There is always the option to hitchhike of you’re really short on cash, really desperate, adventurous, or just crazy.  It’s possible.  People do it all the time.  If you do, for some insane reason, want to hitchhike, most of Europe is better than the United States.  

Now, for those of you who are determined to hitchhike, a few tips.  


Keep your backpack with you at all times.  Don’t let the driver put in in their trunk.  Even carry it with you when you stop at rest stations, etc.  

Carry your driver’s license.  Many drivers pick up a hitchhiker because they want someone to share the driving load with.  

Don’t try to pick up a ride in the middle of a city.  For one thing, your chances aren’t good.  It’s difficult for people to stop, and you never know where they’re going.  Try to get outside of town, at a rest station or some area where it is easy and safe for people to stop.  

Look neat and respectable.  You are much more likely to get a ride if you look clean and non-threatening.  This also helps improve other people’s impression of hitchhikers.  Avoid wearing sunglasses and face oncoming traffic.  Don’t wear a business suit, as people might think you’re a little creepy.  

Ask the driver where they’re going before you get in.  This way, you can make sure you won’t be going in the wrong direction, and it gives you a moment before you get in the car to scope out the scene.  If you get a bad vibe from the driver, or they have a bloody axe sitting next to them on the seat, turn them down. A new ride will be along shortly.  

Hitchhiking community websites include: Hitchhikers.org and digihitch.com.  

Ride Sharing 

As an alternative to flat-out hitchhiking, try ride sharing.  This service pairs up drivers with riders.  You sometimes share the cost of fuel–it depends on the person and service. A few sites for this: eRideshare.com, Ridester, CarpoolWorld; there are others–try Googling “ride sharing” and “europe.”  Generally safer and more reliable than hitchhiking–check it out.

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