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Robert "prino" Prins is a 56-year old hitchhiking grandfather of four, born in the Netherlands, but now living in Oostende in Belgium.

His recorded hitchhiking career started on 16 June 1980 at 7:47 and as of 2 June 2016 at 08:52 he has hitched 487,004.4 km in the following 33 countries:

Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, France, Austria, Yugoslavia, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Belgium, United Kingdom, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Ireland, Japan, San Marino, Portugal, Spain, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and Andorra.

He has also been to the USA on two occasions, visiting Austin and New York, but he has not done any hitchhiking during those visits.

See details on his log  of hitching trips.

He's fluent in Dutch and English, more than capable of speaking German and knows enough French to survive when dropped in the middle of nowhere in France.

Some personal hitchhike records/statistics

Famous for 15 minutes...
  • Career distance: 487,004.4 km (as of 2016-06-02T08:52)
  • Best 24 hour: 2,318.4 km, from Southern Yugoslavia (1989-07-05T00:00) to just before Raststätte Hamburg-Stillhorn (Germany) (1989-07-05T24:00). This record can be found on page 179 of the 1991 UK edition of the Guinness Book of Records, see the link from Hitchhiking World Records for full details.
  • Best calendar month: 9,936.4 km, July 1990 - 17 hitchhiking days, the De Bilt to Athina part of trip 11.
  • Best calendar year: 47,015.2 km, from 2015-01-04T08:30 to 2015-12-02T22:42 - 333 days (55 days on-the-road).
  • Best 365 days: 53,088.4 km, from 2014-09-16T09:47 to 2015-09-10T17:26 - 360 days (65 days on-the-road).
  • Longest ride: 2,502.9 km, from Platamon (Greece) (1990-08-13T16:32) to Driebergen (Netherlands) (1990-08-15T12:54), also in trip 11.
  • Fastest ride: 196.1 km/h (average speed!), from Raststätte Fränkische Schweiz/Pegnitz (Germany) (2015-05-27T06:05) to Raststätte Fläming (2015-05-27T07:49) - the ride included a refulling/toilet stop from 6:58 to 7:09. There have been a multitude of rides where the highest speed has exceeded this value, the highest ever observed speed was in a Mercedes E63 AMG on 2016-05-25 between 19:59 and 21:22 during ride 7 of trip 176, from MOP Nowostawy to a petrol station after the exit Poznan Komorniki, when the digital speedo showed a speed of 300 km per hour. An attempt by the driver to go faster failed due to the too high density of traffic.
  • Fastest trip: 613.5 km in 4:37 hours (actual driving time), from Oostende (Belgium) (2016-02-27T08:46) via Germany back to Oostende (2014-02-27T19:29).
  • Exceed one Light-second: On 2011-02-02 at about 11:00 his recorded hitchhiking distance exceeded 299.792.5 km. It takes light one second to travel this distance, it took Prino, give or take a few leap-seconds, 966,674,160 times longer.
  • Best Vilniaus Autostopo Klubas traveler (distance-wise) for the club years of 2001/2, 2007/8, 2011/12 and 2012/13.


On the web

Prino's Blog

Mentioned in a Master's Thesis

On Live on the road’s Videos on Vimeo

Prino by Sarah Franke

On the website of the Vilniaus Autostopo Klubas

On Bernd Wechner's mirror of Suite 101

Daily life

In his daily life he is an analyst programmer with nearly 30 years of experience in PL/I and somewhat less in DB2, CICS, REXX and IDMS. He is the author and maintainer of a set of REXX execs that can be used to convert legacy languages into HTML. He is also, since February 2003, the maintainer of the mini-FAQ for the comp.lang.pascal.borland Usenet newsgroup.

He is currently unemployed. A CV is available on request.


The origins of "prino"?

The name "prino" was "given" to him in 1974 by his chemistry teacher, Eelco Hessling. When going through the names in his teachers notebook, he could not read his own handwriting, called "Robert Prins" "Robert Prino". The name was taken over by a few of his classmates and has stuck ever since.


  • email: robert(a)prino(d)org
  • Skype: prinox
  • JustVoip: madtruffi
  • Hospitality Club: prino
  • CouchSurfing: prino
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