So you’ve decided to hit the road when the stars come out. Driving at night can be a challenge, with many risks that arise due to the decreased visibility. Another issue is your eyelids—staying awake can get tough.
Keeping your mind alert is crucial to night driving; that’s why we made this list. If done safely, night driving can actually be less stressful as you’re contending with less traffic. The twinkling stars, big moon, and welcoming street lights all provide a vibe that’s perfect for road tripping.
Here’s our list of things to help you stay focused on the night roads. Start that playlist of your top tunes, or enjoy hours of Autoweek’s QuickSpin podcast. Just remember: If you’re too tired, pull over. Your safety—and the safety of the other drivers—is the utmost priority.
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USB Device Charger
Your phone’s gonna run out of juice eventually, so make sure you have one of these car chargers with two USB ports. Compatible with both Apple and Android phones, it also comes in handy when you need to charge any other devices. Make sure you have your own cord.
CraveBox Care Package
The old saying goes, “If you’re chewing, you ain’t snoozing.” And there’s plenty of chewing to be had with this 45-count snack box. Containing everything from Goldfish to Laffy Taffy, snacking on the road might not be good for your love handles, but it’ll help you stay alert.
Insulated Drink Cooler
What’s the use of having those snacks if you don’t pair them with drinks? Fill up this cooler with some chug jugs of your choice—its 7.8-liter capacity is enough for 15 cans. Make sure you plot out some rest stops on the way, though.
These ain’t your grandma’s spearmint sticks: These little gumballs pack a serious punch that’ll vaporize any drowsiness. The “Super-Uber Mint” flavor will clear out your sinuses like wasabi, and the unintentional WOOOH! that accompanies your chews will likely awaken the neighborhood you’re driving through. Comes with five packs.
LED Work Lights
If anything does happen out on the road, you don’t want to be caught in the dark. These compact LED lights fold down to just six inches and are perfect for rummaging through a suitcase or changing a flat tire.
Compact Travel Umbrella
The minute you leave without an umbrella, it starts to rain cats and dogs, right? This compact umbrella measures 11 inches closed and fits neatly into a bag or under your seat. The vented canopy means you won’t be whisked away by the wind, Mary Poppins-style.
A more active way to shed the sleepiness is to pull over and do some jumping jacks, stretches, or even a short jog. Getting the blood flowing will do wonders to liven your mind for the next few hours of road time. These women’s sneakers are great for both driving and exercising, and we like this pair of sneakers for men that do the same.
Car Seat Organizer
This organizer is a handy way to keep the essentials close by. It features nine multifunction pockets that can hold drinks, tissues, and your phone for easy access. It can also function as a garbage container, so you’re not drowning in empty granola bar wrappers.
Spare Headlight Bulbs
We’re using these Sylvania bulbs as an example, but you should always have a spare headlight bulb or two on the road at night. Make sure any bulbs you buy are catered to your exact vehicle, and brush up on the replacement procedure if one does go out.
Stelvision 365 Sky Map
If it’s a clear night sky, recognizing the constellations ahead of you can be a good activity to keep passengers busy while talking your ear off to help keep you awake. It’s also a great roadside activity to try on your next break. You can rotate the disk depending on the date and time, and it’s accurate until 2023.
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