Hitching a ride is not a very convenient means of traveling nowadays, especially when public transport systems have drastically advanced. In the modern society, factors like vehicle prices becoming more affordable and fuel prices dropping by unimaginable margins have significantly contributed to this. A lot more people can now afford to drive personal cars and travel at their conveniences.
However, you can’t always have your car whenever you travel. You can go to abroad destinations where you won’t have the luxury of your private vehicle. It has dawned on you that the destination route doesn’t have a well-developed public transportation system with regular or reliable cars. This situation is especially in remote destinations, where you can get forced to use unconventional means of traveling and rely on hitchhiking.
In modern societies where everybody minds their own business, hitching a ride is now considered unconventional for many reasons. Apart from the obvious security threats, nowadays, various people have many reasons for their reservations. But this attitude shift doesn’t mean hitchhiking is a thing of the past. You can still hitch a ride and conveniently travel around.
You must know where, when, and how to hitch a ride and travel stress-free to your destinations successfully. Because you must appeal to the few who are willing to help out, you have few options to on which to rely. You are not at liberty to dictate many conditions or circumstances around you at that time. Following these seven tips will make the process easier and more comfortable.
1. Have a Flexible Schedule
If you get forced to rely on hitching, it’s advisable that you create a flexible plan and shelf your rigid schedules. As you have very few variables under your control when you board a stranger’s vehicle, you can’t determine even the arrival time. The speed you travel at, for example, is not a decision under your influence. The number of stops or the road to use is entirely under the Good Samaritan’s will.
As such, you will find your schedule thrown off course or under strain. Because you don’t have the luxury to determine the when the ride arrives, timing in your plan gets strained a lot. So hitching is more suitable for adventure trips and not a reliable option for business travels with stringent time schedules.
2. Have Knowledge of Local Hitching Customs
If you’re not in your local jurisdiction, it’s advised you get some knowledge about the conditions around hitching. Having this information can save you a lot of trouble, especially if in that area hitchers are expected to adhere to some regulations like paying or behaving in specific manners. It is beneficial to know whether hitching is illegal in that area before you deploy the imploring thumb.
3. Safety in Numbers
Even though it might seem convenient to hitch a ride when alone, you have better chances when you are two. Psychological perception of lone travelers likely being up to some mischief can play against you. Two travelers are more appealing to having no mischievous intentions. So, if possible, have a buddy to accompany you on the trip.
Having a travel buddy presents several decisive advantages, apart from the fact that they offer a great company. You should, however, not have a third party on the trip as this will work against you. Three people asking for a ride have little to no chances of landing the ride. Randomly picking up three people is very budget straining, and can waste lots of time waiting.
4. Clean up and Dress Neatly
Shabbily dressing creates the impression that you’re up to no good. Escaped convicts usually appear unkempt, and you don’t want any resemblances to this image. You can quickly lose any chances you had for hitching that ride just through your appearance. Wash up, comb or shave your hair, and dress tidily in clean clothes.
A lot of people are sensitive to cleanliness, and dirty smelling clothes aren’t appealing. If it’s you giving the ride, you could appreciate if the hitchers are clean and not smelly.
5. Looks Happy and Smile
Hitchers rely on the ability to impress others for them to help out. Frowning and pulling sad faces are not appealing to many people and not a good strategy to create warm impressions. Approach them warmly, put on a smile, and make eye contact. Presenting a feeling of having nothing to hide makes you readily acceptable and increases your chances of getting the ride.
6. Choose an Ideal Location for Hitching
If you want to stop a car and talk to the driver passionately, you are not going to do it on the highway. Choose a stop where cars can amply stop without presenting hazards. Someone can’t risk their safety to help a stranger out, and it’s not fair to compromise anybody’s road safety. So choose to hitch where stopping a vehicle is easy, like in fuel stations, and convenient for your destination’s route.
7. Safety First
When it comes to safety issues, it is always good to have strong convictions and trusting your instincts. Be on the lookout for queer drivers and know when to say “no thanks.” You can escape nasty and uncomfortable situations, and you always don’t have to board that ride.
Hitching a ride can be a fun way of traveling and getting to meet and interact with new people. You don’t have an idea where the road will lead you, where you will spend the night, or how the ride will turn out. These odds are not necessarily unfavorable, and make things uncomfortable.
Let us know what tips have worked well for you if you’re a regular hitcher. We look forward to reading your comments.
About the Author:
Scott Pine is a team building coach in the social marketing sphere, expert in life insurance company, traveler, and car lover. Scott also works on several own projects, including AutoExpertGuides. Follow him on Twitter.