Easy Traveling for Students: Guide to Hitchhiking

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November 3, 2015

Easy Traveling for Students: Guide to Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking is an easy and cheap option for college students who wish to explore other parts of the world or to get from one place to another without the cost of car ownership. College is a logical time to explore and experience adventures before graduation, job commitments and family obligations ensue. There are some tips that newbies and experienced hitchhikers should know before embarking on the unknown.

Tools For Success

There are many things students should know before hitchhiking. First, preparation is the key to avoiding potential issues and risks. Part of preparation is ensuring everything one needs for the adventure is in a light backpack. Water and small snacks are essential in case you are stranded in a desolate area. Also, include a map, preferably in book form that is sturdy and contains information about the area. Have a raincoat and multiple layers of clothes to protect you from the wind, sun and elements. A light blanket and a pocketknife are helpful in case of an emergency. While exploring other areas, you may still have deadlines for coursework. You may consider a writing services when you are out on the road. You may access helpful information from Internet cafés along your route. 

Best Ways to Get a Ride

Where to stand when asking others for a ride is crucial to your success. Stand in an open area, where you may be easily spotted. Avoid areas that are very congested or too far outside of town. Some places forbid hitchhiking, especially on highways and ramps. Intersections and just at the edge of town offer the greatest chance of success.  Gas stations, youth hostels, restaurants and local pubs are also good places to ask around and see if anyone is going your way. Often drivers will be happy to give you a ride. Do not wear sunglasses or anything else that obstruct your face. Drivers will be more likely to pick you up if you are dressed neatly, in bright colors and have a smile on your face. It is a good idea to carry a sign with the name of your destination or the direction you are headed. Make it big enough for drivers to see. Try to ensure you are dropped off as close to your destination as possible. If that is not possible, request to be dropped off in an area where you are most likely to get another ride.

Manners Matter

If you are picked up, there’s somehitchhiker etiquette you should know. Always be friendly and offer your name. Ask the driver questions about themselves and offer a little information about you. Do not smoke in their car or put your feet up on the dashboard or seats. Be considerate and use appropriate language. If you are in a country and you don’t speak the language, attempt the local language. Effort is always appreciated.  You may have the good fortune along they way to stay with travel buddies.

Safety Counts

Be safe! Do not get in a car with someone you don’t feel comfortable with. Trust your instincts always. It’s better to ride with a single driver rather than a car full of passengers. Keep valuables on your person, not in your bag. Take a photo of the car as it approaches and send it to a friend. Carry pepper spray in case. Have fun, make logical choices and enjoy your travels wherever they may lead.

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