Hitchhiking is not only the cheapest way of traveling but also the most exciting one as it allows you to have so many experiences in short period of time. You will;
- meet a lot of people and maybe even befriend someone
- get frustrated or mad after hours of waiting, but the feeling of getting a ride after waiting for such a long time is good
- you will be exposed to very interesting music (see below)
- you’ll get better at sign language
- your faith in humanity will be restored
- you will hear insider stories from your drivers
- and more
Hitchhiking is not fun and games only as it involves a risk of being picked by a potentially unsafe driver, so if in doubt turn down the ride.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of 15 essential hitchhiking tips everyone should know.
1) Think twice before you decide to hitchhike. Why? Hitchhiking is not about getting a free ride only, it’s also a WALKING ADVENTURE, so be ready to walk. And sometimes to walk all day!
2) Buy a good road map. It’s gonna be useful when deciding whether you should accept that ride or not.
3) Try to learn the language at least a bit as it will help you have a conversation with drivers. Sometimes they decide to pick up hitchhikers for one simple reason – they are bored and they appreciate company. You will also have a higher chance of getting that ride if you speak your driver’s language.
4) Have a supply of food and drinks with you.
5) You will of course first use the public transport and then go to the outskirts of the town to hitchhike.
6) NEVER accept a ride into the center of the city if you are traveling long distance and between big cities. Not only you will lose a lot of time, it will also be hard to come back to the highway.
7) When at the border, it’s better to cross it on foot and then hitchhike from the other side. Why? Drivers are more alert and they don’t feel comfortable transporting other people through an international border, so you might have more success from the other side.
8) Gas stations are a good place to hitchhike. You can always ask people around for a ride and the chance of success is usually pretty high.
9) Getting a ride at night is really difficult and not recommended.
10) Some people will react mean or try to make a joke on you. Don’t let that discourage you! You are awesome! 😉
11) Usually people who stop don’t go all the way to your destination but you can ask them to leave you at a better spot or at the next gas station.
12) Hitchhike with a friend. Not only it’s more interesting, it’s also more safe. A girl and a guy is the best combination for hitchhiking.
13) Walking along some roads like highways can get you warned or even arrested. Although you may have the right to walk along most roads, it doesn’t bother to check which one you can and cannot.
14) If you are entering a truck, take off your shoes. This is especially true for the part in the back. Truck drivers spend most of their time in a truck and they treat it like it’s their home.
15) In EU there is a law that forbids more than two people in the front of a truck. That also means if there’s two of you traveling you won’t be able to pass an international border with a truck and will have to cross it on foot instead.
What do you think about hitchhiking? Would you do it or not? If you already did, do you have any other tips to share? Feel free to comment below.