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Hitchhiking is considered to be one of the cheapest ways of travelling. Yet, hitchhiking could be somewhat challenging and risky, as you come face to face with strangers. In the next travel hacks series we bring you first-hand tips to get you prepared for your next hitchhiking adventure.
1. Before you accept a ride, first try to find out whether the person is trustworthy, also in riding skills. If you doubt about safety, always refuse.
2. Ask people directly at gas stations. This might feel scary at first, but works 10 times better than just standing besides the road with your thumb up.
3. Once you have found a ride, tell other people about the details such as where you are going to or with whom you are on a ride.
4. Try to hitchhike with other people, not by yourself. Preferably with at least one other male traveller. However, don’t make the group too big. More than 3 people becomes difficult.
5. Try to always carry a road map with you, either printed or on your phone. By doing so you can see where the best spots are for getting out of the car again, so you don’t have to bother the driver with that task any longer.
6. When you are in a place with many other people who are hitchhiking, don’t stand with them for too long. Hitchhiking with several people does not work.
7. Don’t put your luggage in the trunk, you might forget it. Try keeping it with you instead. Always check when you are leaving a car that you have all your belongings with you. You will not be the first person who forgets something important, but has not written down any contact information of the driver.
8. It might be tempting to accept a ride to a place that is not so strategic. Example: the driver needs to go to a small village. Although that location might be far away and on your route and thus seem right, the chance that you will find a ride there is small. Rather wait for a more strategic ride. In other words, always take into account that the endpoint of each ride will be your next starting point.
9. Don’t stand besides the road with the destination on a plate. If you do so, people can see where you are going to directly. For safety reasons, it is better to ask them about their destination first, without fist telling your own. By doing so you can make sure that they are not making up a destination.
10. As you never know how your hitchhiking trip will develop, make sure that you bring enough water, food and other things you need. Also, take into account weather conditions and pack appropriately. You might unexpectedly have to stand somewhere for hours. That’s a part of the big adventure of hitchhiking.
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