Three easy rules of successful hitchhiking in Europe

Hitchhiking is a way of travelling by transport, which moves into the way as you need without payment (for free). Transport can be a car, or a track, or a bus, train, ship and even plane. Hitchhiking as a way of traveling was born in the USA during the Great Depression, when people did not have enough money to pay for busses or trains in order to get the place, where they were working. The government started the promotion campaign “Help your neighbor” and заохочувати drivers to take people on the road (hitchhikers).

You may ask: hm.. Wait, wait Sergii, I have enough money for traveling, I have a laptop, I have iPad, iPhone, I have a car.. Why do I need to know these three easy rules of successful hitchhiking in Europe? And I will answer: Dear, you don’t know what’s going to happen in the middle of your “all-inclusive trip”. You may lose your wallet with all documents and money; you may lose your tourist group in another city and left your bag in the bus. And you may save yourself with assistance and knowledge how to hitchhike. I have a bit experience in hitchhiking. 

Two years ago I did hitchhiking to La Mansh Channel, the city called Havre in the west coast of France. A year ago, last summer, I did hitchhiking with my friend Oksana to La Coruna, a city on the west coast of Spain. The goal was to reach the Atlantic Ocean. And we successfully fighted this challenge. It was just for fun – the second reason why you may do hitchhiking. I did hitchhiking from Kyiv to Riga in Latvia (through Belorussia) in order to participate in international summer school, when I missed my plane. I did hitchhiking from Bucharest to Chernivtsi, when I spent all my money and lost my pocket after summer school there. I did hitchhiking from Simferopol to Kyiv two months ago, where no trains were available. I did hitchhiking from Krakow to Kyiv, when I was late on the bus after Oswiencium. You see – different situations and after 16 thousand km of hitchhiking I still alive and stay in front of you and now I am going to share how to survive into the hitchhiking world.

There are two ways of hitchhiking: active and passive. The passive way is when you stay near road and such like that (performance). You wait that someone will stop and save your life. The active way is when you ask actively drivers on the petrol station to catch to other city or station. It is nothing special – just ask. But for passive hitchhiking are some rules, which I would like to share:

1.       Know your spot. Spot is a place where you start to hitchhike. On the web-site you can easily find how, for example, move from Berlin to Paris, where to start. In the city center? Well, you can try, but be ready to stay hours and hours of waiting for a car. On this web site is information about how to get the best spot in suburban area in Berlin in order successfully reaching Paris.

2.       Use a sign. It is much easier for a driver to stop and be sure that you are a passenger for the same way. If you are going for long distance and visit several cities, you will need a platform, markers, papers and double-site scotch. Why? It will be heavy to take enough platforms from your home.  So make it easy (performance).

3.       Have fun! This is the main rule. Even if you are so tired, want to sleep, you have to be always smiling and positive, even you are waiting for a car three hours near Barcelona under +38 C. No one would like to take a boring person. Hitchhikers do not pay money, but they speak with a driver – conversation is a currency in this country.

 So, I hope these three easy rules – Know your spot, Use a sign and Have fun will help you in one day. If you have any questions or comments – do not hesitate to put them in comment fields. Thank you for reading this post!


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