An unforgettable adventure while visiting new places and recognition from interesting people. This is how hitchhiking travelers usually describe their journeys. Are you dreaming of a trip for the cost of a smile? You will find a plethora of practical tips in our guide.
Not all of drivers are fond of hitchhikers. The internet is full of stories about passengers who do not care about hygiene or are under the influence of alcohol. The cars' owners wish to avoid a ride with this type. However, perpetuating this image of all hitchhikers is simply unjust as well as harmful. In every environment we can find "black sheep", however hitchhikers are mostly nice, open and cultured people. They generally lead interesting lives and are known to be excellent road companions. How to join in on their fun? Marzena Chrobot, a traveler with long-term experience will answer for you.
Plan your journey and pack strategically
Contrary to appearances, hitchhikers do not go wherever the road carries them. As a rule, they do not improvise and stick to their plan. Thanks to their strict strategy, they save on transport and are able to visit places they couldn't normally afford.
A hitchhiker also will not go without required documents or knowledge of the language, basic rules and customs of their chosen destination. They search for routes as short as possible but keep track of more populated roads. “When planning a hitchhiking trip, travelers have to look at the map a bit differently than we would when taking a more traditional mode of transportation. It is much easier to catch a ride where there is more traffic. However, this doesn’t always mean the shortest and fastest choice,” says Marzena Chrobot.
In traveling blogs, prospective pilgrims will find hints on what to take with them. "It is worthwhile to approach this matter individually and reflect on what we will truly need," the expert says. However, the most logical and necessary items are medical supplies, cosmetics, a sleeping bag, mats, a flashlight, comfortable clothes, a reflective vest, a raincoat and a permanent marker. It's pointless to pack too much as everything will be carried.
How to hitchhike?
It appears that the most difficult part is getting started. Later on, each and every stop and vehicle that takes us is more and more pleasurable.
Experienced travelers think that the key to getting rides is a clearly written destination on a piece of cardboard. We can always ask for a piece of cardboard in a shops, however, it's better to keep the lucky marker in a handbag. Good opportunities for hitchhiking can be sought by the exits of petrol stations and parking lots. However, avoiding highways is key because the stopping of vehicles is not allowed and poses a threat.
Drivers are more likely to stop at the sight of a clean and neatly-dressed person. “A lot depends on our attitude and appearance, so a smile and visual contact with the driver is very helpful. Your first impression matters. If you are perceived positively, soon there will be someone who will drop you even further than previously agrees upon,” says Chrobot. When traveling abroad, notes in different languages are useful especially with a detailed description of the journey's goals. It is a good gesture to give a small gift to each driver, such as a miniature flag of your home country.
Safety is most important
When hitchhiking, special attention should be paid to safety. Just in case of the worst, you should buy pepper spray. It is a good practice to remember or write down the registration number of cars you are getting into. It is best not to fall asleep while in a vehicle as we are, ultimately, traveling with perfect strangers The route should be navigated on a map before your trip and during the evenings, for our own safety, we should wear a reflective vest.
Exchanging currency abroad is expensive. Taking care of this necessary step before leaving home is smart. However, do not to carry too much cash on your person. To avoid the possible loss or theft of our funds, hikers can take advantage of the online currency exchange services. A currency wallet, which is available on Conotoxia.com, is exceptionally useful. “Our users can conveniently deposit money into their currency wallet. When exchanging orders, they will receive the required currency after only a few hours. And more importantly, especially to the frugal crowd that hitchhikers are, it is cheaper than many other offers,” says Piotr Kiciński, vice president of Cinkciarz.pl.
“Before leaving, insurance should be purchased in order to prevent being exposed to high costs if there is an accident. On the road, we should care for the appropriate storage of documents and money. It is sensible to keep money and documents in different places, hidden throughout the pockets of our belongings. However, even the best advice concerning safety won't replace common sense and vigilance,” the traveller is adding.