Hitchhiking is a means of travel, which allows a person to get around by catching rides from passing commuters. While this might sound like just the type of adventure that some people seek, others are very wary about this type of travel. Hitchhiking has gotten a lot of negative publicity, as people recount the horrible things that could happen when riding with a total stranger. While there are risks involved, hitchhiking has positive rewards as well. For anyone interested in this form of travel, it can be beneficial to have information on the advantages and disadvantages of hitchhiking.
Meet New People
One of the things guaranteed to a person who hitchhikes successfully, on a regular basis, is they will meet new people. Some of these experiences can even lead to long lasting friendships. This is because drivers that give hitchhikers a lift generally have friendly personalities. Some hitchhiking trips can be long, which allows plenty of time for you and the driver to talk and get to know one another. Making a friend and having an enjoyable trip at the same time is certainly an advantage of hitchhiking.
One of the best things about hitchhiking is that it is more affordable than any other form of travel. Instead of paying for a ticket to catch a plane, train or bus, you can instead cover the same types of distances free of charge. However, like anything there are a few exceptions to this rule especially if you are hitchhiking abroad. Drivers in countries like Nigeria and Argentina expect hitchhikers to pay them for the ride. Other countries like Indonesia or Mexico will allow hitchhikers to decide whether or not they want to pay drivers for their generosity. While a tip to your driver is an expense, affordability is still one of the top advantages of hitchhiking.
If you plan to hitchhike, one thing you shouldn't plan on is getting to your destination on time. There is a possibility that you could get a ride in the first few minutes of your effort. However, there is also the chance that you could spend hours standing there and watching car after car pass you by. A driver that does finally stop to give you a ride might only be going a short distance, which could add to your frustration. Hitchhikers should possess patience because the possibility of waiting long periods with little to no forward progress is certainly a disadvantage of hitchhiking.
There are several risks involved with hitchhiking that normal travelers don't have to be bothered with. One such risk is that you could accept a ride from a person that does not have good intentions for you. For this reason, hitchhikers should exercise caution when selecting rides and female hitchhikers should never travel alone. Another risk is the possibility that the driver could take off with your belongings after a stop at a store or gas station. To remedy this, hitchhikers should never put their belonging in the trunk of the driver's vehicle -- keep in sight all times. While these protective measures are good to know, the possibility of meeting bad people and losing valuable belongings are still disadvantages associated with hitchhiking.
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