Hitchhiking is an interesting experience and an opportunity to save money. What to take on the trip, how to travel owning no tickets or personal transport and how not to get into trouble while riding with a stranger – read below to find out.
Hitchhiking is the way of travelling that means using passing vehicles to get from one point to another or complete a certain part of the road. The driver voluntarily takes a companion with them and usually does not receive money for it.
Drivers sometimes take people out of pity or desire to help, but more often, they are bored on the road, want to talk and get interesting information. Hitchhiking іs a kind of a partnership based on the principle of free exchange. The traveller gets the opportunity to reach the destination in a short period of time and for free while the driver is accompanied by an interesting companion.
Why choose hitchhiking?
Saving. The best way to save on the movement and not to puzzle over booking the tickets. However, there are always some side factors: the intensity of traffic, a country or region, wealth and crime levels, and, of course, luck. Students who are not willing to pay a fortune for a long-distance trip are the main target of hitchhiking.
Communication. Hitchhiking is ideal for extroverts who can easily start a conversation with a stranger. If you are not so brave to get into a car of a complete stranger on your own, travel together – you can always get acquainted with someone on the popular international dating site in advance and hitchhike together.
Impressions. Hitchhiking gives vivid memories. The traveller leaves the comfort zone and overcomes themselves to gain an extraordinary experience.
Sport. Some travellers compete among themselves for the distance of the trip, the speed of overcoming the segment of the journey, and the number of cities and countries visited for a limited time.
What to take with you?
Backpack. For the trip, you will need a large and comfortable backpack with extra waist straps. The correct backpack is the one that distributes the load evenly over the body and has external holders for a rug and a tent. Straps should not feel too tight, and the backpack itself should be easy get off your back. It is desirable to purchase a case for your backpack. As for documents, important things, and money, get a separate carrying bag.
Сlothing. You will need a clean set of outerwear, three sets of underwear and socks, a raincoat, comfortable sneakers, and lightweight sneakers just in case. From the very first sight, it should be clear that the hitchhiker is a clean and social person. Outer clothing must have reflective elements. If you are going to hitchhike during the cold season, you need to take warm shoes, wool socks, and a set of thermal underwear with you.
First aid kit. Pain killers, aspirin, some remedy for indigestion, antiseptic, some antihistamines, cotton wool, a plaster, a bandage – these are the essentials. And do not forget about your travel insurance.
Food and dishes. In order not to increase the weight of the backpack, it is better to take dehydrated nutritious foods that can quickly satisfy hunger with you. These are dried fruits, nuts, nutritious bars, or chocolate. If you plan to cook on a fire, you can put salt, buckwheat, and a can of canned food in your backpack. The main principle is simple: you should always have food for one meal. Pack everything in a pot with a spoon and a mug. It is advisable to bring along a burner with a can, especially for travelling around Europe.
Equipment. Find a rate for cheap internet access. Download applications for finding tickets and accommodation, weather forecast, translator, and maps. Do not forget about the charger and external battery. You can take a tablet or a small, lightweight laptop if you blog or work. You will also need a flashlight.
Other. For drivers and other people who want to help or socialise, take small souvenirs from your country to thank them for giving you a ride after. Take a notebook for notes and a pen, and while stopping the car, use a cardboard box to write the place where you are going. For an overnight stay, take a simple and lightweight tent, a sleeping bag, and a rug.
Finally, before you go, outline the main cities that will happen on your way. You’ll probably deviate from the route or get out of time, but this should not take you by surprise. The main advantage of hitchhiking is a ton of adventures! Spontaneous as it is, this kind of travelling will surely provide you with the most amazing and unusual experience you could possibly imagine.