One part of traveling that many people overlook is that of hitchhiking. If you want to get to a certain destination but don’t necessarily want to pay the steep prices of getting yourself there, hitchhiking can be a great option for you. However, this form of travel has gotten a bad reputation, for reason that it’s both deserved and not deserved. Part of this negative reputation is because some people view this as a very unsafe way to travel. So to help ensure that you’re doing it the right way, here are three tips for safe hitchhiking.
Find Rides At Gas Stations
The best way to find a safe ride with someone that you’ll feel comfortable with is by getting a ride from someone at a gas station. According to Francis Tapon, a contributor to Forbes.com, soliciting rides from people at gas stations give you the control to pick who you want to speak to. If you see someone or a group of people that look friendly, it’s now up to you to ask if you can hitch a ride with them. On the flip side, if you see someone that makes you nervous or gives you the creeps, you simply don’t ask them for a ride.
Stay Away From Highway Rest Areas
While gas stations are usually a safe place to try to get a ride, highway rest areas are traditionally unsafe to try to hitchhike. According to WikiTravel.org, highway rest areas have been known to have some unsavory things happening there, especially when it comes to past hitchhikers. Not only is this a more dangerous place for you to try to get a ride, but your chances of getting a ride here are also slimmer than at other places. While you might think it’d be easy to get a ride from a truck driver who’s taking a break so he doesn’t cause an accident, people tend to be likely to pick up hitchhikers in these areas.
Get Out Of A Car That Makes You Uncomfortable
If someone stops for you and lets you into their car, you might be so excited about the prospect of not having to walk that you immediately jump in without really doing any due diligence. But once you’ve been in the car with them for a while, you might experience weird vibes or just feel like you want to get out of there. If this happens to you, Wanderlust.com recommends that you make up a courteous excuse to get out of the car and allow the driver to be on their way without you. This is something you should especially do if you fear that the driver isn’t being safe and that there’s a chance you could get in some type of accident.
To ensure you have a great time on your adventures, consider using the tips mentioned above if you plan to hitchhike in the future.