Picking a good spot for hitchhiking is one of the most important things to become a successful hitchhiker. In this article, I will tell you how to find a perfect spot to start hitchhiking by just following a few simple steps.
Choosing the right location significantly increases our chances of getting a quick and long ride. That’s why you must pick a spot very carefully.
In fact, if you choose the wrong location you may end up standing in the same place for hours, without getting any ride. Usually, newbie hitchhikers make this mistake because they choose the location from their point of view.
In order to choose the right location for hitchhiking hitchhiker should choose a location considering the driver’s point of view. So, now let’s find out How to find a perfect spot to start hitchhiking.
How to Find a Perfect Spot to Start Hitchhiking
Table of Contents
Go to the Edge of the City
The first thing that you should do is to get out of the city.
I have done hitchhiking in many cities and I have always experienced that it is a lot easier to get a quick and long ride when we get out of the city. So I would suggest you avoid hitchhiking in the middle of the city.
It is hard to get a ride in the middle of the city, and even if you get any ride inside the city, most of the time it would be a short ride. Also, usually, drivers hesitate to stop their vehicles in big cities fearing the danger of traffic jams.
In the city, you will find drivers who are going for short rides, but once you get out of the city you will mainly find drivers who are going for the long rides, and sometimes these drivers give the rides to strangers to avoid the boredom and loneliness of the long journey.
The probability of getting a quick and long ride increases significantly once you get out of the city. So always try to go to the edge of the city. Especially the place where city streets meet highway is a good spot to get rides for hitchhiking.
Good Visibility From Long Distance
Once you get out of the city, the next step is to find the right spot to start your journey.
While choosing the spot for hitchhiking, you should choose such a spot from where the driver could easily see you from a long distance.
Let me explain to you why this is a very important thing.
As a hitchhiker, you ask the unknown driver to trust you and give you a ride. But, obviously, for every driver, you are a complete stranger. They don’t trust you because they don’t know your real motives and that’s why they do need some time to think about you and make a decision.
The moment any driver sees a hitchhiker on the road, his unconscious brain suddenly starts analyzing your face and appearance.
In other words, a driver’s mind needs some time to decide whether you are a good traveler or you are a person with dangerous motives.
Also, sometimes drivers need time to discuss with their wife, or friend to decide whether to give you a ride or not. That’s why it is necessary to choose such a spot from where you can be seen from a long distance so that the driver would get enough time to make a decision.
Also, there are some things you can do to win the driver’s trust quickly.
For example, while hitchhiking, I always try to look like a humble and genuine traveler.
I always put my backpack and traveling gear in front of me and hold the cardboard in my hand that shows my travel destination so the driver would quickly get the idea that I am a genuine traveler, not any dangerous thief.
Also, you can wear light and colorful clothes to attract the attention of the driver from a long distance.
The Spot must Allow the Driver to Pull Over Safely
I have made this mistake many times.
Once in Azerbaijan, I waited for 6 hours continuously on road without getting any ride and after 6 hours I realized that cars didn’t stop because there was not enough space for the cars to pull aside.
Therefore, while choosing the location, make sure there is a large space for cars to pull aside.
Because even if any kind-hearted driver decides to give you a ride he wouldn’t stop his car if he doesn’t find enough space to pull over his car. No one will stop for you if there is the possibility of a traffic jam or accident.
That’s why it is necessary for hitchhikers to think from the driver’s point of view while choosing the location for hitchhiking.
Choose such a Spot where Cars get Slow Down
Your chances of getting rides increase significantly if you choose a spot where cars naturally go slow down.
Because it is difficult for drivers to stop a fast-going vehicle whereas it is a lot easier for drivers to stop a slow-moving vehicle.
Also, most of the time drivers inside the fast-going vehicles couldn’t notice you due to high-speed whereas drivers in slow-moving cars get ample time to analyze your appearance and to make the decision whether to give you a ride or not.
Generally, gas stations, traffic lights, junctions, and speed ramps are places where cars get slow down. Personally, I think gas stations are the best place to start hitchhiking.
Check the Laws about Hitchhiking
In many countries, drivers are not allowed to stop their vehicles while traveling on highways.
So, if you are hitchhiking on the highways of such countries then you won’t get a ride even if you stand there your whole life.
Also, in many countries, it is not allowed to hitchhike on highways and if you get caught by polish you would have to pay a heavy fine. I have already got this bitter experience in the USA.
So if you are planning to hitchhike in any country, I would suggest you read the rules of that country regarding hitchhiking before starting hitchhiking.
You can also go on websites like Hitchwiki.org to read the experiences of the other hitchhikers about the country you are planning to go to.
Surely, picking a good spot is the most important thing for successful hitchhiking.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to pick a good location for hitchhiking, the only thing you need to do is to think from the driver’s point of view.
I personally believe hitchhiking is simple and joyful art, and you can easily learn it through the experiences of other hitchhikers. If you understand and follow the above steps you will certainly choose the perfect spot for hitchhiking which will elevate your chances of getting a quick ride.