Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking
If you have ever stopped to ask a stranger to drop you somewhere along the route, you have hitchhiked. It definitely saved you time and money; but the real question is about safety. So, before you do it the next time, make sure you are aware of all the Pros and cons of Hitchhiking. And, it’s about Roger Waters’ sensational music album by the way.
Hitchhiking is the act of soliciting a ride from strangers, typically by standing alongside or near the main road, and extends to include giving rides to other people. Hitchhiking means the person looks for people driving in the same direction, asking and hoping that they say yes.
The hitchhiker will often wave down at passing cars to get them to stop. Even when there are no marked signs for an upcoming point about destination services, drivers will invariably be willing to stop for someone with their hand gesturing them to stop. Once the driver agrees to give the hitchhiker a ride, they will usually ask where they want to go.
Hitchhiking on limited-access highways in all the states but Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, and South Carolina is illegal. But, you are in luck if you are in Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, or Wyoming.
Considerable Pros of hitchhiking
The pros of hitchhiking are that you can get around cheaply and easily, meet new people, and see places that you wouldn't otherwise be able to see. Hitchhiking also has a rustic feel and is environmentally conscious as there's no pollution or carbon dioxide created by cars.
1. You can save money through hitchhiking
Today, with the rising prices of fuel due to inflation and an increase in the number of people commuting to cities for work. Hitchhiking is a great way to save money on gas and transportation costs.
Although hitchhikers must consider the cost of food and shelter, it can be quite affordable compared to other options. It's even possible to pay a fraction of the price by providing a ride for others or working along the way.
If you're going on a trip where you need regular transport, perhaps consider starting with your legs. This will offset all those plane tickets and hotel stays. In addition, you'll have more cash left over at the end of your adventure if you travel like this.
2. Get to know new people
Hitchhiking benefits include meeting all sorts of people along the journey. You get to talk with drivers who are often willing, if not downright eager, to talk about their job, hometown, or anything. These chats can be fascinating, and you might even learn something. Also, some of the best stories come from people that you've met on the road.
3. You can discover places you wouldn't otherwise see
While hitchhiking through Europe, for example, it's possible to find out which country has a cheaper beer or where locals go swimming. You'll discover all sorts of quirks about each place you go by hanging out with native residents instead of sticking to tourist traps.
Of course, there are more expensive ways to travel, but the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy claims that "The women of Rio are devastatingly beautiful. The scenery of Rio is a major tourist attraction".
4. One of the major pros of Hitchhiking is it's Environmentally friendly
When someone takes a car somewhere, it creates 1-3 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere; hitchhiking doesn't create any! In addition, there would be fewer cars on the road if more people were hitchhiking rather than driving their vehicles.
5. Easy way to make money
If you're a good talker and meet the right people, it's easy to be invited into somebody's home and given food and shelter. You might even be able to convince your host to take you along on their next trip.
This is one of the pros of hitchhiking, especially for those who don't have much cash. However, if you do this, you mustn't put pressure on your host or cause problems between them and their partners or family members.
Some Cons of hitchhiking you must consider
Safety sprouts as one of the many cons of hitchhiking along with others. Another downside of hitchhiking is you're at the mercy of strangers. It can be dangerous and isn't always legal, and much more. There are uncertainties tagged along with this type of travelling.
Hitchhiking was indeed a big part of the 60s when it had a slightly dangerous but romantic feel. However, most places have enough regular transport, so there isn't much need for hitchhikers.
In some states, it can be very dangerous to pick up a stranger, and in these places, it is advised not to do so. Make sure you know the area well before setting out on a trip and always let somebody know where you plan on going or who you will be meeting at your destination.
2. Too much waiting time
Waiting for a long time (or forever) is quite possible and often unavoidable, tiring and boring. Be sure to be at a safe place along the road when you stand to reduce waiting times. This is very important because no one likes standing around on the side of a road, especially when it's cold or dark outside.
3. Disrespectful car owner
You may not always be in luck. Unfortunately, the owner of a car which has stopped for you may not feel pleased with all. They might be in a hurry or might have made a mistake by stopping for you.
In both cases, it's better to leave them alone and wait for another lift instead of insisting on getting into their car. Unwanted companies will make their ride more complicated and dangerous too.
It's probably best to avoid this type of people from the beginning, especially when you realize your ride will be more irritating.
4. Legal issues are the most common cons of hitchhiking
As said above, Hitchhiking is illegal in several states in America due to safety reasons. So if you do want to travel this way, check first if it's legal where you are going or what state/countries you will be passing through.
This legislation varies from country to country, but wherever it is illegal, you can always stand on the edge of the road and wave down a car.
5. You may meet drunk drivers
You should not expect all drivers to be sober on the road. There are numerous intoxicated drivers out there, including some who are comfortable drinking in broad daylight. And meeting someone like that by bad luck is one of the riskiest cons of hitchhiking.
Drivers aren't just restricted to consuming alcohol; they also use a variety of other drugs that impact their driving behavior. This increases the likelihood of suffering from severe collisions, and if you want to be safe, you should drive your car instead of relying on someone else.
If you've ever tried hitchhiking before, you'll know how important it is to have the know-how of everything in every situation. You have to rely on yourself for your safety and to get from A to B, so it's down to you to sort it out if something goes wrong.
6. Not all good experiences Last but not least
Not every experience is a great one. As mentioned before, hitchhiking has a bad reputation these days, so people tend to be wary about picking up strangers.
In some places, it's considered an art form, and there are even competitions held to see who can get from A to B quickest or for the longest amount of time.
Other places have strict rules about how long you can travel with somebody without paying for their gas. In other words - make sure you know where you're going and what the local laws are before setting out.
Final Comments on the pros and Cons of Hitchhiking
Hitchhiking can be a fun and interesting way to travel, but you should always take precautions. It is important never to hitchhike alone or at night; make sure you have someone with you for backup in case something happens.
With the right amount of planning and preparation, though, hitchhiking can be a great experience that will give you memories worth more than any souvenirs money could buy.
Go through the laws and regulations for a country you are traveling in and consider these pros and cons of hitchhiking seriously.