A Guide to Hitchhiking

Bored of buses, trains and driving try something new?

Hitchhiking provides a new means of transport. It not only takes you from A to B for free but it will give you some giggles along the way. Yes – you must have your wits about you. After-all, getting in the car with a total stranger is something we have all been told to avoid from a young age.However, it will give you experiences to remember for a lifetime.

Here are some top tips to getting that free ride:

Physical Appearance – it is important to scrub up well. No one will stop for a smelly, greasy looking traveler. Invest in a hat, to hide those messy locks, wear a fresh t-shirt and a great big smile. If you look jolly, clean and fun, people are more likely to stop to give you a lift.

Location – Stand somewhere sensible. For example near a lay by where drivers can stop easily. You want to make sure to stand on the right side of the road too. Find out the road that takes you to your chosen destination and stand there. There is no point standing on the road to San Diego if you want to go to San Francisco. It is best to stand on a straight road so drivers can see you from afar and slow down in good time.

Travel in twos – it may help to be with a buddy. This way you can keep spirits high while waiting together. It is also safer with someone else. This is not to say do not hitch hike alone (can be just as good and sometimes just as successful). Weigh up your options.

Patience – do not give up, sometimes it will take a while to find a lift (from 10 minutes to hours on end). The true meaning of hitch-hiking is indeed to hitch (ask for a ride) while hiking (walking). Consequently, you can walk along the road as you stick your thumb out. In this way you are not remaining static but journeying and getting closer to your end destination.

Sign – this is personal preference. I never used a sign when hitching a ride but some people like to write where they want to go on some cardboard. This can be great. However, people may not stop if they are not going where your sign says, which can be a shame because they may be going somewhere better or give you a lift half way.



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