How to Safely Hitchhike Around the USA

Hitchhiking is one of the most common forms of transportation. It’s ideal for people who want to travel light and see a lot, but it can also be dangerous in certain parts of the country because drivers are less likely to pick up hitchhikers. In this post I’ll teach you how to safely hitch-hike around America without getting hurt or arrested by police.

Hitchhiking is a great way to travel around the USA. The “hitchhiking” article will teach you how to hitch safely and avoid getting in any trouble.

Vintage man standing at the road illustration.

Note from the editor: This is a guest post by Benjamin Jenks.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes You’re probably asking yourself two questions.

1. Isn’t hitchhiking a risky activity?

I know a guy who hitchhiked across the globe, another who hitchhiked through Afghanistan, and I myself have hitchhiked over 14,000 miles throughout the United States. It is possible to do so, and it is possible to do so securely.

Ronald Reagan was the one who pulled it off. Dan Rather was the one who pulled it off. Author James A. Michener achieved it—at the age of 14 and with just 35 cents in his pocket. All three of these guys made it through their hitchhiking trips, and you can too if you approach it properly.

Just keep your journey a secret from your mother until after you’ve returned… There’s no reason to be concerned about her.

2. What makes you think I’d want to hitchhike?

Hitchhiking is a lot of fun, a cheap adventure, and a terrific opportunity to meet people from other parts of the world. It may, however, teach you two crucial male principles that are much required in today’s environment.

A. How to solve issues independently.

“Think for yourself to discover yourself.” Socrates –

Consider being dropped off in a city you’ve never visited before. You need to figure out where you are, where you can get food and housing, where you can be safe, and where the ideal area to hitchhike is rapidly.

It is a problem-solving practice that may benefit you in many aspects of your life.

B. How to communicate with a wide range of individuals.

“The ability to interact with people is as valuable as sugar or coffee, and I will pay more for it than for anything else.” – Rockefeller, John D.

You may be shocked to learn that hitchhikers are picked up by a broad assortment of individuals.

You may catch a ride from a rich CEO who wants to reminisce about his or her younger and more adventurous days, a mother who can’t take seeing a young guy standing out in the cold, or a farmer who drives a pickup truck and will pick someone up just because they are traveling in the same direction.

A hitchhiker is repeatedly placed in circumstances that compel them to develop their social skills. The smoother a hitchhiker’s journey will be, the better he is at connecting with others. It’s the same in the workplace or while dating.


The rules for being a successful guy have shifted. It’s no longer possible to work for a corporation for 30 years and expect to advance to a stable position. Even a college diploma will not guarantee you satisfying career that will allow you to support people you care about.

A guy who can solve issues on his own and interact with other people, on the other hand, is a man who can withstand the difficulties of our day.

As a Manly Rite of Passage, Hitchhiking

Hundreds of years ago, certain Native American tribes would abandon their young men in the woods, leaving them to fend for themselves and work things out on their own. Young rites of passage taught these guys how to deal with adversity and think for themselves, as well as instilling confidence in their skills.


Many boys were taught the lessons of masculinity by working alongside their fathers in the fields in our own past. Every obstacle was an opportunity to learn something new.

Today, as our society grows increasingly technical, the men of the future are acquiring masculine ideals from the most recent television program, viral video, or the most graphically advanced computer game.

Hitchhiking is an activity that may teach guys of all ages valuable skills that can make them happy. However, your mother was correct in that it may be risky, particularly if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are some helpful hints for hitchhiking safely.

How to Hitchhike Across the United States

1. Learn about the laws.

Hitchhiking is permitted in all 50 states of the United States, contrary to popular belief. However, the regulations that control the highways varies somewhat in each state, city, and municipality. In most countries, hitchhiking is permitted provided you keep off the roadway and are in an area where automobiles may safely pull over.

The most extensive information on the legislation in each state may be found on the website (yep, there is an online community of hitchhikers). Before you depart, do some research about the area you want to visit.

2. Take just what you need.

You will be happy if your load is lighter. Just make sure you have extra food and gear in case you get trapped.

Carry a backpack with you and load it as though you’re going on a three-day trek.

Pack additional clothing, a light jacket, a raincoat, more socks than you think you’ll need, long underwear, a stocking cap, and good boots.

In your pack, include at least two bottles of water, some snacks, and suntan lotion. Bring a small sleeping bag and a tent as well. It will take a burden off your mind if you can build a cozy shelter practically anyplace.

Bring nothing with you that you would be upset if you lost.

3. Prepare Your Mind

Prepare to be shunned by the majority of society and to wait for hours by the side of the road. Consider it a challenge.

Regardless of what others say, can you keep a strong belief in yourself?

You’ll probably end up disappointed if you attempt to hitchhike only to go someplace inexpensive. A successful hitchhiker is willing to entertain himself for lengthy periods of time wherever he ends up.

4. Put on the Props

People pick up hitchhikers who seem to be them. Dress yourself like the locals to increase your “luck.”

In a working-class neighborhood, dress in jeans and a flannel shirt. In a more white-collar environment, khakis will function better.

It should go without saying that you must be clean.

5. Pick a Location

Choose an on-ramp on the outskirts of town with steady traffic. The more room a driver has to pull over safely, the better.

Drivers will have an opportunity to inspect you at a nearby stop sign or stoplight. You’ll want to give them as much time as possible to decide.


6. Extend Your Thumb

Make a confident thumbs up. Smile and look drivers in the eyes. Stand tall and proud. Don’t be self-conscious or insecure.

Ensure that the drivers are able to see your eyes and grin. Keep your backpack on for as long as possible without dying.

Singing, playing an instrument, thinking, or listening to music are all good things to do to keep yourself happy. But don’t sit or read a book.

Do not smoke, drink, or engage in any unlawful activity.

Accept it if someone sneers at you or gives you a filthy look. Continue doing what you’re doing, whether you smile or look away. Allowing it to affect you is not a good idea.

If you find yourself in a bad mood, take a 20-minute break. A snooze in a warm field or a steaming cup of coffee might help you re-energize.

7. Select Your Mode of Transportation

Yes, be certain that you choose your mode of transportation.

Find out whatever you can about the driver. Before you get in their vehicle, ask them where they’re going and why.

While you’re listening to their responses, ask yourself a few questions.

Is it true that they are addressing your inquiries truthfully and openly? Their replies will make sense if they are speaking the truth, and they will not hesitate to respond.

Do they seem to be gazing you in the eyes? This is a sign that the person is trustworthy.

Are they interrogating you to see whether you’re a trustworthy individual? A trustworthy driver will be wary of you and worried about their own safety.

Do I feel at ease and calm when I’m with this person? In this case, go with your gut instinct.

Does this individual seem to be typically cheerful and relaxed?

Accept not every ride that comes to a stop. Accepting a ride out of desperation is not a good idea; always have a backup plan. Accept transportation only from folks you feel secure with. Remember that there will always be another vehicle.

In an automobile, check for the following warning signs:

A dirty, strange-smelling automobile may indicate that the individual is careless and unconcerned about their own requirements. B. Unusual eye contact: Excessive or infrequent eye contact is a hint that they have something to conceal. C. Empty alcohol containers or indicators that the driver is inebriated in the vehicle: Look for empty alcohol containers or signs that the driver is intoxicated in the car. D. If you have more than one passenger in the vehicle, you’re more likely to be taken advantage of. E. Anger, impatience, or a domineering demeanor: These individuals are less steady and less enjoyable to ride with.

If you don’t want to travel with them, here are a few solid reasons:

A. “You know, I was really hoping for a ride that would take me a long distance (no matter how far).” “Actually, I just remembered I forgot to grab something in town,” B. says. Regardless, thank you.” “Ugh…something I ate back there isn’t sitting right,” C. says, looking nauseous. It’s time for me to return to town. Nonetheless, thank you.”


7. In the Automobile

I always set the tone by asking them questions about their plans and really caring about them. I find out at least one of their passions and use it to concentrate our discussion. The majority of drivers are willing to converse and give information. Ask intelligent inquiries while paying close attention to what’s being said.

Some motorists will be interested in learning more about you. Share your destination and why you decided to hitchhike. Most people will be awed by your bravery and appreciate your independence.

When you’re ready, provide your personal information. Some rides will put you at rest right away, while others may make you want to be cautious. Allow your intuition to lead you.

Even if you don’t need them, accept any presents that are presented to you. The majority of individuals do not meet someone on an adventure and will appreciate the opportunity to assist.

Getting Dumped is number eight on the list of things that may happen to you.

Early on in your journey, begin discussing where you will be dropped off with your driver. To check the map, I also suggest having a smartphone.

Insist on being left off in a safe location, such as a gas station parking lot.

If you wish to keep hitchhiking, look for a road that has a truck stop. The more people that stop off the highway for petrol or munchies before going on, the better.

Cities may be difficult to navigate as well. Because hitchhiking in cities is almost impossible, request to be dropped off before or after a city.

Additional Hitchhiking Safety Advice

A. Let your friends and family know where you’re going before you go, and schedule a time to contact them. B. Before getting in a vehicle, text or pretend to SMS your driver’s license plate to a buddy. C. Have confidence in yourself, sit up straight in your seat, look your driver in the eyes, and remain calm. D. Avoid bringing philosophical, political, or spiritual concerns up in conversation. E. Speak up for yourself if necessary, and say no if necessary. F. Though you feel unsafe, act as if you’re about to vomit all over their vehicle and want to be let out right away.

Have you ever hitchhiked? Do you have any more suggestions? Leave your thoughts and advice in the comments!

Have you ever hitchhiked? Do you have any more suggestions? Leave your thoughts and advice in the comments!

Benjamin Jenks is hitchhiking throughout the United States and plans to go around the globe for the next five years. At, he creates inspiring movies about his travels and offers practical travel advice.




Hitchhiking is a popular way of traveling, but it can be dangerous. If you’re a woman and want to hitchhike safely, follow these tips. Reference: how to hitchhike safely as a woman.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to hitchhike in USA?

A: Safe as long as you do not hitchhike at night. Pick up a map of the United States and find out where all the Hitch Hiking Safety Zones are located before deciding to go for it.

Which states is it illegal to hitchhike?

A: It is illegal to hitchhike in every state.

Why is hitchhiking illegal in the US?

A: Hitchhiking is illegal because of safety and public concern. It is considered a high-risk activity, especially in urban areas where people may be unfamiliar with the mode of transportation or have difficulty finding drivers. This can lead to dangerous situations for both driver and passengers.

Related Tags

  • hitchhiking laws by state
  • hitchhiking across america
  • hitchhiking rules
  • hitchhiking website
  • hitchhiking dangers