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When in Germany, it is generally recommended to avoid the so called ''Autohofs'' which usually are not great for hitching a ride mostly because they are not located directly on the Autobahn and it is hard to get a ride from there in exact direction of where you are heading to.
''Autobahnraststätte'' is totally different: There you find both a petrol station and a restaurant for all sorts of people who need a break - an excellent place!
Sometimes it can be useful to get in touch with people who work on a petrol station. Asking drivers directly instead of waiting for the car at the area's exit is a good way to catch a ride. It is recommended that female hitchhikers first ask the male driver(s) where he (they) is (are) going to, instead of revealing one's own destination in a question to the driver, so that during the conversation it would become clear if it is safe or not to go with that driver, and if it feels risky, one can pretend not going the same direction.