Hitchhiking is a good option for a cheap and nice holiday. After a couple of weeks not being beyond the borders of the Netherlands we couldn’t wait any longer! We had to leave, booked our hostel on the day before during the celebration of ‘Sinterklaas’, a Dutch tradition. We left in the early morning from our family, picked up our passport and toothbrush and went to the place where we wanted to start for the hitchhike. Because we didn’t plan it well, we first started at the wrong junction. After moving to another spot, it became a huge success!
Always start hitchhiking from a gas station. The first hitchhike is the most difficult one, so be patient. Official hitchhike spots are nice, but don’t work great. Even when you’re standing in a nice suit and well cut hair, nobody wants to stop his car next to the road to give you a ride. Starting from a gas station means you can chit chat to the people and it’s easier to get a ride. Off course, when you’re blond and wearing high heals it’s even easier.
Hitchhike with different groups, you can make a contest out of it! Your deserved beer always tastes better when the other couple is still standing at the Péage.
Cardboard and a pin, never forget those! Write on the piece of cardboard where you want to go. People notice you and you don’t have to talk to everybody, because they already know where you’re going. You can also give the sign to your female partner, before you even enjoyed your coffee from the roadhouse; you’re offered a ride. Let’s hope you can go along.
Pick out the right car. People, who hitchhiked in the early days, will offer you a ride. In the early days hitchhiking was more common, that’s why old hippies like to take you along and tell good old stories. Be aware: You will choose for a ride with tall tales and a dog on your lab. The other group that takes hitchhikers with them are businessman. Most of the time, these are old students, who hitchhiked with the students association. This group talks less, but drives faster!
Only for outside of Europe: ask for the costs. Hitchhiking is in some countries normal, because of bad public transport. Buses often break down, aren’t driving each day or there is no bus at all. No problem, catch a ride; there is always space in the back of a pick-up truck. Don’t use your thumb beside the road, but your whole hand, because nobody will understand. It’s not unusual to give something back for the ride. A little bit of money is normal; just ask the person what it will cost.
Let the police arrange you a ride. It’s a godsend, but when the opportunity arises, you have to tackle it with both hands. De first car that arrives will stop, especially nice when the sun is going down and it’s getting more difficult to arrange yourself.
And never forget, wherever you are, you’re a guest!
Good luck with the hitchhike!