How to Sleep in a Car: Practical Tips to Camp in Your Car

Owning a car undoubtedly equals freedom! If you have the urge to travel and you have saved some cash, you can pretty much go anywhere you want! Just take a few days off, open the map, and pick a place- it’s as simple as that. In today’s article, we will show you how to save money while on the road in your car. Yep, that’s right! We will tell you how to camp in your car. Who needs a hotel when you already have a roof over you!

Traveling as a Passenger

Road tripping is a lot of fun! However, if you are headed to a place that is far away, you need to prepare yourself for the naps you will take while traveling. For all the avid adventurers out there, packing all the essentials is a children’s game. Still, if you are new to all this, here is what you need to pack to get the best out of your trip:

  • Clothes (comfortable ones)

Tight jeans are great, but not when you are about to spend 14 hours sitting in the same position, trust us! When you are traveling as a passenger, and you plan on sleeping in the car, you need to make sure you pack some comfortable clothes.

  • Pillow

No, don’t take your bed pillow with you! Buy a travel pillow that you can place around your neck. It will support your head and neck and won’t take up that much space in your luggage.

  • Travel blankets

Travel blankets are great for those of you who spend a lot of time on the road. Still, even if this is your first long trip, a travel blanket will help you get cozy and will keep you warm.

  • Eye mask

If you plan on starting your road trip early in the morning, you may feel sleepy during the day. While the driver won’t get the chance to enjoy a few extra hours of sleep, as a passenger, you can put on your eye mask and get your beauty sleep while on the road.

  • Water and food

If you want to save some money, we suggest you pack some food and drinks with you before leaving the house. That way, you will also save time as you won’t have to stop to buy food from the gas station. But how is that related to sleep?

Well, sleeping while traveling will definitely make you feel thirsty and hungry, so you have to be prepared! Also, don’t forget to get yourself some breath mints! If the next comfort room is miles away, these little fellas will save the day.

  • Music

It does not matter how many hours you will have to drive, as long as you have your music with you! So, load up your USB, take that old disk with you, charge your phone, and everything else you can think of! Music calms your mind, so it will be perfect for the driver and for you as well!

  • Pick a seat

Basically, you can either sleep in the front or in the back seat. The former means you get to recline the seat while still wearing a seat belt. However, sleeping in the back seat means you’ll get more room, and you’ll even be able to lie down.

  • Toiletries

Well, it is only logical that aside from clothes you should also pack your toiletries. Make sure you get your toothbrush, deodorant, toothpaste, and all other self-cleaning essentials you use.

Camping in Your Car

Taking naps in your car is one thing, but using it as a tent is something completely different. Camping in your car is once again a great way to save money, but in order to get the best experience possible, there are a few things you’ll have to do:

  • Make sure your car is in perfect condition

Engine, tires, air conditioner- check everything you can think of! The last thing you would want is to stop in the middle of nowhere because your car broke down! Bringing your car to an auto shop is also a good idea, especially if you plan on having a long road trip.

  • Secure a spot that allows overnight parking and camping

There are many apps online that will help you find places where you could stay legally without being bothered. There are both paid and free locations, also known as designated campgrounds. If, however, you prefer the wild life, you could always opt for dispersed camping.

U.S. Forest Service roads, for example, are open to overnight camping. National forests and BLM lands are also widely used for dispersed camping; just make sure you are not camping on a designated site or on land that is listed as ‘off-limits’ for camping.

  • Make sure everyone has enough space

If you are not traveling solo, you need to make sure that there is enough space for everyone in the car. All of you should keep your heads elevated, and if you have parked on a hill, your heads should be turned to the highest part. That way, you will make sure your blood flows properly.

  • Ventilation

You need to make sure you have constant and clean ventilation. Car air conditioners are great while traveling, but you probably won’t be able to use them while sleeping, so make sure you leave a few windows open. If you have a pickup truck, you can decide whether you want to sleep inside or outside.

  • Fill your water bottle with hot water

This is a great hack that will keep you warm at night. If you are using a sleeping bag, you can fill your Nalgene or another water container with hot water and put it inside the sleeping bag. The heat will then spread, and you will feel warm even during a cold night.

  • Keep your feet warm

Another great hack you can try is to stash your dry clothes in the bottom part of your sleeping bag. That way, your feet will be kept warm, and you will be able to sleep better.

  • Use your clothes as a pillow

If you have forgotten to bring a pillow, you can always stash your clothes in a sack and use it as a pillow. Always use a pillow while sleeping as it provides head support and improves your sleep.

  • Get a headlamp or bring hang lanterns

Headlamps and hang lanterns will illuminate your interior and allow you to spend some time reading or organizing your things. You can hang them from your car’s handles. What’s more, they will be really useful if you decide to do a bit of hiking at dusk or dawn.

  • Download a movie

Just imagine how cool it would be to watch a movie lying in your car. Make sure you download it on your phone or tablet before you get on the road, as you may be camping in a poor service area.

  • Use a cooler

As we already explained, food is pretty much the most important part of our adventure. You need to make sure you have everything needed packed! If you plan on packing cheese, meat, milk, or other perishables, bringing a cooler is also a great idea. We also recommend pre-chilling the cooler with ice blocks or ice before putting any food in it.

Wrap Up

Road trips are the best way to spend some time away from the busy life in the city. Still, they require some money, especially if you plan on sleeping in a hotel. But why do so when you own a car? Your car has seats, windows, and a roof – it’s pretty much a room waiting for you to sleep in it!

We wrote this article to help you get the best out of your road trip and to make sure you have packed everything needed for high-quality sleep. Read our piece carefully, and make sure you follow our tips!