When you’re traveling down a road and seeing someone with the familiar thumbs-up sign with a backpack or suitcase in hand, you’ll know immediately what it means: someone is hitchhiking.
Hitchhiking is a practice done by adventurers for a long time now, and although some say that it is no longer as big as how they did it several decades ago, many are still doing it. It is still being done all over the world, and one of the most popular places for it is the United Kingdom.
Aside from the adventure it brings, hitchhiking is also done my millions each year because it’s obviously cheap, good for the environment because you use less fuel, and meeting many interesting people on the road always makes fine memories.
The following are some successful tips for hitchhiking in the UK:
Map it out
Make sure that you have a map with you, and see to it that you have clothes for all kinds of weather. Remember that the further west you go, the higher elevation you will get. Weather could be sometimes very difficult to control especially if you do not have a definite place to stay in. It rains a lot in the UK on October to January, but it could get really dry at the southern and western parts of the country in the summer.
Unlike in the movies, you will not immediately be picked up by a car that easily. This means that food and water must always be ready, for you do not know when the next vehicle will arrive. Hitchhiking in busier cities such as London will not immediately give you a ride, so you need to be patient until that kind stranger will finally let you in the car.
Know where to stand
Always remember to not get dropped anywhere in motorway junctions because the cars will just speed by you, so accidents are more likely to happen. Service stations are your best bet, because it’s safer and you’ll still be able to discuss your itinerary with people who are willing to let you hitch.
Make a Sign
Hitchhiking will be more convenient if you immediately let people know where you’re going. With signs, no time is wasted. Making signs is effective when you’re traveling long distances, like traveling to and from Ireland or from France to Great Britain.
This is one of the most important pieces of advice in the book. If you treat people well, they will do the same. You don’t want to be left out in the middle of an empty road for being rude, do you?
The internet alone is filled with so many wonderful stories about hitchhiking. Many people who have tried it—most of them starting as early as 16 years old—recommend it to everyone. So if you’re trying to hitchhike, you should be aware of these things, and you’re good to go. It’s time for you to make new and exciting memories, and all of these will start with one universal thumb signal.