The Ultimate Guide to Hitchhiking Internationally
I know what you're going to say, "Kayden, hitchhiking? Really? Only creeps pick hitchers up" and yes, it's important to take precautions although there are many countries where it is beyond safe to hitchhike and actually quite fun. For this post, I brought in my amazing friend Jill to give us the inside scoop on how to hitchhike like a boss.
First, research before you go anywhere!
Read about other's hitchhiking in the areas that you want to hitchhiking. The more you know, the more confident you will feel. If I am hitchhiking alone, I only hitch in countries that seem safe to me. Iceland, Denmark and Switzerland are among the safest countries and I feel totally comfortable hitching there.
When I hitchhike, I always get a good look at the person/people in the car and I ALWAYS trust my intuition. If my gut tells me to not get in the car, then I won't. I also like when the person picking me up, also takes a look at me to make sure that I'm not sketchy. It gives me peace of mind to know that they wouldn't just pick anyone up because they are worried about their own safety too.
Sometimes it can take a long time to get where you need to go. Be prepared with enough food and water to get you through the day. Know where all of the hostels or campsites are along your route if you don't make it to your end location in time. Keep a map with you that has your route drawn out.
Decide if you want a sign.
Sometimes, signs help to take you longer distances although often it will discourage people from taking you a few kilometers because of they are not going the full distance. I usually don't use signs because it keeps the day open to adventure and serendipitous moments but if you have to get somewhere then a sign can be useful.
If at all possible, wear clean clothes and take a shower. I typically find that it's easier to get rides if you look nice and tidy.
*And finally, remember that you are never entitled to getting a ride from someone. Think about how many hitchhikers you have passed by in your life for various reasons. No one has to offer you a ride and at the end of the day, you are your own responsibility. Hitchhiking can be fun and a great way to meet people from all walks of life! If you feel confident, go for it. You never know who you're going to meet.