On the road to nowhere... (Vicki Watkins)
List 10 January

The 5 dos and don'ts of hitchhiking

Hitchhiker and author, Steve Dew-Jones offers his top tips for the staying safe and making the most of hitchhiking

5 dos for hitchhiking:

1. Make sure you stand in a well-lit place, where you are easily visible to passers by.

2. Make sure there is space for the driver to pull in, just beyond where you are standing.

3. Stand in a place where cars are moving slowly. A roundabout exit is ideal.

4. Better still, approach people in a petrol station or in a town and talk to them to reassure them you aren't a lunatic.

5. Learn the native tongue, or at least the basics (Hello, goodbye, please, thank you, how are you and where are you going?)

5 don'ts for hitchhiking:

1. It is best not to do it alone, although I regularly break this rule.

2. If you are a girl, it is probably a good idea to hitch with a guy, although, if you can't, a group of two or three of you would be safer than going solo.

3. Ideally, you shouldn't get into a vehicle in which you will be outnumbered, although this may prove impossible/less fun the further away from Europe you go.

4. Don't get in if you don't trust the driver, i.e. They seem aggressive, drunk, or just a bit dodgy.

5. Don't get into a vehicle until you're sure you've arranged whether or not you're willing to pay for the journey. (Outside of Western Europe it is often customary for drivers to ask for money in return for services, so be prepared! "No money" is another good phrase to learn in each new tongue.)

For your chance to win a copy of Steve Dew-Jones new book, The Rule of Thumb, see our competition pages... More