Hitchhiking is not just about getting a free ride and saving money. For Taylor and Dino it is a way of life; a real adventure while traveling, a genuine way of meeting people, experiencing culture and having fun! They tell us few tips and why they choose to hitch rides while sharing some experiences.
Why hitch hike?
“It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive”, says a Japanese proverb.
Hitch hikers pick this way of traveling for many reasons. We quote the following:
- It is free!
- It is good for the environment: reduces the pollution and minimises traffic.
- Provides spontaneous adventure: you never know what is going to happen next.
- You meet people from different backgrounds, cultures and values.
- You live in the moment.
How to get a ride
There’s only a few yet important rules that improve your chances in getting a ride.
1. Take the most used route.
2. Carry a good map.
3. Be in a good, safe spot.
4. Stay positive, smile, laugh, and make eye contact with drivers.
5. Avoid tight deadlines.
Hitchhiking is very rarely prohibited, however there can be laws stating when and where it can take place (ie. not on highways, near intersections, at bus stops, etc.) It can sometimes be a grey area, and it is encouraged to keep up-to-date with local laws to stay out of trouble.
Africa There are rarely issues with the laws here, but rather more precaution should be taken with health (malaria, hygiene, etc.) and safety (rough roads, no seatbelts, etc.) You may be expected to pay for the ride.
America In the north, hitchers are often requested to show photo identification, and so must carry a driver’s license or passport with them. Some police will offer rides. In some states of the US ‘soliciting a ride’ (showing your thumb, holding a sign) is illegal. In South America the situation differs from country to country. In Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Venezuela, hitching is popular and well tolerated. However in some of the poorer countries, there can be less rides available and it can be more dangerous.
Asia Different in every country. Research specific location before hitching. It’s a common practice for many locals, especially in South-East Asia.
Australia It is illegal in ‘no pedestrian’ zones, eg. highways and bridges. As long as you are not putting yourself or anyone else in danger, it is generally well tolerated. Laws can vary from state to state.
Europe Hitching is legal all over Europe. However stay clear of motorways where pedestrians are banned and the ‘Autobahn’ in Germany.
Most of the information provided above has been quoted from the following online communities, which contain valuable tips and information for new and advanced hitch hikers:
Enjoy the trip!
Music by Davy Graham “Lost Lover Blues”