Hitchhiking is one of the cheapest ways of traveling. By tradition, hitchhiking is defined as soliciting a ride by standing at the edge of a road, facing traffic, with one's thumb extended/upwards.
* Buy a map of the area you are going to travel * Some hitchhikers recommend taking a foldable bike as back-up transportation * Make sure to carry enough food and drink if you're going for a long trip * Remember, hitchhiking may be illegal in some areas or on certain types of roads * Learn the language, at least a little * Be prepared to walk all day * Some people swear that bright colors with high visibility get you away quicker.
* Getting a ride at night is very difficult. * Avoid places where traffic cannot stop legally. * Roadside picnic areas are good. * Gas stations where many cars stop are good. * Land borders where traffic has to stop are great.. * Highway rest areas are ill-advised, particularly in the USA, due to the number of "disturbing incidents" at these locales. An exception to the "rest area" rule is the commercial rest area on toll roads. * Don't try to catch a ride from downtown, instead catch public transport to the edge of town.
As an alternative to waiting by the roadside, many websites allow users to try to pre-organize hitch hiking trips. Sites in different countries use different systems, but it is best to find a site which concentrates on long-distance and one-off trips rather than regular commutes. For example:
* If you arrange a ride through a ride-matching website, you can request the ID number of the driver who offers the ride; give this number to someone at home. Ask for this ID when you meet the driver; most will understand this precaution. * Wear at least some of your valuables (i.e. passport, wallet, money, etc.) under or in your clothes, rather than in your pack. Keep them in different places. * Keep your bag or backpack in easy reach. * Sit in the front passenger seat, if you can. * Choose a car with a single occupant or a couple rather than the last seat in a car full of people. * Take care who you get a ride with. Some criminals prey on hitchhikers * Note the vehicle registration, and its make, model, and color before you take a ride. Text this information to a friend.