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Are you a backpacker who has hitchhiked America's highways?

Travel Forums North America Are you a backpacker who has hitchhiked America's highways?

1. Posted by sandy456 (Full Member 213 posts) 9y

sandy456 has indicated that this thread is about USA

Are you a backpacker who has hitchhiked America's highways?

How common is it for travellers (specifically, backpackers) to hitchhike along America's highways?

I am a backpacker. I'm planning a land-based tour of the East Coast. I'm in Miami beach right now. I'd like to work my way up Florida, through coastal routes in Georgia, the Carolinas, Virgina, Washington D.C, and up to the big cities of the Northeast (including smaller, remote places in Maine and Connineticut).

My question is can this be done by hitchhiking alone? I ask because I don't have a lot of money to spend on Greyhound or Amtrak, unless I have to. If there are routes that hitchhikers use along the East Coast, I'd like to use them too.


If you'd like to recommend a town, region or national park along this route, please do so here. I will research it, and If I like it, I will add as one of my stops. Of course, the route is Miami, up through Florida, Georgia, the Carolina's, Virgina's, and the coastal Northeast (including New England).

Do Americans pick up backpackers by the side of the highway (with backpack n all). I know of the dangers, but I'm a dangerous person, so it's a risk I'm willing to take. I just want to know if it's doable?

2. Posted by jodib (Budding Member 32 posts) 9y

I personally wouldnt consider hitchiking- its not safe!

But there is a cheap option for the part of your travel between New York City and Boston. THere is something called the Fung Wa bus. It is only $15.00. It runs from downtown NYC to the bus station at SOuth Station in downtown Boston. Takes 4 hours, very clean buses, very comfortable. I use it when I travel between Boston ( I live near Boston) and NYC all the time. There is a website on which you can purchase tickets but there is really no need- just show up and pay when u are ready yo go. They run every hour all day. Not 24 hours but close to it...

Have a great trip! ANd feel free to contact me if i can answer any questions

3. Posted by KristenS (Budding Member 56 posts) 9y

I really would not hitch hike in the USA, not on small highways or large interstate highways. First of all there are signs up near prisons and mental health hospitals not to pick up any hitch hikers all over the USA. An unfortunate second, there are enough wackos in this country that most people do not stop.
Americans refer to backpacking as a camping/ canoe* trip where you travel from one mountain to another for a week or two.
Since the USA is so large I suggest you pick a region and explore it. This will cut down on the travel expenses. Hope this helps.

Canoe is a boat made by the Native Americans in case this does not translate.

4. Posted by foggyidea (Budding Member 19 posts) 9y

HI Sandy,

I notice that you are from Canada, so I am sure that you are probably familer with hitch-hiking in the US... Personally I think your trip sounds great adn I would like to say that the other poster's are being doom sayers. But, I did hitch the east coast back in the early to mid 70's and things were gettign a bit dicey even then. I wouldn't do it now becasue the rides would be far and few between, but I would be tempted if I had a partner to do it with. I think that people are more likely to pick up a male/female couple than sinlge guys....

Your biggest problem would probably be the police, but maybe they would give you a ride like they used to??

Basically the only hitchhikers you see now are the guys that have lost thier licenses for drinking and driving though.....

My suggestion would be, if you are dead set on hitching then stay off the main federal highways. don't use any limited access highways because it is illegal to hitch there. Also you would do better with the local roads for short hops, and meeting interesting people. There would certianly be a bit of interest on the local roads...

Must see's on the east coast? I always suggest Cape Cod, MA... especially Provincetown at the tip. Other than that there is so much to see along the coast.

Good luck and I'll look forward to hearing about your trip... what is your schedule, when would you be heading out?


5. Posted by sandy456 (Full Member 213 posts) 9y

well, i think im going to use rideshare, and greyhound as a backup. im in miami now, working my way up the coast, slowly. I have 6 months in the US. and want to see the entire coast - all the way up to Maine, including New York City. There will be a detour to D.C (as I have an uncle in MD), but then it's back to near the coast again.

6. Posted by rbyslipahs (Respected Member 349 posts) 9y

Quoting foggyidea

Your biggest problem would probably be the police, but maybe they would give you a ride like they used to??

Actually, they wouldn't give you a ride. They'd give you a ticket, because in many parts of the country, it's illegal. If you see a cop while you're hitchhiking, hide! ;)