Not only is hitchhiking fun and thrilling, it is also a great way to save up on money and be more environment-friendly. This is a form of traveling that allows people to meet interesting personalities on the road that no plane, bus, or train ride can provide.
It is, however, not always as easy as it seems. Sometimes people who hitchhike literally experience bumps on the road and experiences that will test their endurance and patience. There is a need to be prepared to handle all types of surprises that may happen when traveling. In general, hitchhiking is safe in Europe. Of course there are a lot of horror stories involving getting rides from strangers, but there are certainly more amazing adventures than the scary and traumatizing ones.
Service stations and gas stations are a hitchhiker’s best friend. This is a great place to be dropped off or to get a ride because there will be establishments around. If you decide to be dropped off at expressways of motorway junctions, chances are you’ll have difficulty finding a ride because the cars will just speed by.
Walking long distances
Your feet are most probably the most important things when hitchhiking. There will be a lot of walking or even running (ie. when the weather decides to be mad), so make sure you’re wearing comfortable and strong footwear that can handle different weather conditions. With this, you must also make sure that you travel equipped with the proper clothes, as the weather could be fickle.
If you’re planning on crossing borders in Europe, you must make sure that you read the Schengen Agreement, which discusses border control in Europe. This agreement will help you determine where and when you will be allowed to freely cross a border.
Different places, different conditions
Europe is so large that all trips will be very different from each other. For instance, getting a ride could be easier in Belgium, Romania, spots in the Netherlands and England (studies say that more people get quicker cars to hitch on in these countries) as compared to many places in Scandinavia, Spain and Italy. However, all travelers especially backpackers and hitchhikers should always be prepared to wait. Yes, it’s possible that you may not immediately get that ride in 10 minutes, but you could count on it that there will be someone to pick you up.
It’s true that too much dependence on technology could be very annoying sometimes. A lot of people do a lot of traveling with very few to none electronic gadgets because they feel it makes them more free. But you should also be realistic. You must need at least one phone to help you get through a lot of things, not to mention easier access to security when faced with emergency and danger. You won’t always need social networking sites, but you need contact with people you know. The road is not always safe, so it’s better to be always careful. A phone will do wonders in times of trouble.