If you’re heading out on the open road alone and you’re female, you’ll have no doubt been bombarded by countless people telling you how dangerous it is, especially if you’re planning to do some hitchhiking along the way.
Hitchhiking for a solo woman should be no different than for a man, as long as you keep your wits about you, don’t take any unnecessary risks and use your brain a little! Here are our top tips for solo female hitchhikers.
- Keep a track of any vehicles you get into
This is a great way to stay safe as it will allow people to know where you are at all times. Before you enter a vehicle with someone, take a snap of it – including the licence plates – and send it on to a few people. Let them know where you are and how long you’re planning on being in the vehicle for (usually agreed before you get in).
- Be prepared for some sticky situations
Hitchhiking, as with anything, is not without its risks, and it’s a good idea to try to prepare yourself for some of the situations you might be concerned about before the off. Things like being touched, flashed or being refused to leave the vehicle are all pretty common experiences for female hitchhikers in some countries, so think about how you’d react in these situations, and maybe do some research on what other women have done.
- Do some research on the places you’ll be hitchhiking in
Depending on where you are in the world, your hitchhiking experience will vary hugely – whether you’re female or male. This will be due to the difference in culture, language and laws. Therefore it’s a really good idea to take the time to do some research on where you’re going to be hitchhiking, so you can have a better idea to expect (particularly with things like speed limits and drink driving laws, etc). It will hopefully help you avoid making any social faux pas, too.
- When in doubt…avoid
It’s really that simple. If an offer sounds too good to be true, chances are, it probably (and unfortunately) is. Always have a good backup plan for when you just can’t find a reputable ride. Look into global travel options like https://www.blacklane.com/en – a taxi service with a difference, that allows you to book a car and driver that best suits your needs and for a time slot to make sure you’re covered.
- Don’t let people put you off!
As mentioned above, as soon as you mention the fact that you’re hitchhiking to most people, they’ll most likely lose their minds. Try to remember that it is only because they care about you, but politely remind them that you know what you’re doing, and that you’re not an idiot. Make sure you keep in touch with home regularly to keep everyone happy. Sending a postcard home from each destination is a nice touch, too.