How To Survive Long-Distance Road Tripping – Sleeping During The Trip

You are almost all ready for your long-distance road trip! If you’re anything like me, you’ll value your sleep. There are a few options out there when it comes to sleeping during your road trip.

The Belvidere Oasis in Belvidere, Illinois.

This is a complete how-to on long-distance road tripping. Check out the following topics below to better prepare yourself for the road ahead.


When it comes to staying in an actual bed, hotels/motels/hostels are the way to go. I recommend this option if you have more of a disposable income. Usually on the Interstate there are blue signs letting you know if there’s a lodging place at the next exit. You’ll usually find your run-of-the-mill Motel6, Motel 8, Holiday Inn/Express, Microtel, etc…

Apps like Hotel Tonight are fantastic on getting a decent place for a fairly inexpensive price.

If you like to plan ahead on where you’re going to be staying if you want to stay on the road for a limited amount of time, I’d highly recommend an app called “Hotel Tonight.” This app is available for iOS as well as Android devices. What Hotel Tonight does is it searches for hotels for deals around your local area, or if you’d prefer at a specific location. It searches for hotels and motels but does not search for hostels.

HostelWorld is a website and app (iOS and Android) where you can search specifically for hostels around the world. A very inexpensive way to get some rest on your way while possibly making new friends. Hostels are also a great way for a family to sleep together in the same room while keeping lodging costs down. A lot of hostels can accommodate families into the same room without sharing the room with other strangers you don’t know. If you are a solo traveller and like to mingle and socialize, hostels are a fantastic way to go about it while keeping your wallet thick. However if you prefer your privacy or in general don’t like being around a lot of people you don’t know at all, then hostels are not the choice for you.

Rest Stops

I’ve personally slept in my Mazda many times at rest stops all across the country. Since my budget is usually limited, I prefer to forego the hotel/motel/hostels for a rest in my own car. You’ll never pay for entrances to these rest stops and they’re literally littered everywhere on the Interstate systems. You’ll almost always find a rest stop somewhere just after a state border crossing.

Rest Area Signs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are usually white on a blue background.

There are a very wide variety of rest stops all across the US. Ranging from “Wayside” rest stops to full-service rest stops including a gas station, restaurants and restrooms. Most rest stops though are simply a place to rest with access to restrooms — and that’s it.

You can sleep in your car in a variety of positions and sections. If you own an SUV/hatchback/wagon then you’re much better off compared to a coupe or a sedan. The extra openness and practicality really helps in creating a roomy and comfortable place for you to rest your weary head. I’ve seen people simply just sleep in the driver’s seat with the back reclined. Cannot tell you how uncomfortable that is! My recommendation: if you can spare the room, fold down the rear seats (assuming your rear seats fold flat), shove your belongings into a corner, put down a comforter and lay down. If your rear seats don’t fold flat, use the hump to set your pillow onto and rest your head here. Trust me, it’s so much more comfortable to lay down instead of reclining back in a seat that’s not meant for sleeping.

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