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Talk:Tips for hitchhiking

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Don't know whether to add these to the article or to create a new article... For now I'll just add them here. Guaka 13:03, 6 May 2004 (EDT)

Allostop is in French only and asks a little fee for every successfull ride. is a bit dated, but still contains some offers for a ride. is free and works quite well. You have to pay for getting rides with and it is a bit more complicated.

Hospitality Club link[edit]

I've removed the Hospitality Club link. I don't believe it meets our standards for using external links. --Evan 12:37, 8 Jun 2004 (EDT)

I didnt add it :-) But just readded it. Could you give some reasons why it doesnt meet those standards??
Mostly that it's not a first source. --Evan 12:15, 9 Jun 2004 (EDT)
What's a first source about hitchhiking? Not hitchhikers?? Veit 17:53, 9 Jun 2004 (EDT)
I added the link in the first place, and I think it is a first source. It's also a good place to get more first source information. So I put back the link. Guaka 09:45, 19 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Getting too specific?[edit]

I was going to comment that the latest addition, a mention of where it's good to get a ride in Berlin, is the first step to this article becoming a huge list of hitching places, rather than general advice. Which made me think that even the countries are too specific. Shouldn't advice (on anything) that applies to a specific region should go in that region's article? In this case, tips on hitching in Italy should go in Italy's Get around/By car (thumb) section. All the more since this article is an orphan. -- Paul Richter 19:27, 12 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Agreed that Berlin tip is ways too specific. I'm not even sure I would let it be in Berlin article. As of the countries, I quite like having a short summary. Perhaps it could be made into a table though and the more precise details transfered to the country articles. But the subjectivity of this data makes it hard to write: France 7/10, Germany 8/10, Spain 4/10, Belgium 6/10... Valmi 09:42, 14 Jun 2004 (EDT)
It's very specific, but it should be somewhere on Wikitravel... Hitching out of big cities is quite hard and it would be nice to list good spots like this one.
An orphan? Guaka 19:06, 14 Jun 2004 (EDT)
And the region article is precisely where it should go. It's much more likely that a traveler will want to know if it's worthwhile to hitch in and out of a certain city/country (and will look for hitching information in the city article), than choose a destination based on how easy it is to hitch (after looking over this list of regions ranked on hitchability).
This article's an orphan -- there are no pages linked to it, so it's extremely unlikely that anyone will ever browse to it. So the solution might be to link to this page from city articles...but then you'd just as well put the hitching info in the city article itself. -- Paul Richter 10:08, 15 Jun 2004 (EDT)
I agree. I think the best place to put place-specific hitching info is at the destination guide. So, like, Germany#Get around would be a good place to put hitching info for Germany. Berlin#Get out might be a good place to put info on good places to get a ride. --Evan 11:27, 15 Jun 2004 (EDT)
I agree as well. I see people thinking "I'm going to Berlin can I hitch there?" Not "I want to go hitchhiking, what city should I go to?" The more general travel topic advice should stay, and the hh mentions in the cities should link here... Majnoona 13:28, 15 Jun 2004 (EDT)
Disagreed, having minimal country-specific info about hitchhiking in a general hitchhiking article makes sense because hitchhikers do pick the countries they visit according to whether they'll be able to move around there. -- Valmi 17:41, 15 Jun 2004 (EDT)
Well there are already databases of hitchhiking places on the Web, and I doubt we are going to compete with those. -- Valmi 17:41, 15 Jun 2004 (EDT)
Then we can certainly have a list of hitchhiking ratings/info by country for avid hitchhikers. But the info should go in the region articles first and be duplicated or summarized from there. Also, I think the list should be separate from the general advice article.-- Paul Richter 04:36, 16 Jun 2004 (EDT)
The place in Berlin was probably better than the place I found at, and I don't know of any other. If you do: please add it to the article. Guaka 14:27, 16 Jun 2004 (EDT)
I don't know about other international databases of this quality, but I still think if you have such a specific hint that you should add it to this sort databases, not to Wikitravel. Anyhow I was just about to move the hint from here to Berlin and I realised you had copied it already, so I just took it out here. -- Valmi 10:41, 19 Jun 2004 (EDT) is a commercial project, not available under a free license. So I don't feel like adding information there. Guaka 11:22, 19 Jun 2004 (EDT)
A year and a half later. There's a hitchhiking wiki now. It is under a free license (though not compatible with Wikitravel) and it's longing for very specific knowledge :) Stuff that doesn't really fit well in Wikitravel, or at least, it will be hard to find it in Wikitravel, and hard to know where to put what exactly. Guaka 20:12, 27 Dec 2005 (EST)

Nuking time[edit]

I'm going to replace the country-specific info with one (1) single Europe-style table with a very very short summary for each and linking to hitching sections in the countries in question. Speak now or forever hold your peace. Jpatokal 02:30, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Silence means death. I've started dismembering the page content, please help me out by doing the same for Hitchhiking in Europe. Jpatokal 08:21, 16 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Single Occupant vs Groups.[edit]

I reverted the removal of :

  • Choose a car with a single occupant or a couple rather than the last seat in a car full of people.

by Sherurcij. Who comments was removing "travel in a car with a single driver, not a group", I think most hitchhikers would agree that is *less* safe

Here is my logic. A group of people in a car are likely to all know each other. They are more likely to gang up on you and 1 against 3 or 4 are poor odds. A single person is going to be driving, so will be occupied by driving; while a couple (as in male/female) are likely to be in a relationship and also sit in the front while you are in the back. In both cases if you are attacked you stand a better chance of fighting the attack off. Of course the single female being picked up by a sole occupant male driver is probably still a risky thing to do because the consequences can be fatal. But I think the risks go up when there are more people in the car. In the end, hitchiking is still risky - minimizing the risk is all that you can do. -- Huttite 04:26, 17 Nov 2005 (EST)

Agree with Huttite. I would hesitate to get into a car with more than two people (unless they're kids or something). Jpatokal 05:56, 17 Nov 2005 (EST).
This soooo depends of the situation I think it is rather awkward to even wish to give some useful tips on which rides to take and which one not. Mostly, you don't have much too choose, and there must be a darn good reason for me to refuse a lift. But I have to say I do like Huttite's comment on women hitchhiking: the consequences can be fatal. You know, life can be fatal ;) -- 20:13, 24 Nov 2005 (EST) (male)


"Be sure to pack a towel. Any color will do. A brightly colored towel may be used to signal a driver, as well as dry oneself, serve as a blanket, pillow and clothing--in the unlikely event that one finds oneself with nothing more than a towel."

Okay, I think it's totally redundant. I usually get a towel from my hospitality host, though I have a very small special towel thing. I never used it as a blanket, pillow or clothing. Nor used it for signalling a driver. I hitchhiked a lot and I think it's bullshit to carry a large bright towel around. Can I remove it? Guaka 20:09, 27 Dec 2005 (EST)

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with." (This is why you should always have your towel) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Sounds to me like the towel business was inspired by the book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and may not be totally serious. Might as well delete it if it isn't really significant advice for hitchhiking. 04:09, 30 Jan 2006 (EST)

Yes, this is inspired by the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". It is a very famous, popular and funny book with some useful tips for hitchhikers. The towel is mentioned here in connection to a cite to this book, just for completeness. Please do not remove it, most hitchhikers know this book and will smile about this passage.

Adding my comments - safety and getting a ride[edit]


I read the tip that you should always keep your backpack with you. I agree, if the backpack is small. I myself carry one large and a small backpack... and often the large one should go on the backseat or in the trunk. Refusing to put the backpack in the trunk is a signal to the driver that you don't trust him/her. Keeping a small backpack with you (containing a bottle of water and your road map) has never been a problem for me (in 6 years and about 15000 km of hitchhiking).

What I do if you I am asked to put my big backpack in the trunk: I cannot open the trunk. I just honestly cannot figure out how the damned thing opens. Driver gets out of the car, and we get back in at the same time. I prefer to leave one or two passenger doors open as well. These simple and innocent tricks make sure that the driver cannot take off with my backpack in the trunk and me still at the side of the road. And if you do it well (and I do) the driver never even notices that I do it to protect my backpack.

Two self-comments:

-Some trunks are really too obvious to open. These are generally older cars, mostly found in Eastern Europe. With older cars, make sure one or two doors are open, since it's the only trick you can use without looking like an idiot.

-Don't keep doors open when it's raining. Then again, my advice is: don't hitchhike when it's raining (grumpy drivers, and you'll look like shit after standing in the rain for more than an hour).

In case you don't exactly trust someone, it won't hurt mentioning (casually!) the dirty laundry that you have packed into 3 layers of plastic to protect you against the terrible smell, and that you hitchhike because of lack of money, and that you carry only cheap stuff.

Finally, if you don't trust someone, I think you should NOT show it. You may be wrong, and this may very much irritate the driver when (s)he simply wants to bring you to your destination.

Getting a ride:

I carry A4 papers (not cardboard) and a big marker... This enables me to change my sign if necessary. Since I carry these papers in a transparent envelope (plastic) I can have two signs (one at both sides), and all I need to do is to turn my sign around. Very useful if you're standing a long way away from one destination, but you can recognise (by licenceplates on cars) cars that go all the way to your destination. Flip the sign you're carrying, and bounce up and down :)

Jumping and dancing has never really hurt me... Doing something silly brings a smile on the face of the drivers, and that's often all you need.

Wet signs are not easy to read. Plastic can protect your sign.

Cheers for the website, I hope I post this stuff in the right place... Remove it if it's not placed correctly (I can only edit again in a couple of days, as I'm travelling now). :)



I can't find anything that says hitchhiking per se is illegal in Italy. It's illegal on expressways, but that's true pretty much everywhere. Jpatokal 09:12, 9 June 2007 (EDT)

Hitchhiking in Turkey is rare?[edit]

I've been living in Turkey for 24 years and covered many miles by hitchhiking up to the date and I've never thought hitchhiking is rare in Turkey. I have many friends doing or did that at some part of their lives. I've also never found it hard, the longest time I've waited beside the road was no more than 30 minutes...Turkey can better be listed as "easy-to-medium" in the list. Also I don't know any parts of Turkey in which it is illegal to hitchhike (except motorways for obvious reasons).

Plunge forward! And be sure to write up the details on the Turkey page as well. Jpatokal 14:37, 1 October 2007 (EDT)

Hitchhiking in Ireland[edit]

Hitchhiking in Ireland isn't common anymore. Sad but true... any comments.. update that table?

Plunge forward! Jpatokal 22:23, 5 November 2007 (EST)
According to Hitchwiki "it is the easiest and fastest way to travel in the countryside and in the less inhabited regions, where public transportation such as train or bus is not available or it is not as frequent as a traveler might expect ...". guaka 19:48, 26 July 2008 (EDT)

Payment expectations in Russia and Ukraine[edit]

A bit strange was to see values for payment expectations in Russia (often) and Ukraine (sometimes). To my experience of hitchhiking in both countries, it's about the opposite in both cases. 04:21, 11 May 2011 (EDT)

Hitchwiki articles on both countries summarily say that, while it is very much possible to come across with a driver expecting payment, that isn't very common. Please plunge forward and fix the article as you see fit. – Vidimian 20:38, 11 May 2011 (EDT)

Hitchhiking in the United Kingdom[edit]

Is not common! It's completely unknown. I have lived in the UK for all my life, all over the country and I have never even seen a hitchhiker, nevermind heard of anyone doing it. Nobody would stop for you. Except the police, most likely. I'll change it to 'rare' 19:33, 4 September 2011 (EDT)

I hitchhike a lot in places where the locals tell me nobody will stop, but people do stop in those places most of the time. A hitchhiker should never believe a local's opinion on whether locals will stop unless the local they're talking to is a also a hitchhiker. The places where locals really don't stop are known better to hitchhikers than to locals. — Hippietrail 05:15, 15 October 2011 (EDT)
I have crossed the UK many times from South to North and back and must disagree with how it's represented, to my knowledge hitchhiking is both relatively easy and very well known as most of the drivers had hitchhiked before. I even got picked up by a few families and older ladies, more than in either France, Belgium, Spain, or The Nederlands. — Dahab 02:20, 5 September 2012 (EDT)