How to Hitchhike like a Champ

How to Hitchhike like a Champ

Ever since the chariot was invented, people have been waiting on the side of the road, asking those chariot owners for a ride; thus hitchhiking was born…

Hitchhiking is a good option for young backpackers who are adventurous and not afraid to meet new strange people. In this post, I’ll explain how you can become one of the best hitchhikers in the world. Let’s do this!


Go Light

First of all, when you hitchhike you don’t want to do it with tons of bags, because people only have so much space in their cars, so go as light as possible. One or two bags and that’s it. Leave that excess junk at home or give it to charity, we have a world to see, so the lighter the better. Don’t let that stuff become an anchor!


Be Clean 

Make sure that before you hitchhike you’re well-groomed and smelling fine. The last thing that you want to do is hop into a stranger’s car and fill the air with fumes of noxious body odor that instantly turn your new host’s face green and make him miserable because he picked up your stinking ass. So don’t do it! Take a shower, cut your nails, and look somewhat presentable. Nobody wants to pick up a guy that looks like a messy grizzled serial killer on the lookout for his next victim, or a stinking rotten chick with armpit hair tied up in braids. Okay, I think you get the point, let’s move on!


Don’t Go on Major Highways 

Go where drivers will be able to slow down easily. If you’re on the freeway and the cars are whizzing past you at 120 miles an hour then you’d have better luck getting picked up by a freaking flying saucer out in the desert! These dudes don’t want to stop. They are in a hurry and will stop for nobody, so get your backpacking-hitchhiking ass down off the freeway and onto the byways, to the slow roads, the roads where people will have a chance to stop without having to come to a sudden halt and create a huge risk of potential catastrophic danger for oncoming traffic!

Wait someplace where it will be easy for people to stop, and make sure you’re on the road that you want to be on, chances are the driver will take you on this road until he’s done.


Don’t travel with scary-looking guys or pets, unless you have a cool-looking guacamaya 

This is important. You want to look the least threatening and friendly as possible. So besides being well-groomed and smiley, make sure everyone in your group is also as friendly and harmless-looking as possible. Also, you should either hitchhike alone or with one other person max, preferably a woman, because most cars can’t fit big groups of backpackers!

Fun, bright colored clothes can also help you to draw attention to yourself.


Don’t bring any weapons, sticks, swords or machetes 

See above – Don’t be a threat!


Be Patient 

Don’t get discouraged. In the beginning, you may have to wait a long while, or you may get picked up right off the bat. You never know who may pass you by. Not everyone likes to pick up hitchhikers. Other people do it regularly. It also depends on what part of the world you’re in. You may want to ask locals if hitchhiking is common in their area. In some places, it’s very common, in others, it’s unheard of. Either way, go out there and hope for the best. You may have to wait a few minutes or a few days, who really knows!?


Hike and Hitchhike Simultaneously 

Move faster across the land by hiking and sticking out your thumb periodically when you see a good potential ride passing you by.

Make sure you’re on the right road, know your route, otherwise you could end up in the wrong country or something 


Be social, be fun and talkative if need be 

The person that picked you up may be lonely so you have to learn how to entertain people. Tell jokes, tell stories, make your self likable and your presence will be quickly appreciated.


Be willing to accept strange food and hard booze 

When you accept a stranger’s offerings happily and gratefully they will accept you as a human and friend.


This is the number one rule of hitchhiking:

Learn how to analyze a person and judge their character in a moment’s time. Your quick decision could put you in the seat of a future friend or a deranged psychopath. Who really knows!?

How to quickly analyze people?

Check out their:


Tire pressure 

Does the car look safe? Is there a roof? If not, how’s the weather?

Mustaches are usually suspicious, remember Stalin, Lenin, and Hitler all had mustaches…

Their overall vibe and smile; Is the smile genuine and sincere?

Voice – calmness, coolness, etc 

Basically, look at them very quickly and analyze everything about them, see whether or not they could be a potential threat. Remember, you don’t want to be a threat and you don’t want to be involved with any threatening people in general, unless you’re a thrill-seeking-freak, in that case, get in the car with whoever the hell you want to and don’t bug me for any more advice!


Remember, the owner of the vehicle can charge hitchhikers a fee. They can charge whatever they want, although most won’t charge you anything. All negotiations should be done and agreed upon prior to commencement of the trip. 


Good Luck Future Hitchhiking Champions, Please Make Me Proud!


Your Author hitchhiking in front of a cotton field in Alabama!



Charles DuFont

Creator of Tripoart, the best art promotion site!

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