Useful Tips

Top 10 Hitchhiking Rules


Hello again, dear travelers! In the last article, we learned what hitchhiking is.

Today we will rush along a steep road from the theory village to the metropolis of practice. Therefore, tune in to a positive wave and catch passing advice on how to hitchhike correctly, what things to take on the road, how to find a good traveling companion, and what is the fundamental difference between KAMAZ and the paver.

Training difficulties

If you really want to go hitchhiking, but you don’t know how, there are two ways.

The first - start an extensive theoretical training. To study sites devoted to independent travel in general and hitchhiking in particular, to enter in-flight stoppers and listen to their advice, go to the local club of hitchhikers, watch the appropriate films.

All this, of course, is interesting and informative, and even experienced travelers can get valuable information from good sources. The most useful information is, of course, new acquaintances - your possible friends, hosts, guests and travel companions.

Perhaps the meeting with them will be so fateful that you will suddenly change not only the route, but also your life.

Second way - go to the track and raise your hand. Without preparation. But with hope and courage. The method works no worse than the first.

The first way is good when you lack confidence, information, or a good company. The second method is suitable for people who make decisions with lightning speed. Or those who are in a hopeless situation.

For example, my sister and I first got into a truck when the last train left Vladimir for Nizhny Novgorod. The trucker was so sweet and caring that we fell in love at first sight. In the hitchhiking.

Camping Backpack - Hitchhiking

So, thoughts are collected and put in order, determination is seething above the 100-degree mark - it remains to assemble a backpack. How to choose the right companion for your travels and what things to fill it with? It all depends on several factors:

  1. from the season
  2. from the travel distance,
  3. from the climate of the destination,
  4. from travel conditions (for example, where overnight stays are supposed),
  5. from your personal preferences (a way of spending leisure time, etc.)

The size of the backpack depends more on the purpose and range of your trip. Personally, I always had enough of the usual school (I do not travel with a tent and sleeping bag, I spend the night in wagons or hostels).

Experienced travelers, constantly traveling around the world, prefer more weighty backpacks with a volume of 25-35 liters, with many pockets and a belt on the belt. Some are ready to carry all 40. At the same time, according to them, a long and narrow backpack is more convenient than a short and wide backpack.

As for the season, it all goes without saying. Well, do not forget to take on a long journey spare warm socks and a pair of shoes. This, incidentally, applies not only to winter.

If you are traveling short and short and planning to reach your destination during daylight hours, pack a backpack depending on the purpose of your visit. A camera, fishing rod or package for Aunt Masha.

A long journey involves changing the weather, spending the night and a sea of ​​new experiences. Therefore, for safety, it will not be amiss to take a flashlight, clothes with reflective stripes (by the way, I was already fined for its absence), mosquito repellent (and in winter - for frostbite), medicines if you use them, and a minimal first aid kit (at least a bandage, iodine, analgin and a remedy for poisoning).

For hygiene - a toothbrush, underwear and wet wipes, and if your path involves spending the night in nature, then soap.

For comfort - a warm jacket, a raincoat, a hat (a knitted hat can come in handy even in the summer, because in the mountains or on the highway the wind sometimes literally knocks down), a sleeping bag and a tourist rug (I haven’t used these things for 10 years, but they can come in handy at any time).

We are sure that you will spend the night in nature - feel free to pack your tent. Someone considers it an indispensable hitchhiking attribute, without which you should not go. Personally, I think that in the event of an unforeseen overnight stay in nature, the tent can be replaced by a rug and sleeping bag, so I do not burden my backpack. By the way, having conducted a survey on the subject of things necessary for the trip, I got the following results:

  • first aid kit and power bank,
  • knife, money and a lantern,
  • bottle of water,
  • brains and documents
  • mat, sleeping bag, tent, removable shoes and clothes,
  • gas-burner.

The latter was suggested by an acquaintance with over 60,000 km of all-weather hitchhiking. The burner really came in handy for him.

Briefly about the documents. When planning a trip to Russia, take a passport, and also grab a copy of it (by the way, oncoming traffic cops may be interested in your documents and detain you if they are missing).

For trips around the world, be sure to take a passport (if you do not plan a trip to the country where it is needed, you can take it just in case: no one knows which way you will be coming back). To avoid unnecessary questions, print out hotel reservations (do not plan to stay in hotels - cancel your reservation after printing). And, of course, do not forget the phone, camera and chargers for them. And travel SIM cards if you use.

I would add a regular ballpoint pen to the list of necessary things. Moreover, my simple phone does not have an organizer.

You can also think over your leisure time and heartily stock up on books (or their electronic counterparts), chess (if they are not on your phone) and fishing rod. Just think, can all this withstand your patient backpack and hardy back?

Travel companion - your comrade fighting

Someone is better to ride alone, but someone does not think traveling without a person with whom you can share your impressions. There is no companion for taste and color, but a companion can come in handy on the way, especially if you are just entering the hitchhiking track.

A loyal companion can help you with something you don’t know how to (put up a tent, cook canned soup with Chinese vermicelli, navigate the forest, entertain the driver, or speak the language of mumbo-jumbo). If you are a girl, then the two of you will be safer. Finding travel companions is not an easy task, especially if you want your companion to share with you all the hardships of travel, rather than multiply them. So take a look around!

Well, if among your friends or acquaintances there is a person (or company, but in a couple of hitchhiking is given better), sharing your views on hitchhiking. Ideally, if a friend does not have a panic fear of the unknown and strangers. Otherwise, you have to drag the woe-dreamer on yourself morally and even physically. Therefore, if a friend is suddenly, try it for strength at short distances.

If among your friends nobody dreams of the distant horizons seen from the window of a random car, you will have to find a travel companion on the Internet. Tips for finding fellow travelers are given on various sites dedicated to hitchhiking.

For example, it convincingly sounds in the VKontakte group of the Academy of Free Travel. It also provides links to groups where you can "book" a friend on the road.

I myself searched on this page and on this one, however, instead of a fellow traveler from Batumi to Trabzon, I found a host in Tbilisi, but this is also good! Also, a search for travel companions is available at the Vinsky Forum.

When choosing a faithful companion, try to get to know each other better: communicate on social networks, find out your preferences on the method of transportation (for example, my companion, with whom we almost went to a feast with a goat kid’s carnival at a drunken horse, tries not to ride at night, and I, on the contrary, I love it), spending money (food or overnight - you can get up to such a choice sooner or later), the level of comfort (hostel, tent or hotel), etc. It will not be superfluous to inquire about personal preferences.


So where? If you are in the center of a large city, then someone will probably stop you, but offer to give a ride around the city (and not the fact that it's free). But those who, like you, heading towards the sea or mountains, will pass by. Therefore, you have to get to the exit and wait for your driver there. By the way, you can get on the minibus. And it’s even better.

When deciding on the place of deployment, think not only about your comfort, but also about the convenience of the driver. Of course, in the heat it is more pleasant to stand under a sprawling tree, but if it is located near a bridge or a steep climb, do not expect that they will stop you.

Miracles, of course, do happen (tested on their own skin), but it is prudent to expect the car of your dreams in an established or simply convenient place: at stops, near road pockets or on a wide roadside, after moving or turning.

It is possible even at a post of GAI. Traffic cops, as a rule, do not favor our brother, but upon request they can stop a comfortable truck (ideally) in the desired direction. By the way, all the truckers with whom the traffic police introduced me turned out to be wonderful people and fun interlocutors. One even threw money on the road. Verily, the world is not without good people!

Good people, ay!

Now about how to properly "catch" these very kind people and inspire them with the idea of ​​throwing you for free.

The classic gesture of Russian hitchhikers is a hand raised 90 degrees. In America, on this hand, the thumb protrudes as a sign that you are really a cool companion. We believe this without a finger. But the SOS signal should not be sent: you will be stopped even by those who have no places in the car, and they are unlikely to be grateful to you for the incorrectly stated request.

Raised your hand - smile towards a favorable trip. Attract joy and luck.

You can orient the driver with a sign indicating the place where you are getting. It works, but alas, not always. Once a trucker admitted to me: “It was only because of the tablet that I picked you up. And at first I took it wrong. ” That's why the pen is always with me. And cardboard boxes are on the way.

Sometimes, however, a tablet, especially if it contains the region code instead of the city name, misleads people. It turns out that not all drivers know these same codes and do not realize that the numbers on your leaflet are a city, not an age.

During the voting, first of all, look not at the brand of the car (for here stereotypes or your perfectionist inclinations apply), but at the number of passengers, the region code, and most importantly, the expression on the face of the driver.

The driver should inspire confidence and sympathy - this is the key to a successful trip. If it’s hard for you to make an impression in a second while the driver opens the windows and doors of his “swallow” in front of you, talk with him longer (not half an hour, of course) - no one will punish you for that.

As practice shows, there are places in which hitchhiking is difficult. This is not necessarily a city or a whole region - it can be just a kilometer stretch of road. If, having stood there for half an hour, you have not stopped anyone, you can safely move on. At the same time, try to move along the highway in compliance with safety rules: at a distance of at least a meter from the strip and preferably towards traffic.

What to say, what to say?

Find out the route and feel the mood of your interlocutor. Trust your intuition. If for some reason you did not like the driver or instilled concern, it is better to refuse the trip.

What can I tell the driver to establish contact and communicate the intention to deliver you to the desired point for free?

First, say hello. Secondly, name your route (except when you are traveling from Moscow to Ulan Bator, and a tractor stops at the village of Gadyukino). The cherished “no money” is better not to say, but to make it clear that you are a budget traveler, you can and should. For example, like this:

- Good day! I’m going to China, don’t you drop me to Astana? (or: take it wherever you can).

Young people can use expressions that reduce distance:

- Father (brother), you can’t toss to Kazan?

As a rule, newly made relatives do not refuse.

Some drivers, especially in cars, much less with his wife in the next seat, can still clarify the cost. In such cases, you should not mislead a person. If you are refused, do not be sad - your driver is driving from behind.

But it happens that a modest amount paid for the delivery, significantly changes your position. It is no secret that there are places where no one "pecks." Paying the driver now or waiting for his more generous colleague is up to you. You will get to China anyway - this is only a matter of time.

And briefly about cars. It is logical to assume that covering long distances is better (and more comfortable) on wagons with cozy sleeping bags. However, some stoppers prefer cars that drive closer, but faster, and, unlike truckers, more often pick up male travelers. Then to each his own.

I once caught a car near Tbilisi near Saratov, but I had to get out of it, because the driver did not sleep the previous night and did not plan to sleep the next, and safety on the road above all else.

If you are stopped by a breadmaker, milk tanker or mail van, get ready that all the way he will call at different points and will not take you far. The same applies to minibuses, which can also be negotiated for free, and tractors, coupled with pavers.

Do not forget to look at the region code, although there may be discrepancies: the driver himself lives in Moscow, Rostov numbers, puts you in Georgia and travels to Novosibirsk.

Blackout outside the window - where to sleep?

During the conversation, time flew by, the driver drove to the right place, and you were face to face with the night. And silence. And the dead with braids. But let's not talk about sad things.

To avoid this, let's figure out where you can spend the night during hitchhiking adventures.

I would answer this question briefly - everywhere.

But first things first.

Let's divide the night into a civilized and wild one. To a civilized one, I would classify hotels, hostels, couchsurfing permits and stops at good people who accidentally fell into the hands of.

Everything else falls under the definition of a wild lodging: a tent in a field, airports, train stations, roadside cafes and other places that are lacking the best.

Hostels and hotels

So, hotels and hostels. You can book them in advance, or you can check in suddenly. In any case, if you are traveling to an unfamiliar city, it is better to check the availability of such institutions in advance. By the way, if there is a lack of free places in a hotel you like in booking, be aware that this is not always the case. Just hotels not all available rooms contribute to booking. Ready to vouch for this.

Whoever asked for the night will soon understand another

If an overnight stay for money is in no way part of your plans, try to find an overnight stay using couchsurfing. There, most often, the same travelers are registered as you, so there is a chance to find a warm place. As the saying goes, "who himself requested an overnight stay would sooner understand another."

You can use the website directly, or you can use VKontakte groups: KAUCHsurfing and Travel and Couchsurfing, travel companions, travelers.

Some groups have lists of lists, for example, HERE, but the search is not very convenient, because offers are not sorted by region and city. It is more convenient to look for a subscription in the WUA group, because here, from this point of view, everything is thought out.

Random luck

It also happens that accidentally met people, having learned about your status as a budget traveler, are invited to visit. My name was repeatedly, but I didn’t have to spend the night: either I understood that today it is more expedient to move further along the path, or I, as a girl, was a little scared to stay. But, if these factors do not bother you, why not?

Give me the dawn by the green tent

If you are moving with your tent, the absence of hospitable hosts should not confuse you. Choose your place to spend the night. Experienced travelers prefer to spend the night away from settlements, in a place hidden from their eyes (for example, in the forest).

If the night caught near the village, you can leave at dawn, so as not to attract too much attention. Look for a place that is protected from strong winds, so it will not only be warmer for you, but also better for your fire.

For hygiene reasons, it is more convenient to camp near a water source. However, in summer there are a lot of mosquitoes near ponds, in tall grass and in bushes - keep this factor in mind.

Train stations and airports

Obvious advantages of such a haven:

  • You will never oversleep the desired departure time.
  • As a rule, an institution has a cafe.
  • Not as scary as on the side of the road (usually).

  • You are unlikely to sleep at all, unless, of course, you have a dozen sleepless nights.
  • If you do fall asleep, they might rob you. Hide all valuables in the inside pockets of your clothes.
  • Железнодорожные вокзалы и, тем более, аэропорты имеются не во всех городах. Автовокзалы могут закрываться на ночь.

Солдат спит — фура идёт

Ночёвка в едущей машине — одно из самых действенных средств сократить километраж и совместить приятное с полезным. Если, конечно, вы не боитесь, что водитель уснёт за рулём. Если же боитесь — будьте добры, запаситесь интересными историями на несколько часов вперёд. Sometimes this is required by the owner of the truck, and he is right: you have to pay for pleasure.

Get enough sleep in the morning in the next truck.

If the car went to sleep, the driver is likely to find a warm place for you. But, if you are a girl, immediately outline the boundaries of what is permitted so that there are no surprises.

Other interesting surprises

For 10 years of hitchhiking, I had to spend the night in trucks, and at the airport, and at the railway and bus station, and even at a gas station. Of course, we did not sleep at the gas station, but danced all night to the music from the nearest cafe (I still recall the Rostov gas station to the songs of Chi-Li). We went to this cafe for a snack, but found nothing but tea with expensive chocolate. Perhaps, since the distant 2007, something has changed for the better.

By creating this article, I interviewed friends, acquaintances and strangers, in which the most unusual place they spent the night. And I hasten to please you: the list of places that a person can choose as an overnight stay was extremely wide.

Experienced people spent the night in a mosque, on a bench in the park (this was in Istanbul, and not only in the program “Eagle and Tails”), in the shower and toilet of the store (Spain), in the cemetery (they didn’t notice at night - it's cool, right?), in the middle of the horse trail (and in the morning the horses came and woke up).

Even the porch of a store can descend as a haven: one respondent was sitting down on his steps. So look and find!

Read also:

A hitchhiker girl should not dress provocatively. Indiscreet topic and shorts, quite appropriate in the city, on the track can cause unnecessary associations. It is best to wear comfortable, clean, and tidy clothing that is suitable for a variety of weather conditions. In this case, the traveler has a better chance of passing transportation.

In order to be noticed on the road, bright elements should be present on the clothes. If you vote at night, make sure that reflective elements are present on the clothing.

2. The girl is better to go paired with a man

Hitchhiking is always associated with risks, so it is better to travel together. Of course, girls traveling alone are always more likely to get a ride. However, the young girl runs the risk of being in an unpleasant situation.