to try and keep costs down me and my friend were thinking about hitchhiking but i have been told by lots of people thta this is a really bad idea and another thing is there is no security involved with it (i.e. you may never be picked up etc) any opinions/advice?
In a word, NO!! Hitchhiking is just not acceptable behavior in the US. Very risky to both parties. By law, truck drivers are not allowed to pick up anybody. Will they break this rule? Yes, if you like like a Victoria's Secret lingerie model. Otherwise, forget truck drivers. Rapists and serial killers love hitchhikers. Not exactly a good demographic group to count on when you have to get from A to B. Forget about hitchhiking in the US.
If your budget is that tight, perhaps you should save up a bit more money before heading over to the US.
[ Edit: Edited on 11-Jun-2009, at 10:39 by vegasmike6 ]
Probably not too much that I can add to the last comment.
Between the 1960's and mid 1980's I hitchhiked fairly often and never had a serious incident. In retrospect, I was probably very fortunate.
The culture in America has changed radically over the years. It's no longer safe to use your thumb to get around. Doing so is a major invitation to be victimized and particularly so if you are a woman. Additionally, it is illegal to solicit a ride in many cities and states. The police will remove you from highways or roads and you may receive a citation / fine and possibly taken to jail. In some cities hitchhiking, "obstructing traffic" and vagrancy are regarded as "part and partial" crimes.
There may be certain other Countries where hitchhiking is better tolerated and accepted, but at this unfortunate point in America's social landscape you can forget it. If you don't have a car or a ride with someone you know then public transportation is your alternative.
The only other thing I can suggest is that if you hold a valid student ID, some Colleges have "ride boards" where students going home or on spring break, etc will share driving and expenses. Years ago such boards were often found in the "Student Union" Buildings. Some have been moved to "online" in University Websites. Good Luck!
Maybe looking for rides in truck-stops is an idea where there are other people around who can recommend someone. It places you with that person in front of others (witnesses). Just a thought.
I would only ever recommend it through BC. It is still the standard method of transport for alot of people there.
Guess I'm just the next one in line to rain on your idea for cutting costs...
I agree completely with all of the "don't do it - it's not safe' comments. And, like Derestanne, I did a lot of hitching during the late 60s and early 70s. My father was always willing to pick up a single hiker, if they looked clean-cut and were clean-shaven (his rules), even if my mother and I were in the car. We met a lot of interesting people. But, as has been stated, times have changed and it's that trust no longer exists (and for some pretty good reasons). Friends and I were stuck trying to hitch rides outside of Leavenworth, Kansas, just across from the federal penitentiary, because of a very dead van. No one wants to pick up 2 girls and 2 guys across from a prison.
I double-checked one of your threads to verify both of you were male. If your traveling partner was female, that would be of even bigger concern. Regardless, one young man hitching may get a ride but the "kind citizen" may also see "VICTIM" tattooed on your forehead because they aren't the kind type in reality. Two males hitching and you'd be hard-pressed to have anyone picking you up anywhere. You can't trust them and they definitely won't be willing to trust the two of you. (Watch a couple of "The Hitcher" movies - the 1986 version with Rutger Hauer is a cult classic.) Doing the "one hides while the other flags a ride" can get you shot in some places because it's threatening.
You will get some commenting that they have hitched, had no problems and we're all being paranoid. Maybe so, but you also stand the chance of being stranded in the rain in the middle of nowhere, on your way to somewhere, for a day or two. Not fun nor entertaining. Yes, a wonderful story for when you tell your friends, but you may never get to tell that story depending on who offers you a ride.
Truckers can lose their CDLs for picking up hitchers - in this economy - not something they can afford to do. You may be able to find someone at a truck stop to give you a lift, but you may also be mistaken as soliciting sex and still have problems. Truck stops have definitely become part of the "sex for hire" industry (both male and female). I can't speak for Canada, but in the US - don't do it - it's not safe.
Not only is it extremely dangerous in this society, but you'd be lucky to get one ride out of thousands of cars passing. At one time, hitching was an acceptable means of transport for youth, but those days are long long gone.
Some real ninnies on this thread-no worries it's common in Canada.
This is a great book about hitching in Canada
I've been commenting for years how it is really a shame that hickhiking has gone the way of the buggy whip. Personally I don't think it is much more dangerous out there now than it was in 1983. But clearly society has turned it's nose at hitchhiking and if you tried now you would stand there for days before anyone would pick you up.
It's really sad.