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The top ten hitchhiker mistakes

1. not communicating clearly You want to go South and end up going East. Make sure where your driver goes before you are heading off...

2. overestimate your skills This is a quite nice one for experienced hitchhikers. Starting late in the evening or planning too long distances.

3. listen to the driver's suggestions Everybody does it in the beginning of their career. You are not quite sure about the place you want to be dropped and you listen to the suggestions of your driver (who often hitchhiked himself in the seventies). Never do, you are the hitchhiking expert and you know where to hitchhike. In 9 of the 10 cases you will have a couple of hours waiting time to regret the decision. ;-)

4. stick to a gas station You're at a gas station on the highway and the next gas station on the highway is 122 km away. Don't be set upon finding a ride that takes you there. If you end up not getting a ride for more than 30 minutes you're probably better off at an on-ramp half way -- as long as there's enough daylight left.

5. truck stops with 2 people Truckers are often happy to take hitchhikers. But in Western Europe and North America they're unlikely to pick up two hitchhikers, especially if their colleagues can see them. Avoid places with only trucks if you want a ride for 2.

6. losing properties on the road Hitchhiking requires going into and leaving vehicles, sometimes very quickly depending on the situation. It happens easily that you forget an object, for example the map that you use to study the best place to change cars, or to know where about you actually are.

7. not turning down rides In several occasions it is good to turn down rides. The clearest example is that accepting short rides from good hitchhiking spots is not always a good decision. The right decision can only be made with a lot of experience, and making the right decisions is always easier on roads that you already know.

8. falling asleep, falling in love (with the driver) or starting a too interesting discussion These mistakes make you miss the best hitchhiking spots, because you are sleeping, because of the butterflies, or because the talking takes up all of your attention...

9. discussing controversial matters with drivers, losing control over conversation Some drivers need to bring over extreme political opinions. This is not food for debate, you only need to hear it because for one you were to accept the ride from a stranger, who thinks to have the right in return to say what he or she wants, even if this seems to be very controversial or factually wrong. Discussing those matters too fiercly has a negative impact of the joy of the conversation and the pleasure experienced during and after the ride.