Hitchhiking: is hitchhiking allowed?

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Is it even allowed to hitchhike in Germany? So, are you allowed to hitchhike? A not entirely unfounded question. Although the attractive offers of the long-distance bus providers and cheap rides give a different impression, hitchhiking has by no means slipped out of the trend in Germany. This is primarily true when it comes to getting as much as possible To save money. It is not for nothing that numerous people can be seen on the roadside during the holiday season take away opportunity waiting. But how does hitchhiking behave in a legal context? Basically it is in Germany not forbiddento hitchhike. However, some rules must be observed. Because hitchhiking is also subject to the Road Traffic Act (StVO) and requires that hitchhikers - who are actually pedestrians - also follow the usual rules. Because, as for all other road users, the same applies to hitchhikers: Consideration and cautious movements on the road are the top priority. It is per se not forbiddento stand by the side of the road with a thumbs up. However, care should be taken to where to stand and where not.

Hitchhiking without endangering others!

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It is and remains a matter of course that autobahns are a No-go area for pedestrians are. On smaller roads, however, the rule applies that the roadside may be entered if there are no sidewalks or hard shoulders. Paragraph 25 of the Road Traffic Act also states that outside of built-up areas only on the left side of the road may be walked, but this within town not mandatory is. The general rules also include that you so close to the edge as possible, and especially in the dark and when visibility is poor, several people running in a row should. General knowledge should also be applied, so streets and railway tracks may only be crossed at the designated places. This also includes respecting closures and following police instructions.

Hitchhiking at service areas only if the operator agrees.

Sometimes hitchhiking on the freeway can be inevitable. In such a case, rest stops and gas stations are the exit and entry points of the hitchhiker trip. Despite the openness of the squares and facilities, misunderstandings can quickly arise when the operator not consents to the stay of hitchhikers. Because at every rest area applies: It is the property of the operator and he can toleration or just no tolerance pronounce. But what actually is hitchhiking?

  • Hitchhiking is an adventure: Hitchhiking per se is adventurous as you never know where you will get off and who will accompany you on this journey. You can sit back and let things flow freely.
  • Hitchhiking is environmentally friendly: Since you don't drive a car yourself, there are almost none additional exhaust gases. In addition, the roads are spared an additional car.
  • hitchhiking slowed down: Everything is much slower than by plane or rental car. You stand around a lot and wait and have to be patient. Since hitchhiking is never really hectic, you have plenty of time to let things sink in!
  • Hitchhiking is inexpensive: As a rule, drivers are happy to pick up hitchhikers, regardless of the country, sometimes even without asking for anything in return. The mere presence of the hitchhiker is often enough, as it brings a change from everyday life (especially for truckers). In some countries, however, tipping is the same when it comes to paying for hitchhiking. So should before starting the journey be immediately ascertained as to what the motorist expects in return. Finally, and combined with affordable accommodation, a country's culture can be experienced for little money thanks to hitchhiking.
  • Hitchhiking is social: Not only do you meet a lot of people, they are different and come from all imaginable social structures. In this way, each driver can get to know a different origin, profession, political view and interests. The wide variety of drivers, which can range from police officers to animal rights activists or farmers, is open to you. The only requirement is that you approach others with openness in order to get openness.
  • Hitchhiking is practical: Above all, less developed regions, where there are no buses, for example, depend on hitchhiking. In some German rural areas, hitchhiking is still considered an alternative to the bus ride. In the Czech Republic or Ireland, this is even considered a frequently practiced method and almost part of the culture of the country.

Tips that can help when hitchhiking!

A little planning: As in many areas of life, a certain amount of planning pays off when hitchhiking. Even if hitchhiking is inherently spontaneous, a lack of planning can be fatal. It is therefore advisable to make a list in which the necessary equipment written down for the trip and prepared afterwards. What is needed?

  1. In any case one backpack, which is not too small, but also not too big and fits in a normal car.
  2. There is also a tent and a Sleeping bag, if hitchhiking is not ideal and you have to spend the night on the side of the road.
  3. Clothing that you would also take with you on a hiking trip or backpacking.
  4. Enough provisions, i.e. food and drink if you are stuck in a remote area for a few days.
  5. A pocket knife (better a swiss army knife) and a flashlight.
  6. A paper road map showing the destination of your trip. In case your cell phone is not available, you could rely on the paper map and show it to a local in an emergency. He may be able to help you find your way around.
  7. Of course, the basic equipment of every hitchhiker should not be missing. So is a cardboard sign and a thick one edding a set a link from your homepage to Fewo-von-Privat.de.

Find a suitable position: To be successful at hitchhiking, you need to know where to position yourself. So the best chance of being seen by a driver or trucker is where he sees you the longest and already from far away able to see. The longer this time, the longer he can decide to take you with him. You should also stand in such a way that the driver can stop easily and safely. Popular places for hitchhikers are gas stations and service areas, sometimes even freeway entrances. With the latter, however, not every country is allowed to stand there. Getting a lift in the city is less successful than on a busy out-of-town route. In addition, the place must not be able to be left and one should not be dropped off at such a place.

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It's worth getting up early: The hitchhikers have the highest success rate early in the morning try their luck. Traffic is heavier before work and you have a better chance of being picked up before other hitchhikers. Basically when tramping: The early bird catches the worm. If two hitchhikers have a similar goal, it might be worthwhile to find a taker together.

generate attention: There is a sign language among motorists and hitchhikers. Becomes with your index finger on the steering wheel shown, the driver leaves the city not. Gesturing down with the palm of your hand means the car is full. With the external appearance you can attract more attention and thus more success. A visibly extended thumb and a prominent, not dark clothes increase the chances significantly. If none of this works, the last option is to speak to the driver personally. However, this is only possible at rest stops and petrol stations where the vehicle is logically not in motion.

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Better safe than sorry: Although studies have not been able to prove an increased safety risk when hitchhiking, you can still protect yourself just in case to secure. Especially if you are traveling alone, the following safety rules are recommended:

  • No means no: If your ride doesn't seem untrustworthy, don't be afraid to say thank you to cancel. To avoid an awkward situation, it's a good idea to ask the driver where they're going before they ask you. In an emergency, you can claim it's the wrong direction.
  • The license plate should photographed or written down will. For double security, a picture can also be sent to family or friends.
  • If it is necessary to get out of the car quickly, preparatory measures should be taken. That's how it should be Backpack always between the legs held in order to be able to leave the vehicle quickly in an emergency.

Get a place to sleep: Although the tent is packed, a warm bed is almost always the better alternative. Therefore, it never hurts to look for accommodation nearby before setting off on the next trip. Next to the Couchsurfing are hotels/hostels or airbnb a good alternative.

Where is the best place to hitchhike?

With a few exceptions, this is hitchhiking possible almost anywhere in the world. However, there are countries that are particularly suited to hitchhiking and countries where it is not a good idea:

  1. Mexico: Hitchhiking is not allowed in every region. It is also common for drivers to ask for a small payment.
  2. Canada: Here, too, hitchhiking is not permitted everywhere, but relatively easy.
  3. USA: Again, each state has its own regulations regarding the legality of hitchhiking. In addition, it is rather unusual in the USA.
  4. Singapore, : As in Hong Kong is hitchhiking here throughout verboten and is therefore not practiced.
  5. China: Hitchhiking is also not allowed here, but is rarely checked. Especially in rural areas, complications can arise due to the language barrier.
  6. Netherlands: In the Netherlands, hitchhiking is not only allowed, but widespread. Here, hitchhiking drivers are even assisted by specially equipped "lifter hold“ – i.e. entry aids – can make use of.
  7. Germany: Although it is no longer common in Germany, nothing stands in the way of hitchhiking here.
  8. Ireland: Since public transport is relatively poorly developed, even many Irish people use hitchhiking as a travel option.
  9. Cuba: In Cuba, cars are common property, so the state has made it compulsory for hitchhikers to be taken along. So tramping is almost mandatory here.
  10. Israel: Similar to the Netherlands, hitchhikers will also find “trempiyadas” here, which make hitchhiking a lot easier.
  11. African countries: In Africa, hitchhiking is often seen as a substitute for public transport.
  12. Thailand, : Tramping is also common here, but many drivers will ask for a small payment.
  13. Indonesia: Similar to Thailand, hitchhiking is also allowed here, but often with a small tip.

Of course, that wasn't the end of it.

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