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Busting the Five Big Myths About Hitchhiking

When you tell people, friends and family, that you're intending on hitchhiking your way across a country, or even multiple countries, you will often be greeted with worried expressions and comments about terrible things. Although it's true when you say 'there's no smoke without fire', but the fact that some hitchhiking horror stories are so famous are because they are so rare. Either way, it's pretty difficult to face this sort of pessimism, and can definitely put you off when others inundate you with horror stories, but this sort of thing doesn't happen all the time, everywhere.

Alpha are helping to bust the most popular myths about hitchhiking.

  1. Something terrible will happen to you

A pretty dramatic thing to start off with, but this is definitely the point which is on most people's minds when you tell them you're going hitchhiking. Millions of people hitchhike every year across countries and continents around the world, and as yet only the minority run into any trouble.

  1. Hitching means standing in the rain, for hours

This one is down to how you advertise yourself. If you're in the rain, you're less likely to catch a lift anyway because you're wet and people don't want wet inside their car. If you're smiling, dancing, laughing and generally advertising yourself as great company, you're much more likely to get a lift than if you were sat on the ground drinking, smoking and looking miserable.

  1. People won't pick up more than two hitchers

It's a well-known hitchhiking fact that the more people you have in your group, the less likely you are going to get picked up due to people's space limitations and the fact that you can come across as intimidating. Strangers driving past you in cars are just as wary of picking up strangers on the side of the road, especially if they think that more than a couple of you could overpower them or harm them. Again, this issue is all about approachability - if you look happy, fun and harmless, you're more likely to be picked up, regardless of how many of you there are.

  1. People who pick up hitchhikers are weird/criminal

Another myth - most people who pick up hitchhikers are former hitchhikers themselves, or are people travelling alone for a long journey and who fancy the company and someone to have a conversation with.

  1. Hitchhiking is for smelly hippy gap year students with no money

Definitely a horrible stereotype - sometimes it's actually cheaper to hitch. Surprise accommodation costs and things that pop up unexpectedly can often cause your wallet to leak more money than a £10 Easyjet flight. Hitching is an enjoyable and spontaneous way of travelling - anyone can do it.

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If you are planning on hitchhiking in a foreign country, make sure that you invest in good quality travel insurance. Whilst hitching is enjoyable and for the most part, safe, ensuring that things like your possessions and health are in good hands whilst you're abroad are paramount. If you're worried about safety, make sure you do enough adequate research before you travel to ensure that you know what to do should and emergency situation arise.

* Please note, hitchhiking is not covered on an Alpha policy, however please contact us to discuss alternative options.

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