Last updated: 05:00 AM ET, Thu February 11 2016

5 Tangible and Intangible Reasons Everyone Should Try Hitchhiking

Features & Advice | Will Hatton | February 11, 2016

5 Tangible and Intangible Reasons Everyone Should Try Hitchhiking

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Despite the multitude of warnings you have probably received from friends and family concerning serial killers and creepy truck drivers, hitchhiking is an art that should most definitely be explored by everyone. Such worries are not founded on rational ground. In fact, hitchhiking is much more likely to enhance your life experience, not end it (or take it down a nightmarish avenue). Not convinced? Here are five ways hitchhiking will make your life better!

Spend less

This one is obvious. Hitchhiking seals up that huge hole in your wallet otherwise known as travel expenses. Depending on where in the world you are headed, hopping on trains, planes and buses can take up the majority of your spending money.

READ MORE: Hitchhiking 101: Everything You Need to Know

This is not to be taken lightly. One of the walls blocking curious minds from ditching their desks and hitting the road is that they see travel costs as an insurmountable obstacle. Take away the part where you pay money to get from A to B, and your dreams become a lot closer. This in turn gives you a sense of what is really possible in this world when you step beyond the boundary of what’s considered normal.

Formless travel

One of the most exciting, mind expanding and joyful experiences of travel is seeing how your adventure decides to unfold. If, instead of relying on the same transport that thousands of backpackers take every year, you make your mode of transport a variable scenario, you broaden the spontaneous horizons of your trip enormously. It opens up vast avenues of experience, new people, new places, new memories. It brings a raw element to your trip; somehow you’re closer to your surroundings, not limited to the perspective of your coach window.


Hitchhiking from A to B (or wherever else you end up) is how I started my travels, and I can say that there is nothing else that will assert your inner adventurer more than this. As you branch out beyond the masses queuing for tickets at the bus station, your sense of independence and confidence is going to skyrocket.

No matter how it goes, you’re really doing something that has never been done before. Traveling the world without the conventional systems provided is really testing your ability to function by yourself. One of the core elements of travel, and what makes it so damn addictive, is freedom. The closer you can get to living life without any strings attached, the more life-asserting and downright epic it becomes.


Whether by yourself or with fellow travel buddies, travel on the road provides countless opportunities for calm consideration. As you can imagine, there’ll be long stretches of time where you’re waiting for the next generous set of wheels, giving you a chance to really soak up the rich flavor of your adventures. Personally, these are some of my favorite pasttimes, watching the scenery flutter by as I allow my thoughts to do the same. Some of my best work and the most vivid realizations are spawned out if this “downtime.” The potential for personal growth here is insane!


How many coach rides can you honestly remember? When each of your journeys are filled with such spontaneous moments, your trip is highlighted by chapters of once-in-a-lifetime memories. No trip from one place to the next is the same as the last, making the ability to recall your trip and the places you ended up truly incredible!

READ MORE: Murphy: 5 Tips To Save Money on Travel in 2016

Ultimately, the experience of hitchhiking is yours to have, which is what makes it so fantastic and unique. Not only is it free, but you might end up making some incredible connections with people who you otherwise would have never met.

Having traveled around 2,000 miles across Europe, I can safely say I saved on thousands of pounds of travel money, while gaining a hell of a lot. Way more than reaching your destination can be gained through hitchhiking. It opens you up to a world of possibilities.

From my own journey, I can say that hitchhiking will create chapters in your life that no other mode of transport can offer. A price cannot be placed on friends and kick-ass adventures. So, do your future self a favor and take to the road!


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