Don’t we love long drive down towards the countryside? Breathing fresh air and sometimes allowing ourselves to get lost in nowhere. Driving is therapeutic for some people. It is also their form of meditation. If you have a car and enough cash, then you are good to go wherever you want. No one will dictate to you what to do and where to go.

And if you get exhausted, you don’t have to spend on a hotel because you already have a roof over you. All you need is to improvise a little bit. Some people even camp in their own car. This can help them save more money and, at the same time, scratching out a number from their bucket list.

How to sleep in a car

There are two different ways for you to sleep in your car. One is when you are a passenger, and you are traveling. And the other one is camping in your car. Road tripping is a fun and exciting adventure. You will never know where you will end up and what you will be doing there. But one thing is for sure is that you will be having a great time.

The only thing that you need to keep in mind when you are traveling is how to keep yourself comfortable when you sleep in the car. If you are an avid adventurer, it is not new to you to pack the necessary essentials. But if you are new to all these, all you need to do is keep reading this article and you to be informed about the dos and don’ts in road-tripping.

Road trip: Sleep as a passenger

  • Comfortable clothes

Wherever you go, you must be wearing your comfortable set of clothes. You don’t want to travel around wearing tight jeans and a hot shirt. It will make you feel uncomfortable whenever you are out for an adventure. And if you feel tired during your journey, you can just sleep comfortably on your seat. Also, packing your favorite loose pieces of clothing can ensure that you will no longer have to worry about garment comfort during your journey.

  • Good travel/meditation music

A good partner whenever you are on the road is a good set of music. Tune in to your favorite music while you drive. It can also help you fall asleep easily and allow you to sleep comfortably. No matter how long it takes for you to reach your destination, as long as you have your music with you, you are good to go.

Meditation music is also good for traveling. It can help you calm your mind as you drive. And it can also make the passenger fall asleep easily and comfortably without worrying about their surroundings.

  • Pick where to sleep

You have two sleeping options if you are a passenger. Either you can sleep in front or at the back. The advantage if you sleep in front is that you can recline the seats at the same time wear the seat belt. It is also great to sleep in the back because you will have all the space. You can even stretch your legs out and lie down however you want.

  • Travel pillow

There are different kinds of travel pillows in the market for you to choose from. One of the most popular is the neck pillow. It is basically a C-shaped pillow that you can place around your neck. It supports your head whenever you fall asleep and leans wherever it falls. Another pillow is your own bedroom pillow. If you want extra comfort when you fall asleep during your road trip, a bedroom pillow will be the best choice. It is like bringing a piece of your bedroom with you wherever you go.

  • Eye mask

All road adventures often start during the day. You sometimes leave the house at dawn, and you get to catch the sun rising as you drive along the road. And if you feel sleepy during the day, an eye mask or eye patch will be your best buddy. It will keep your eyes from the glare of the sun. This way, you will be able to sleep properly early in the morning as you travel.

  • Travel blanket

Do you want to get extra cozy as you sleep during your travel? There are travel blankets made for those people who are always on the go. Most especially if they travel most of the time, and if you are on a road trip, better pack yourself one or two travel blankets. These blankets will keep you warm whenever the weather is cold. Or if the air conditioner’s temperature is too cold.

See also – Washable Weighted Blankets (2021) Buyers Guide & Reviews

  • Airbed/ Air mattress

A mattress is designed for us to lie on. It is for us to relax and sleep after a long day from work or whatever it is that we were doing during the day. But if you want to relax and at the same time go on a road trip, airbed/air mattresses are made for this. It is a mattress on the go for everyone who wants to bring comfort wherever they go.

There are different kinds of mattresses available in the market. But this is the perfect one for you if you are into traveling and adventure. You can easily set it up at the back seat or at the back part of the pick-up truck. And there are different sizes of air mattresses for you to choose from to fit the car that you are using.

  • Food and water

Traveling long-distance means longer waiting time to eat the right and proper foods. Before leaving the house, you should pack your food and drinks. This can help you save money and time from buying. How are food and water-related to having a good night sleep? We already know that sleeping can also burn a certain amount of calories.

Sleeping during traveling can also make you feel hungry and thirsty. Most especially if you are inhaling cool air conditioning temperature. It will make your mouth dry and make your tonsils feel weird. And sleeping at a different time might make you miss a meal or two.

  • Toiletries

It is already a standard operating procedure that when you travel, you must bring your toiletries with you. All of your self-cleaning essentials are there. Your toothbrush and deodorant are the most important items of your toiletries. It will keep you feeling fresh wherever you go. Even if you are traveling. You don’t want to wake up with a bad breath when you are on the road, right?

  • Breath mint

If you forgot to bring your toothbrush or the next comfort room is a mile away, you can always go for breath mints. It can keep your mouth fresh for hours. Even if you sleep without brushing your teeth, as long as you had a breath mint, you are good to go.

Converting your car into a sleeping area when you are on the road is easy. Finding different ways of keeping you comfortable when you travel is one way to enjoy your adventure. And also to keep yourself and everyone’s energy up as soon as you reach your destination.

But taking naps in your car is not the only thing that you can do. You can make use of your car as a tent as well. Camping in your car is one of the things that you can do if you want to save money from checking in a hotel.

Related article – How to Travel and Sleep Comfortably on a Train?

Sleeping in your car: Camping

  • Double-check the condition of your car

First thing before you leave your house for a long trip, you should double-check the condition of your car. It is good to ensure the engines are running properly, the tires have enough air, and the air conditioner is working properly. The last thing that you want whenever you are traveling is to stop in the middle of the highway because your car broke down.

If you plan to have a long road trip or a car camp in the future, better bring your car to an auto shop. This is to make sure that there is nothing wrong with your car. And it is also for your own safety as you travel. And according to, you can make use of any car to camp with. As long as you are wise enough to make yourself comfortable when you sleep in it.

  • Find the right place to park

There are two places where you can have a car camp. In the middle of the woods or in a public parking lot. The traditional style of car camping is highly recommended. It will give you no worries, and it allows you to do whatever you want wherever you are camping. Camping in rural sites can be fun and challenging. As if you are doing your best to survive any kind of situation with minimal resources. But it is a fun and exciting experience for everyone.

Modern day car camping is already in public parking lots, most especially near a convenience store or a shopping mart. Camping in parking lots is a common thing for those people who are always on the road. Most especially if your entire life is already on the road.

Having a peaceful environment when your camp is one of the many things that you need to think about if you plan to camp. And camping in your car is easy because if in case there are any emergencies, you can just start the engine and go. But if you want to have a little bit of adventure, it is good to research the location that you are going to. To ensure that nothing is going to happen to you and to whoever you are with.

  • Ensure of your privacy

Another thing you need to consider if you plan to camp is to ensure your privacy. It is the same as the reason why we have walls in our houses. This is to make sure that everyone has their own private time. And you don’t want any random stranger to check you out whenever you are asleep in your car.

Or even yet changing your clothes while you are camping. Camping is not as easy as it looks. You are away from the comfort of your home, which is why you need to be alert and be wise enough to do things at home with minor revisions when you are camping.

  • Make sure to have a well-circulated ventilation.

Air conditioners are made to keep you cool whenever you are in an enclosed area. And to keep yourself from suffocating. Make sure that you have clean and constant ventilation. Most especially if when you sleep at night. There are two ways when it comes to camping in your car.

You can sleep inside or outside (if you use a pickup truck) in the car. You can also extend the space of your car by attaching a tent to it. But be sure to have windows so that you will be able to breathe properly and comfortably.

  • Make your campsite comfortable.

Camping is like extending your home outdoors. And in order for you to enjoy your camping site, be sure that it is as comfortable as your home. Keep it clean and organized so that everyone will be able to have a good time. A clean and organized campsite can help give you a good quality of sleep.

  • Make sure everyone has enough space.

Everyone has their own position when it comes to sleeping. And if you are camping, you need to adjust yourselves so that everyone will have a comfortable space.

In any instances where you get to sleep in your car randomly whenever you are traveling long distance. But there are certain sleeping hacks that you need to learn in order for you to sleep peacefully in your car.

  • Keep your head elevated

The reason why you need to keep your head elevated is that it gives you good quality sleep. And according to, if you are sleeping on a hill, turn your head to the highest part. This is also to keep your blood flowing properly and avoiding too much blood upon your head.

  • Use clothes as your pillow.

If you don’t want to carry a lot of things whenever you are camping, you can make use of your clothes as a pillow. Stash them in a sack, and it will become your pillow. You will no longer have to worry about head support if you have a few pieces of dry clothes and a sack. A sack can be from your sleeping bag, and make use of it as a pillow.

  • Dump all your dry clothes on the bottom part of your sleeping bag

Another trick in keeping yourself cozy is to stash all of your dry clothes on the bottom part of your sleeping bag. If you have warm and comfortable feet, your sleep will be as good as if you are in the bedroom.

If you think about it, sleeping in your car is like sleeping in your bedroom. Only that you took your bedroom away from your house. There are many ways to making your road trip more fun. One of the most important things that you need to remember when you are camping in your car is to keep all of your things intact.

You will no longer have to worry about a messy back seat or trunk when you are already at the place where you will be camping. It will be easier for you to grab the things that you will need if you place them in an organized manner. Sleeping will be more comfortable as well if there are no things that are scattered in your car. And you can position yourself however you want to as you lay down.

  • Use your Nalgene to warm your sleeping bag. says that if you fill your Nalgene or any water container with hot water and place it in your sleeping bag, it will give you warmth. The heat will spread throughout your sleeping bag so that you will have enough warmth when you sleep during a cold night.

Wrapping it up

Sleeping in your car has a lot of advantages whenever you are traveling. If you follow the advice from this article, you will be able to achieve your road trip/ car camp goals. As long as you and your friends are comfortable when you are sleeping in your car, you guys are good.

Double check the things you need to avoid any hassles from your trip. Make sure your car is in good condition. This is for you to be able to drive without any problems on the road. The important thing when you are sleeping in your car is for you to be able to get a good quality of sleep. This is for you to save enough energy so that you can do all the things you will do as soon as you reach your destination.

Article References:

Written by: George Dupler

George Dupler. Mr Dupler is a chef, travel writer and a travel journalist. He is also a Hotel Critic and a food critic. He was the Head Chef for Waterfront Hotel, Cebu. He is now traveling around the world and writing about the different kinds of food he encountered.

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