How to Sneak Out at Night When Your Parents Are Awake

If you’re in your late teens and early twenties, living with your parents can be somewhat stifling, no matter how amazing they are. You wouldn’t be the first person who’s ever wanted to escape their home without upsetting their family. You might even try to figure out how to sneak out quietly when your parents are awake. But would that be such a great idea?

Obviously, I can’t condone going outside without your parents’ consent if you’re a minor (especially at night). Even if you’re a young adult, you should know better than to disappear without a trace.

But that can’t stop us from dreaming about the great escape, can it? So with that in mind, let’s strategize!

The Benefits and Disadvantages of Different Exit Points

As I see it, if I don’t help you sneak out behind your parents’ back, someone else will. In that case, I might as well ensure that the information you’re getting is tried and true. Just consider me an older cousin who has way too much experience slipping out of different houses.

Before you call the cops on me, allow me to explain. Throughout my late teens and early twenties, my family moved homes several times. Being an outgoing youngster, I had to come up with different escape methods to suit each new home we ended up in.

Did I get caught on numerous occasions? Yes. But I’d venture to say that getting busted should only give me more authority to speak on this subject. After all, I know all the pitfalls you’ll want to avoid.

For example, the path that will take you outside from the comfort of your home is the most precarious part of any getaway plan. Each house presents a set of new challenges, which you’ll have to factor in as you go. As I point out some of those obstacles, you should keep an eye out for the ones I couldn’t foresee.

Pick a route when sneaking out.

Front Door

Going out of the front door is probably the boldest option you could choose. Sometimes, it’s even necessary — like if you live in an apartment with no fire escape. But you may not want to risk it, especially if the door is located right next to the living room or kitchen. You might have to walk right past your parents to make your escape.

Still, if you gauge that leaving through the front door is a viable possibility, you’ll have to test out the whole route leading up to that point. Later on, we’ll talk about the best ways to prepare for a trip like that. But for now, I’ll just recommend taking a can of WD-40 spray with you, in case any door handles need taming.

Kitchen or Back Door

If you live in a house that has an extra door in the back or kitchen, that might be just the lucky break you need. Generally, people aren’t as vigilant with that entrance, so your parents wouldn’t expect you to try any funny business. However, if that door is in a state of disuse, its groaning might expose your attempt.

If you do manage to open it quietly, you might just find yourself stuck in the backyard. But even if the fence doesn’t have a door, I wouldn’t call it an insurmountable hurdle.

You can always get a chair to boost yourself over the fence. Before you do that, though, figure out which of your neighbors’ yards has a convenient path to the street. And remember — if you have to get this inventive going out, you’ll probably have an even harder time coming back in.

Garage Door

Many houses are also connected to their garages, which could be a viable way to escape your home. The benefits of taking this route include the fact that you’ll be that much closer to your getaway vehicle — which we’ll also discuss later. But this path isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

After all, most garage doors make a disconcerting amount of noise, and there’s not much you could do about it. If it’s a metal, roll-up kind of door, it will clamor no matter what. So unless you really need to grab something from the garage on your way out or your garage door is miraculously inaudible, I wouldn’t recommend this option.

Ground-Floor Windows

If your room is on the ground floor of your house, nothing could be easier than hopping out of the window and calling it a day. Your only concern should be with opening the window quietly, but you won’t need much to achieve that.

However, unless you stash a boost outside of the window, you might have some trouble getting back in. Overall, though, this is a pretty cut-and-dried method, so I won’t waste much time on it.

First-Story Window or Balcony

If there’s absolutely no way for you to get out of the house from the ground floor, you can attempt a more daring getaway. Hopefully, your room has a big window or balcony that’s conveniently located next to a sturdy trellis. If not, maybe it has easy access to the roof of the porch or another way you might get to the ground safely. Or, if you live in an apartment building, perhaps a fire escape would do the trick.

But no matter how exciting and romantic it might feel to jump to freedom from the balcony, I advise caution. After all, we’re way beyond incurring our parents’ wrath here. I’m sure you’re not eager to be known as the person who broke their legs because they underestimated the height of their first-story window.

Choosing a Quiet Getaway Vehicle

Once you’ve made your way out of the house, you won’t be able to stop and celebrate your fearless stunt. There’s still a chance that you might get discovered, so you’ll have to make your getaway quickly and quietly. Depending on how you intend to spend your time outside, your choice of vehicle may vary.

Obviously, going on foot would be the most inaudible option. However, you’d probably be slow enough to spot, especially if you’re taking off in the middle of the day.

Still, you should at least walk to the next street over before switching to your getaway vehicle. But which mode of transport would most suit your needs?

Personal Vehicle: Cars, Trucks, or Motorcycles

If you have your driver’s license, you could always hop into your car or truck and hit the road. But if you’re trying to leave your parents in the dark about your escape, I’m going to assume that you’re not the owner of the vehicle. Needless to say, you shouldn’t drive the family car without asking your parents’ permission.

Of course, I have no objection to taking your own vehicle. But if you don’t want your parents to hear you book it, you’ll have to prepare accordingly. Ideally, you’ll have planned for your absence in advance and left your vehicle parked down the street. If it’s in the garage, your parents will certainly hear the engine starting.

If your car is egregiously loud, you may want to implement some soundproofing measures. That should make it quieter the next time you want to sneak out while your parents are awake. On the other hand, if you park the vehicle in front of the house, you may be able to roll it down the street before starting the engine.

Additionally, if you’re trying to sneak out at night, you’ll want to do something about the headlights. After all, you don’t want your parents clocking you when the lights hit the windows, do you?

If you live in a low-traffic neighborhood, you might be able to get away with not turning the lights on at all, at least until you’ve made your escape. Conversely, if you live on a busy street, the lights and noise coming from the other vehicles may conceal your own.


Aside from running off on foot, riding your bicycle is the quietest option you have. And it’s one you’ll be able to choose even if you’re not old enough to have a driver’s license — though, in that case, I can’t recommend sneaking out without your parents’ consent.

Bicycles are pretty much the most convenient mode of transport if you’re only planning on traversing a short distance. If you just want to meet some friends at a park or get some snacks on the down low, I can relate. I’ve made plenty of similar trips by bike, too.

Things only become tricky if you want to go into a building without having a place to secure your bike. But you should be fine as long as you bring a chain lock, and there’s a street light you can chain your bike to.

On the other hand, if you’re planning on partying, you probably shouldn’t get behind a wheel of any kind. Fortunately, there’s one last option you can consider if your plans involve alcohol.

Ridesharing or Public Transportation

Don’t drink and drive — it’s a rule we’ve all heard countless times. But what’s the alternative? You have to get to your destination one way or another. I’m sure you know where I’m going with this.

In my opinion, the quietest and cheapest way to get to a party is to just catch a bus. In fact, the only thing public transport isn’t good for is coming back home — especially when you’re inebriated. You’ll probably end up sleeping past your stop.

Fortunately, there are better alternatives for coming home after a night of partying. Namely, there are plenty of ridesharing apps you could use, and though one might think they’re extinct, taxis still exist. You just need to save some money for cab fare — don’t spend it all on booze! And that brings me to my final point.

Getting Away With Sneaking Out Scot-Free

Now, there are some things you ought to keep in mind if you want to make it through the outing unscathed.

Put Your Plan to the Test

In my youth, my unauthorized outings were the result of some pretty impulsive decision-making. But since I went out without my parents’ knowledge fairly regularly, I knew all the best routes out of the house.

If you’re not familiar with the floor plan of your home, I highly recommend acquainting yourself with it. Take a stroll through your house, attentively listening for any stray sounds your footsteps might produce. That should give you ample time to deal with squeaky floorboards and door hinges between your bed and freedom.

You’ll avoid suspicion by doing your walk-through in a low-stress situation, not ten minutes before fleeing the premises. So once you decide on one of the exit points I’ve suggested above, try it out a few times before committing to your plan.

Prepare for Your Absence

When the time comes to give your parents the slip, you’ll have to prepare for your absence. There are several ways to do that, including:

  • Making it known that you’re going to bed, though you can only do that at a reasonable hour
  • Making your bed look like you’re in it if you’re not in the habit of locking your bedroom door
  • Playing some music to cover up any noise you might make while going out (I recommend playing a YouTube video and turning the autoplay feature on)
  • Turning on a white noise fan for the same reason
  • Having a sibling cover for you

But remember — you don’t want to arouse your parents’ suspicion by doing something that’s out of the ordinary for you. So cover your tracks with things you do regularly. You can’t expect your parents not to react to a locked door if that’s not something you’ve established as normal.

Lastly, before you go, make sure that your phone is fully charged. Don’t go out without having everything you’ll need to make your trip safely, such as car/house keys and cash.

Make a Quiet Return

When you’re ready to come back home, you’ll have to be just as sneaky when coming in as you were when going out. At that point, your parents may even be asleep, which could be a real blessing.

If you’re unable to take the same route you took when going out, you’ll need to find an alternative. I don’t mind telling you that I wasn’t always in the mood for climbing the trellis up to my room upon returning home. Climbing down was generally less frightening. So, I always kept a spare key to the front door somewhere in the yard.

If you’re planning to come back in through a window, make sure to keep it slightly ajar. Or, if you have siblings, they could open it for you. You definitely don’t want to have to break the glass. Trust me — there’s no way to do it quietly enough.

Lastly, when you finally get in, make it a point to avoid or appease noisy pets, if you have any. Don’t let your dog expose all your hard work by barking when you come home. When your parents discover that you’ve been gone, you’ll regret not getting a quieter pet.

Mischief Managed — Now Celebrate!

Hopefully, these tips will help you get away with your caper. They certainly helped me in my time! Now, all that’s left to do is celebrate the victory — that is, if it doesn’t come back to bite you at a later date!


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