Hitch hiking

Tips for hitchhiking around the world

Hitchhiking might sound scary at first, but if you’re up for an adventure and you’re careful, it can be one of the best things you’ll do. Not only do you get free rides, you also get to know locals and travel in a more thrilling way. But if you’re a first time hitcher, there’s a few tips that you might need for getting your first ride. Take a look!

Check local laws

The first thing you need to do is check local laws. It’s not legal to hitchhike in every country in the world. For example, it’s forbidden to do it in Australia (although many people still choose to do it). But don’t take any unnecessary risks or disobey the law, it might not be worth taking that risk if you get caught.

Try to do it with someone

Hitchhiking with someone else is first of all safer. Secondly, people will be more prone to pick up two people, especially couples. A lone hitchhiker might look like a drifter, but traveling with a partner will look like two friends hitching a ride together.

Don’t hitch a ride inside the city centre

No one wants to pick someone up in the middle of the city centre. Instead, try to go to the highway and find a good spot where cars can stop. Make sure that drivers have plenty of time to see you so they can stop somewhere safely. The best thing is to get to the highway and try to hitch a ride with someone going long distance. If they’re only able to give you a short ride, make sure they don’t drop you off in the middle of nowhere.

Try to look decent

The first time I hitchhiked with a friend, the driver told us that he picked us up because he thought we looked decent, meaning we looked clean. It might sound like a strange thing to say, but would you pick up someone that you thought looked dirty? Probably not.

Don’t hide your face with shades or a hat

Drivers will want to see your face before they decide if they want to pick you up or not. If you’re wearing shades or a hat, they might not be able to determine your face and won’t offer a ride. Make eye contact, give them a smile and don’t look somber, even if you’ve tried to hitch a ride for hours. It’ll make you look more approachable and trustworthy.

Lastly, be confident

Hold your head up high, give a big smile and stick your hand out confidently. Drivers only have a few seconds to decide if they want to pick you up and they’ll most likely be more prone to pick up someone who looks like they’ve done this before.

Always be safe

It doesn’t matter if you feel like the person you just hitched a ride with seems like the best person in the world. Always. Be. Safe. And be on your guard. Tell everyone where you’re going, make sure you have connection on your phone, pin your destination on your maps so you can always follow where the car is taking you and keep your essentials within easy reach, just in case. Don’t’ take any unnecessary risks! If you feel like the driver who stopped to pick you up doesn’t seem reliable, don’t be afraid to say no. It’s always better to be on the safe side. Bring pepper spray or some other personal safety system too. If you’re already in the car and you feel like you want to get out, pretend you’re sick and need to stop. But tell the driver he doesn’t have to wait for you and try to get as far away as possible from the driver.

Other than that… Happy hitchhiking! The best part of it is getting new friends along the way, discovering new routes, hearing stories from your drivers and know that there are good people out in the world as well who are willing to give free rides to travelers. In some ways, hitchhiking does restore your faith in humanity, and perhaps that’s why so many people love it.

This post was brought to you by our friends at Microblading Boston.

Uzbekistan

Hitchhiking in Uzbekistan

Are you thinking of hitchhiking while traveling in Uzbekistan? Then there’s a few things you should think of before heading out. You see, hitchhiking in Uzbekistan differs a bit from the rest of the world. In most countries, the locals are familiar with hitchhikers and know when someone’s standing in the middle of the road with their thumb up, it means they want a free ride. Here… it’s a bit different. Let’s take a look at how hitchhiking is in Uzbekistan.

First of all…

Plan your route. Don’t just go on the road with no idea where to go or what to do. Know exactly where you want to go, pin it on your offline maps and tell everyone at home and friends where you are! Make sure that you’re always connected so you can see where you’re going and that you can call someone if something would happen.

Secondly…

Go to the highway. Don’t expect anyone to pick you up in the middle of the city center for example. The best way for you is to catch a bus or taxi to the highway so that it’ll be easier to find someone who’s going your way and for drivers to stop and pick you up.

Third…

Have patience. Don’t give up after a few minutes. It can take a while, depending on where you are, for cars to come pick you up, but they usually do.

What to know about hitchhiking in Uzbekistan

It’s important to know that it’s not very common to see foreign hitchhikers in Uzbekistan. But it is common for locals to wave a car in to catch a ride to their destination. However, it’s expected of them to pay then. So when you’re standing there on the road and want to get a free ride, locals might mistake it for you just wanting them to give you a ride for a bit of money. If you really don’t want to pay anything, make sure you say so before you enter the car. Tell them you’re a student who’s traveling with very little money and say that you can’t pay for the ride. If they accept, you may enter. Otherwise, ask them what the price is and if it’s too high for you, wait for the next car to come. Uzbeks are very hospitable people and most of them will try to help you as much as they can. But there are people who’ll want money for it. It could also be really useful if you learn some Russian before you start hitchhiking. Otherwise, it might be too confusing for the locals and they’ll just drive away after trying to talk to you. At least learn basic Russian words— you’ll come a long way just with that. Perhaps even to your intended destination!