even if you aren’t drinking caffeine, it helps keep you awake just by pumping blood through your system.

4.) License Plate Game

This one is my favorite! Mom and I started this one when I was younger. It’s different than license plate bingo. Take the letters you see on a license plate and turn them into an acronym. For example, 243 KYB turns into ’243 Know Your Beans!’

5.) Drink Water/Take Potty Breaks

Aside from caffeine, be sure to drink lots of water. Water’s good for you, and plus the frequent bathroom breaks (if you have time for them) mean getting out of your car, walking around, going into lit buildings, and waking up a little.



Filed under Articles Written by Me, Uncategorized

3 responses to “5 Ways To Stay Occupied During a Long Solo Drive!

  1. Marcia brown

    Thanks for the great tips!
    If I may add three more that I have found effective:

    1) buy a big bag of popcorn and a water. Eat one kernel at a time. Chewing seems to keep me awake.

    2) put on favorite music or not and sing loudly.

    3) plan ahead and bring along a gripping book with a good reader (book on CD that is) and listen to the story. Best for rural driving.


    Singing loudly to music always helps and opening a window!

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