15 Essential Tips Every Beginner Hitchhiker Should Know

8 Posted by - May 12, 2014 - Advice, Blog, Hitchhiking

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.

Hitchhiking from Belgrade to Zagreb

Here I’ve compiled a list of 15 essential tips every beginner hitchhiker 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.



  • JP Chartier May 15, 2014 - 4:47 pm Reply

    So glad I found your cool blog! I love it, the song you posted is awesome, I enjoy the middle eastern vibe 🙂

    I’ve had to hitch-hike in the past and always had good experiences, and met some interesting people too.

    • Zorica May 15, 2014 - 7:14 pm Reply

      Thanks for the comment and welcome! 🙂 Yeah the interesting thing about hitchhiking is that it’s always unpredictable!

  • Nejc May 17, 2014 - 3:06 pm Reply

    I hitchhiked a lot when I was in high school – usually on the way home from school. I also often stop hitchhikers.

    I had 6 negative experiences all in all but countless positive ones.

    Had drunk drivers twice (only noticed after the drivers already started driving), had two car accidents when I was a hitchhiking passenger (once it was just a bump, the other was a terrible accident with 5 cars involved and me being hurt), had a men trying to have sex with me (bailed from the car and saved my ass, haha) and once I stopped a lady hitchhiker that stinked like cow’s shit and didn’t want to get out of the car when we arrived to her home town (se wanted to take me to the local bar where she could brag about what a hot boyfriend she has, hahaha).

    Besides those crazy “adventures” I had a good time. 😀

    • Zorica May 25, 2014 - 2:30 pm Reply

      Okay that’s crazy for real! 🙂 Also had a drunk driver once, who wanted to take me and my friend for a beer!

  • Citizenne July 20, 2014 - 1:23 pm Reply

    Good tips above…..also to bear in mind when hitch-hiking is that most people in their cars are ONLY travelling to a LOCAL destination and therefore WON`T stop…this often leaves the hitcher feeling down and despairing of ever getting a lift…but the above is worth thinking about…choose your spot to hitch with a little thought beforehand…and make sure you`ve good shoes or boots on your feet for all that walking !!!

    I`ve not been hitching for more than 30 years but often did as a teenager around Europe…I always eventually reached where I wanted to go…had a few odd experiences such as guys getting their “dicks” out and masturbating while driving on the Auto-route at 130 miles an hour…and mad and drunk ex-soldiers with rifles at their side insisting on driving to very out of the way places to show me the beauty of a certain rural spot (that one had be really frightened)…but he turned out to mean well even if he did scare the wits out of me…MOSTLY,people were helpful and friendly though…and I look back with nostalgia at my time of hitching…I`m thinking of getting my sleeping bag and taking to the highway once again…I`m now 55 years old and the kids have all grown up (if not gone away yet !!) and the pull of “freedom” is hard to resist…seems it may also be easier to get about now too with all the technology to help such as phones and the sharing sites that are on them…one thing has certainly changed though…I`ve more cash these days and won`t need to pass on by those places I needed to pass by when I was younger ad starving but had no cash…at least I`ll eat every day !!

    Maybe see ya` on the road…good luck to y`all.

    • Zorica July 28, 2014 - 4:31 pm Reply

      Hi! Thanks for the comment. I agree, people are mostly traveling to local destinations, but sometimes it’s not a good idea to reject a drive from them because they can take you to a next gas station or a better place for hitchhiking. Comfortable shoes are a must I agree 🙂 Good luck on the road!

  • Hitch-Hikers Handbook August 23, 2014 - 11:47 am Reply

    Great tips, guys! We absolutely agree with you!
    And what would you say about carrying signs with names of your destinations. We find that many people don’t understand the idea of HH and they often wouldn’t stop at all if they see a place on your sign they are not going to directly. So in our opinion it’s much more efficient to just hail the cars and discuss the ride after they have stopped. Would you agree?

    • Zorica August 24, 2014 - 8:01 am Reply

      Hi, thanks for the comment. In that case I agree with you, having a sign sometimes it’s not useful and discussion with the driver might be better than having a sign. Driver can always leave you at a better spot or next gas station.

  • Agness of aTukTuk April 2, 2017 - 11:15 pm Reply

    These are the ultimate tips for beginners, Zorica! Thanks a bunch for sharing!

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