A '''rest area''' (or '''service area''' ('''RSA'''), '''service station''') is a public facility located next to a motorway at which drivers and passengers can rest, eat, or refuel without exiting on to secondary roads. It can be a great place for hitchhiking: you can ask for a ride when drivers re-fill or wander around the area, or you can stand by its exit (that leads to a motorway) and hitchhike there.
Facilities of the rest area may include park-like areas, fuel stations, toilets, and restaurants. Rest areas are common in the [[United States]], [[Canada]], [[Australia]] and parts of [[Europe]] ([[France]]: Aire de service, [[Germany]]: Raststätte (directly on the Autobahn) and Autohof (somewhat off the Autobahn), [[Italy]]: Area Servizio, [[United Kingdom]]: Motorway services, [[Austria]]: Autobahnstation, [[Denmark]]: Serviceanlæg, [http://www.info-teria.dk/ Info-teria], [[Hungary]]: Pihenohely, [[Netherlands]]: verzorgingsplaats, [[Slovenia]]:
Počivališča) and [[Asia]].
Not all rest areas include [[Petrol station hitchhiking|petrol stations]] - this means that the traffic on such rest areas will, in general, be much lower, and one can expect more difficulties when looking for a ride there. For service areas with gas stations see information [[Where to hitchhike|here]].
== Get out of a rest area ==
Also, be aware that rest areas may not be the safest places due to petty crime.
= Personal experiences ===
[[User:Kimdime69|Kimdime]] managed to camp in rest areas where there was trees and/or places reasonably hidden.
[[User:Hippietrail|Hippietrail]] has slept right on the benches at the front of several rest areas in Japan with no problems at all.
== United States ==
In most states of the United States there are no petrol stations on rest areas. In these states the rest areas are a relatively good option for hitchhiking. In some of them ([[Ohio]]?) you will even find free wireless internet. In [[New Hampshire]] you can try to hitchhike at the state liquor stores that are very popular because of the state's low (non-existing?) tax on alcohol.