How to Hitchhike Safely

Hitchhiking can be an excellent way of traveling as it is free (or almost free), often quite comfortable, and you also get to mix with the local people. On the minus side, of course, it can be quite unreliable and also dangerous in some places.

Before hitchhiking for all or part of your trip always do your homework. Find out if hitchhiking is (a) possible and (b) safe. Women should note that it is usually easier for them to get lifts but not always safe, certainly not if alone, and possibly not even if traveling in pairs.

Always plan your route. Hitchhiking may be a casual way of traveling but you will do better if you know where you want to go and where you can get lifts. It is always important to stand where drivers can stop. Remember stopping on motorways and equivalent high ­speed roads is illegal in almost every European country. Plan your trip so that one lift will end where it will be easy to get another, ie at a service area rather than a motorway junction.

It always pays to look clean and respectable and dress as smartly as your circumstances allow. Lorry drivers might not mind picking up a scruffily dressed backpacker but it will certainly reduce the number of lifts you get in cars!

Finally, always put safety first. If you are in any doubts about the motives of the driver always demand that they stop and get out immediately.

Organized hitchhiking

Hitchhiking need not be a haphazard business. In some countries there are hitchhiking clubs. These clubs charge a small fee but will match you up with any drivers who are also members of the club and who are going your way. You can often find out about these clubs from tourist offices.

Filed Under: General How To's


About the Author: Carl Tackett is a travel enthusiast. He has traveled to over 50 destinations all over the world. Currently, he is residing in England. He loves to write about traveling and helping fellow travelers.

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