Nothing can be more exciting and educational as going hitchhiking in different places in the United States, but even the most experienced hitchhikers still need to follow rules that need to be followed for a smooth-sailing trip. In order to have the best adventure, there is a need for you to keep in mind some very important tips that will come in handy if you’re in the middle of the road.

Below are some tips for hitchhikers who plan on going on a trip on the East Coast:

Illegal or not Illegal?

First off, many think that hitchhiking in the United States is illegal. This is not true. It’s true that it could be frowned upon by some states, but it is not necessarily ordained by law to prevent a stranger from asking for a ride from a private vehicle.

New Jersey and New York State

Hitchhiking is reported to be illegal in these two states, and you can actually get in trouble for doing it. However, many other remaining states allow hitchhiking, so you’ll still have a lot of spots to choose from. New Hampshire, for instance entertains hitchhikers.

Be patient

Compared to hitching with strangers in Europe, things could be pretty difficult here, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t get a ride. That vehicle will come, you just need to be patient.

Stock up on food

Because vehicles may not immediately pick you up, you must make sure you have enough food to last you for days. Sure, there will always be stores around, but since it’s likely you’re hitchhiking to save money, having food with you at all times will be highly advisable.

Ask questions

It’s possible you’d overlook some laws that could prevent you from looking for a ride. The best thing to deal with this is to ask authorities regarding their rules with hitchhikers. If things get worse and you find out the area is not for hitchhiking, the best thing to do is ask for the cheapest place you could find a ride to your next destination.


Maps are every hitchhiker’s best friend, and you must make sure you have one. Make sure to have a complete map covering your itinerary, and if possible, have two copies of it, because it’s very likely that in the course of your trip, you will lose one of them.

Pick your ride

Beggars can’t be choosers, true, but you must also be in charge of who you’d like to ride with. If you think that you won’t be comfortable with a certain ride, just say no. This will be so much better than having to worry about it when you’re already in the middle of a highway where you can’t immediately get off.

Tidy up

One of the things that many tend to neglect when they’re on the road is hygiene. Make sure you look well enough to stay inside someone’s car. No one will pick you up if you look like someone who hasn’t taken a bath in days.


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