The following text is based on my hitchhiking experience mainly around Mexico and Central America. I hope you enjoy and don’t forget to leave a comment or feedback:)
There are two things you need to hitchhike solo anywhere in the world: positive attitude and common sense. Like everything else in life, it’s up to You whether you want to make it fun.
What is hitchhiking really like and what to bear in mind when travelling solo?
1. It’s safe! If it wasn’t, trust me – I wouldn’t be doing it. I met some really cool people while hitchhiking, not only guys! There are girls, couples, families who would stop to give me a ride. It is Me who chooses which car I want to stop. I generally avoid the cars with tinted windows. Hitchhiking is a safe way to travel if you do it sensibly. Even after a car has stopped and for some reason you don’t like the person and don’t want to go with them, just say you’re going in the opposite direction. It doesn’t matter that you are standing on the wrong side of the road 🙂
2. Plan your trip Once you know where you want to go, check the distance to the destination. Give yourself double the time to what it says just in case you’re not very lucky that day. Download one of the map apps on your phone, preferably one that works offline and use GPS so you always know where you are.
3. Leave early in the morning By early I don’t mean 5am when it’s still dark(duh) You need to get out of the city first (It’s very unlikely anyone will stop within the city) so give yourself extra time for that. Catch a bus or walk to the outskirts and aim to start hitchhiking at 8am -9am. I always try to get to my destination by latest 2pm/3pm. I was once told by another traveler-hitchhiker: BAD PEOPLE SLEEP IN THE MORNING. I feel there’s a lot of truth in it:) Majority of people driving in the morning are on their way to work.
4. Look like a traveler Girls! When hitchhiking you should always wear long pants and have a shawl/surrong around your neck. Yes – you’re wearing a scarf:-) Not to keep you warm, but for it to fall on your front (especially the busty girls) and cover a possible cleavage and the shape altogether. Hitchhiking is safe, but you need to be sensible and avoid attracting attention in an inappropriate way. Makes sense, right?
5. Talk Preferably in their native language. Don’t just start talking in your mother tongue unless you want them to think you are crazy:) You don’t have to be fluent, still try as much as you can. It’s a good opportunity to practice your language skills. Some people will just start talking to you like you know what’s going on which I personally don’t mind – I just keep guessing whether to nod, look surprised, pull a sad or a happy face. It’s fun 🙂
All you need is to be positive, open-minded and just trust your instincts. Don’t be silly and you’ll be perfectly fine – like with everything else that comes around in your life 😉