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Picking up hitchhikers

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When considering '''picking up hitchhikers''', keep in mind first and foremost, you are not obligated to let someone into your car just because you pulled over. That being said, try to be welcoming, but at the same time alert and cautious. Just because someone looks bedraggled, unshaven and questionably clean, doesn't mean they are dangerous or shady. You have to consider that this person has very likely been on the road for days on end, probably without a proper place to sleep, and maybe without a proper meal. Of course, it's also not uncommon to find properly showered and shaved [[hitchhikers]] wearing a suit and a tie.
[[ImageFile:IMG 5212.JPG|thumb|right|250px|Yaniv with luggage and sign for [[Verona]]]]A good starting point for your judgment is often their luggage. You should take a good look at the person's belongings as you slow down and pull over. Do they have a well worn rucksack and are their hands full with a map and a book while they frantically try to grab everything and rush toward your car? An honest traveler will probably have similar paraphernalia. Still, many hitchhikers hitchhike for short day trips on well-known territory and sometimes don't carry any luggage at all.
Other ways to know are1. If the hitchhiker/s is/are walking on the highway with a sign or had their thumbs up as it tell that the person is trying to get some place. Keep that in mind if the person is not walking that does not mean he/she is not good enough to be picked up it could also be because tiredness. 2. Keeping a proper eye contact? 3. Smiling in a friendly way? ==Communicate==After this initial look, you should exchange a few words with the hitchhiker before throwing the door open. Many drivers pull over and hurriedly gesture for you to pile in, but you can often tell a lot about a person from an a quick exchange, which could save you a lot of trouble. During this quick exchange, you have to keep in mind that the hitchhiker may also have apprehensions, and generally, they get the privilege of asking "where are you going?" before the driver does. This is because a the hitchhiker needs a "way out" if they pick up a bad vibe from the driver and decide they (politely) want to decline the ride.
If you decide that you'd rather not have this person in your car, don't feel like you have to just because you've pulled over and had a few words with them. Your instinct is your best defense mechanism and ignoring it because you feel awkward is a bad idea.
[[File:Erga-and-a-friendly-finnish-man.jpg|thumb|left|220px|Hitchhiker and driver in [[Finland]], 2008]]
If you've decided that the hitchhiker is indeed legit (and most are), it's probably best to get moving so you don't fall victim to the even more likely danger of being hit by another car. Some more cautious (maybe paranoid) hitchhikers may be unwilling to part with their belongings, in case they need to make a quick escape. You could ask if they mind putting their pack in the trunk if you have limited room, but if at all possible allow them to keep their stuff nearby.
If, before you let them in, you ask them where they are going and they say a place that is very very far away, but you are only going to a place that really is just 20km down the road, don't just drive off as it is quite likely that they would very much appreciate the extra 20km that you can take them. Even one km can be a big help if you happen to know that it is a better spot (e.g. a big gas petrol station along the highwaymotorway) than the one they are in. A better spot is also more important than how far. Taking someone from a good big petrol station and putting them on the motorway (or off the high way) might make more problems than it solves. As long as you can put the person at a somewhat better or the same quality place, a little bit of a ride is better than no ride, if not much else it gives the hitchhiker a new scenario and some hope. In any case, it's good to show some sign of recognition, even if you don't plan to stop. A quick smile or a gesture indicating that you're only going locally can give a hitchhiker some hope. And many hitchhikers love human interaction, so it's nice to have a chat at a petrol station. Most hitchhikers will try to converse with you to get to know you, in case they are not talking its good to try to initiate a conversation as they could be tired from all the waiting and walking..== Common hitchhiking spots ==One can find hitchhikers on almost all areas on a road or close to it, but there's several kinds of places where it's more common and likely to see them. === Traffic lights ===Sometimes you encounter hitchhikers at [[Traffic light hitchhiking|traffic lights]]. If the traffic light is followed by a convenient place to stop it's best to go there. Otherwise you have to [[trust]] on your instinct. === Motorway on-ramp, bus stops ===Bus stops are convenient places to stop. Motorway on-ramps can be more tricky, but are similar.  === [[Petrol station hitchhiking|Petrol stations]] ===Many hitchhikers prefer to ask drivers for rides at petrol stations. This gives both hitchhikers as well as drivers more time to think, chat, and develop a rapport with which they can [[trust]] in one another. Some of the people working at the stations don't like hitchhikers and consider it soliciting so can be rude and may ask them to leave so if you feel like giving them a ride ask them to wait for you out side the gas station until you pick them up. [[File:Washing car window in the North of Finland.JPG|thumb|250px|left|It might even happen that a hitchhiker cleans your windows]] == [[Signs]] ==[[File:Parnu-riga.jpg|thumb|200px|[[User:Amylin|Amylin]] hitchhiking to [[Riga]]]]It's great when it happens, but hitchhikers don't need to go to their final destination with just one ride. Usually a hitchhike trip takes many consecutive rides. To avoid missing out on cars that go shorter distances people often put two or even more destinations on their sign. ==Flexibility==Hitchhikers are flexible travelers - when it comes to rides, their main concern usually is to get to the destination, so often they don't mind sitting in the back of a truck, if it's allowed (for example in [[Missouri]] its allowed to sit in the back of a truck), sitting with their backpacks in their lap, or any other way that might be considered uncomfortable. It's best to ask them if they would be willing to ride that way, as often a hitchhiker will prefer an uncomfortable ride to no ride at all. If you feel uncomfortable or don't have room to sit in the cabin, offering a ride in the back can be a good option. Many hitchhikers consider it a very fun way to ride, and some actually prefer it because of the open view, the wind, etc.
A better spot is also more important than how far. Taking someone from a good big gas station and putting them on == Stuff ==Ideally, the highway (seat or off seats for the high wayhitchhiker(s) might make more problem than helpingwill be empty of stuff. Take time to organize your car. As long as When you can put drop the person at a somewhat better or the same quality place a little bit of a ride is better than no ridehitchhiker quickly assure that they took all their own stuff and left all your stuff. Also, if you lost something, remember it might not much else it gives be malicious. Sometimes, something could have fallen out of the car, or a hitchhiker could've mistakenly took something that was not their property. In these cases, [[#Exchange contact information|exchanging contact info]] during the ride could be a new scenario and some hopeuseful way to ensure whatever is lost gets returned to its place.
In any case== Exchange contact information ==If you have a business card, it's good could be nice to show some sign of recognition, even if you don't plan give one to stopthe hitchhiker. A quick smile or a gesture indicating that You never know what you're only going locally can give a hitchhiker get out of it in the future. Also some hopehitchhikers have blogs and an extra link to your website can be good for your search engine rankings. And many hitchhikers love human interaction, so then it's can also be nice to just know someone in another country. If you don't have a chat at a gas stationbusiness card, write down your email address, phone number and/or Facebook name.
==Traffic light==Sometimes you encounter Some hitchhikers at [[Traffic light hitchhiking|traffic lights]]also maintain travel logs on blogs or websites and their stories are typically full of interesting, even enlightening things. If you had a particularly enjoyable conversation with the traffic light is followed by a convenient place to stop hitchhiker(s), it's best could be nice to go thereask if they write about or otherwise share their traveling experiences. Otherwise Many hitchhikers who do this are eager to share their contact info with you have to [[trust]] on your instinct.
==Highway on-ramp, bus stopsHow to prematurely leave your hitchhiker ==Bus stops Not all hitchhikers are convenient places awesome. It can happen that you picked someone up and then you feel stuck with them. For example, in [[Australia]] rides can be very long and people can turn out to stopbe weirder than you expected. Highway on-ramps It can also simply be more trickythat you need your private space, but are similare.g. for making phone calls. How to get rid of your hitchhiker? Several options?
==[[Gas station]]==# Tell the outright truth. "I feel that I can not take you any further. I need my private space. I know you will understand."Many hitchhikers prefer # Or a little white lie: "I need to ask drivers at gas stationcall my boss and talk about sensitive subjects. This gives both hitchhikers as well as drivers more time to thinkYou know, professional secret".
[[Image:Washing car window in Generally, though, hitchhikers prefer the North truth and can handle it. The same goes for hitchhikers who chat you up at a service station. Most of Finlandthem have had so many talks of this kind that they can smell a lie from miles away.JPG|thumb|250px|left|It might even happen that Sometimes a hitchhiker cleans your windows]]lie is more insulting than anything else!
==In case you want to leave a hitchhiker, it's generous to leave them at a spot that will allow them to continue their journey easily, such as a [[Signspetrol station hitchhiking|gas station]]==on the highway or an highway [[Image:Parnuon-riga.jpg|thumb|200px|[[amylinramp]] hitchhiking to [[Riga]]]]It's great when it happensthat is getting some traffic. That way, but hitchhikers donthey't need to go to their final destination with just one ridell be much less upset than if you leave them at a terrible spot (e. Usually a hitchhike trip takes many consecutive ridesg. To avoid missing out on cars that go shorter distances people often put two or even more destinations on their signside of the highway).
== More information ==
* [ 'Why do people pick up hitchhikers?'], an article at Digihitch
* A story written by a driver in the [[United States of America|USA]] and who see hitchhikers every day. He made some rules for himself. For an experienced hitchhiker-traveler they might sound funny, but it gives you a nice look in the mind of someone who picks up hitchhikers on a daily basis. "Every morning and evening, I see people hitchhiking on the 602 to get to Gallup and back." [ link]
* Stop & Wander, a Girl’s Guide to Picking up Hitchhikers []. "When I see someone standing by the side of the road, trying to flag down a ride, I get curious."
* A journey of two months, two french hitchhikers traveled around eastern europe. Easy to translate with Google© [].
* [ Why did you pick us up?] - some of the reasons given by drivers to [[User:Rovingsnails|Roving Snails]]
==More information==* [[digi:article480.html|An article at digihitch]][[Category:General Practical info]]
[[fi:Liftarin kyytiinottaminen]][[fr:Prendre des autostoppeursauto-stoppeurs]][[he:הנהג]][[pl:Zabieranie autostopowiczów]][[nl:Lifters meenemen]]
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