Hitchhiking is often met with a lot of prejudice. When the topic is brought up in a group of friends, most people express their belief that hitchhiking is dangerous and advise against it. Women, in particular, may also be confronted with disturbing accounts of sexual assault when talking about this mode of transportation.
Now put aside the prejudices. There is always the possibility for everything. Whether it’s hitchhiking or your everyday life. While it’s natural to have concerns about potential risks, it’s also important to remember that we can’t let fear hold us back from experiencing new things. We can’t let the possibility of a plane crash prevent us from traveling, right?
Of course, you should be careful and wise when hitchhiking. However, don’t let prejudice keep you from having such an adventure. Once you do, you’ll find that there’s nothing to be afraid of, because it’s not at all over the top. Once you hit the road, you’ll see how many hitchhikers there are. Many more men and women hitchhike across national and international borders than I expected.
Moreover, hitchhiking isn’t just about lack of money. Of course, there are those who prefer it for economic reasons, but also those who prefer hitchhiking while they can travel in the most luxurious way. If there’s anything more important than keeping your money in your pocket, it’s experiences and adventures you can’t get anywhere else. Hitchhiking is a way of life for some. It’s a challenge to the system and to consumption.
Hitchhike to car or trucking rig?
If you’re on a decent road, a vehicle will pick you up after ten minutes at the latest. Of course, if you’re very lucky (!), you may have to wait. Everyone’s experience can’t be the same. Besides, drivers are just as worried as you’re. Be patient. That’s part of the fun.
If you want to hitchhike interurban, you can use public transportation to reach highway rest stops or exits, as these are common places where hitchhikers wait for rides. Otherwise, cars can’t offer you a ride even if they want to. While you’re waiting for a ride, you can also try walking with your thumb out so that passing drivers will still notice you (unless you have a heavy backpack that makes this difficult). This will give you a time advantage in case the cars don’t give you a ride.
Not only truckers, but all types of vehicles can stop for hitchhikers, but traveling by trucking rig can be really comfortable. If you’re a single person, you can also hitchhike to bikers.
Tips for hitchhikers
- Try to make eye contact with the driver while waiting on the road. The person you have on your radar will be more willing to give you a ride.
- You can write your route in capital letters with a highlighter on a white cardboard. However, I prefer not to do that. First, I ask them where to go. If I don’t like them, and we’re going in the same direction, I name another place. I thank them and continue my search.
- If you’re hitchhiking with two or three people, there is a greater chance that the vehicles will stop. If you’re more than three people, you can hitchhike by splitting into groups and joining together at your destination.
- Wear easily recognizable clothing, especially when hitchhiking at night. Also consider weather conditions. Don’t dress too revealingly, though, sisters. Wear comfortable shoes, because you’ll be walking a lot. Also, take a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, because you’ll be in the sun for a long time.
- Better to ask the way than go astray, but don’t forget to download an offline map to your phone.
- Use a flashlight when hitchhiking at night. It’ll draw attention to you and make you visible.
- If you want to smoke after getting into the car, even if the owner smokes, ask permission as a courtesy. Speak out of both sides of your mouth. It may be that someone doesn’t like unnecessary deer, or on the contrary, a parrot appears.
- Finally, you get into someone’s car as a guest. It’s not your dad’s car that you can stop whenever you want. So take snacks and water with you.
Safeness for hitchhiking
- Although hitchhiking is generally nothing to be afraid of, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety. One important tip is to not stand too close to the edge of the road, as this can be dangerous. Instead, try to position yourself in an area where vehicles can see you from a distance. A distance of about 100 meters is usually enough for drivers to decide whether or not to stop and give you a ride.
- When you get in the car, immediately call (or pretend to call) a friend and tell them you’re on the road. You can even send the license plate, color and model of the car with a message. During the chat, indicate that your friends will pick you up at your destination.
- Even if the vehicle that stops for you is on your route: If you don’t like it, don’t get in. So you ask him where he’s going first and make a quick observation. There’s no reason you have to get into a stationary vehicle.
- Hitchhiking at night may pose additional safety risks compared to hitchhiking during the day.
- If you want to hitchhike, there are several online forums and groups where you can connect with other travelers and find accommodations. Some of the most popular options include Hospitality Club, Interrail Hitchhiking, and CouchRail (I personally used CouchRail for a while and had success finding fellow travelers through the platform). These platforms are a great way to find trustworthy people to hitchhike with, making your trip safer and more enjoyable.
- If you hitchhike alone, don’t stop vehicles with more than one person.
- Carry pepper spray and a pocket knife, but this may be illegal only in some countries, be careful.
- If there is a problem in the vehicle, and you want to get out, you can give reasons such as nausea or openly say that you have changed your mind.
Finally, friends, it’s important to remember that hitchhiking is an adventure and that you’ll have some memorable and possibly nerve-wracking experiences along the way. However, keep an open mind and don’t let setbacks get you down. Instead, focus on enjoying the trip, the great experiences, and the people you’ll meet. Be sure to take lots of photos and make notes in your notebook to remember all the exciting moments.
So, set your itinerary and head for the damn city exits.