History of hitchhiking

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The history of hitchhiking might be as old as the invention of the wheel.


A hitchhiker in Luxembourg on 18 or 19 Aug 1977 (then 18 years old).

In the 1970s hitchhiking was much more popular in affluent countries than these days.


In the 1980s hitchhiking experienced a clear decline in affluent countries in Western Europe and North America, perhaps due to the selfish spirit of capitalism, or fear promoted through scaremongering from the media.

It remained relatively easy in the countries of Eastern Europe as fear of crime was much lower and a sharing spirit promoted neighbourliness. Rates of car ownership were lower than Western Europe a decade before.


In 2006 the domain name hitchwiki.org was registered. The wiki that was moved there had been started a bit before. In a couple of years the site grew to the biggest resource of hitchhiking information.

See also Hitchwiki:About.

More information

Applications-office.png This article is a stub. This means that the information available to us is obviously insufficient. In these places little information is available or the description is severely outdated. If you have been there, whether hitchhiking, for travel or as part of an organized tour − be sure to extend this article!