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Reasons for Hitchhiking[edit]

I wrote this stub (thanks go to Lee Kuan Yew for the excellent editing). I wonder if something needs to be done about what I perceive to be the western bias, though.

Hitchiking in rich countries is something done more for adventure than out of necessity. -are you kidding? Depends on how much you travel and what you do in life obviously, but as a student who is frequently on the road how the hell am I supposed to pay a train ride to the south of the country which costs up to 200 euros?

Are there countries where hitchhiking is done out of necessity? Or is that called car-pooling then? (Perhaps this article should point out the the two participants in a lift generally do not know each other.)--branko

Hitching in rich countries is NOT always done out of necessity - you've obviously never taken drifters... But you're right to say that it's more common. -- And yes, there are many countries where people hike out of necessity - and it's not carpooling because it's not prearraged. People stand by the roadside very regularly. This article does have a Western bias, but to get rid of that it really just needs expanding. My contention is - should we really have tips on how to hitchhike? - Wikitravel is perfectly sufficient. That isn't really our job. We're not a how-to guide. --Pteron 18:41, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Chances of getting a ride: my hitchiking experiences are 20 years outdated, but I would say that gender, number and age have an impact - two young males have less of a chance than e.g. two women, mixed gender couple or single elderly person. --Georgius 10:30, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

Web based wiki[edit]

What web based wiki or wikis would be a good alternate to my blog about lifts around and about that does not need the software downloaded to the computer setup at this end and has minimal or no ads? 10:09, 16 August 2005 (UTC) I'm actually thinking of moving it to another spot, so that there won't be ads anymore. Guaka 18:38, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Eastern Europe[edit]

The article says: "For example, many eastern European governments firmly supported hitchhikers and in many eastern European and developing nations it is still a very mundane and ordinary occurrence, with hitchhikers a part of the ordinary social landscape, in some places crowding one another out waiting for rides." What proof is there of this claim? In communist Romania (as in before 1989) hitchhiking was ilegal and now people are still very reluctant to take on hitchhickers. In fact it has a very bad name.


[[["Proof" for the stated above exists likely for Poland and Russia, where hitchhiking was institutionalized. In Poland there used to be a "Biuro Autostop"-branch of the Polish Tourist Countryside Lovers Association PTTK. An example of official hitchhikng material may be found here: The situation in Poland regarding hitchhiking during the communistic/socialist era (1945-1990) has been described in the study Autostop Polski which was issued last year (it is linked to on the hitchhiking page of wikipedia). The book lists numbers of sold official hitchhiking booklets with official hitchhikers cards, by which drivers knew they would receive a coupon worth a bonus by serving a ride.

However, one can discuss wether it concerned STRONG governmental support in Poland and Russia. Well informed hitchhikers of that time are not very likely to read and comment this Wikipedia page (for example because of their age and quite low share of them possessing PC and web access). With the knowledge from Autostop Polski that several tens of thousands hitchhiking booklets were sold on a yearly bases in the 70s/80s, knowing that the number of vehicles in Poland at the time was unlikely to be more than 1 or 2 mln, hitchhiking must have played an important role in the whole of mobility.

Thus far I have not heard of official governmental support in "eastern European nations" other than Poland and Russia.

However, even if hitchhiking was not officially (strongly) supported by governments in Eastern Europe, the politics (communism, socialism, Leninism), economic situation, the principle of equality of "the people" in earnings, freedom, allocation etc and the relative scarce availability of vehicles (and petrol?) in a limited variation of models did anyway encourage people to a much stronger degree than the capitalistic system in other parts of the world, where status, prestations, capital, appearance and "egoism" pay off.

Besides that the definition of Eastern European countries (vs nations) is discussable. In geographical terms we have to devide Europe in West, Central or Middle and East, where Poland for example is a Central European country. A popular division however is Eastern versus Western Europe, where many people regard the old NATO countries as Western Europe (including Greece for example), while the former Warsawpact countries are considered as Eastern Europe (except the former country DDR, which territory has become part of Germany and is also regarded as Western Europe according to the "old" political definition of Eastern and Western Europe).

Geographical incorrectness of marking Poland as Eastern European becomes more apparent when one consideres that when one draws a cross from all corners of the European continent, they cross in the middle of Poland.

It would be interesting to know more about the legal situation regarding hitchhiking in Romania a priori 1990. Frank Verhart, 11 dec 06]]]


I do not agree with this statement: ""Many current-day hitchhikers combine hitchhiking with hospitality exchange networks for many of the same reasons (cheap; social political reasons; meeting people)."" This MAY possibly apply to SOME countries in Western Europe, but certainly NOT to most if not all countries in Central Europe, all countries in the East of Europe and most if not all countries in Asia. In Eastern Europe (Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia) the share of hitchhikers in hospitality exchange networks is close to 0%. The same can be concluded for the continent Africa, or for Cuba for example. A high share of people who hitchhike there do not even have access to PC and web. The statement is too much of a generalization. Besides that this topic deserves another paragraph, since it brings in another topic rather than to explain motivations of hitchhikers. Frank Verhart, 11 dec 06. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:09, 11 December 2006 (UTC).

External links[edit]

Please read Wikipedia:External links before discussing these.

I've cleaned up the external links section. The urls removed are listed here. Maybe a List of hitchhiking sites or List of ridesharing sites should be made?

( see removed links in old version here 05:17, 24 January 2006 (UTC) )

Feel free to reinsert, but please make a case on the talk page too to prevent reversion. - FrancisTyers 19:47, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

  • There is a subsite specifically for female hitchhikers on (link removed here 22:50, 1 December 2006 (UTC))

Removed. - FrancisTyers 15:35, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

So, I've never edited a wiki anything until i just now corrected the link to The Hitchhiker's Guide to Hitchhiking which had a "www" that broke the link. Am I missing anything as to why no one noticed this break before me? -e

nope thanks ! here 05:17, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Hitchhiking links could go on and on, and I agree this is not necessarily a good thing for an encyclopaedic listing. I think it would be best to list those sites in external links that give cultural information, topical research or general resources, and not just 'how or where to hitchhike' info. If someone chooses to clean up links based on objective criteria, I hope they will also notice that the editors of have strived to offer many objective and cultural resources, with the ongoing goal of cleaning up site listings and cataloguing as much as possible with the help of members. Morgan 'Salman' May 01, 2006

It would be better to clean up the "external links and references" as this combination is mixing up things and I just added an example of a blanket hitchhiking ban in New York City. Even though I do not endorse hitchhiking, I oppose blanket hitchhiking ban in a large area. Even in New York City, some bridges lack non-motorized access and buses capable of carrying bikes, so I suppose that bikers may still be tempted to hitchhike even when illegal. Wish them the best luck in advance.--Jusjih 07:49, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

digihitch[edit] has been reinserted in external links for reasons mentioned below (see 01 May 2006 notes). The website is the most popular community of hitchhikers in the world, with over 8000 members and 30000+ unique visitors monthly. When the site is found with the keyword of 'hitchhiking' users view an average of 10 pages/visit and the bounce rate is less than 10%. Thus, when searching for hitchhiking, web visitors consider to be what they are looking for. Morgan 'Salman' 01 December 2006

User:Digihitch should not be adding a link to digihitch (see Wikipedia:External links: Use of Wikipedia to link to a website that you own, maintain or are acting as an agent for is strongly recommended against, even if the guidelines otherwise imply that it should be linked to.)
That aside, I am not convinced that digihitch should be the exception to the general rule here. The status quo here has found community and rideshare resources problematic and unencyclopedic. You run a nice site, but it is probably inappropriate to link it here. Best, here 22:50, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Surprised to read you referring to as a rideshare website when in fact ridesharing makes up less than 1% of the content and purpose of the site. Like many of the gazillions of websites linked to on Wikipedia, it is a resource website that also contains community content/stories. I can respect the general rule that editors/webmasters should not be adding links to their own sites. Looks like I, as editor, will just have to find enough wikipedian digihitchers to champion the cause and place digihitch on the Hitchhiking page. Because, IMHO, if did not belong on an encyclopedic page of its primary subject there would be absolutely no point for its existence on the web! Morgan 'Sal'man 05:54, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for removing the remaining embedded rideshare link. I added digihitch, with a direct link to the encyclopedia of road subculture. I won't be surprised if it is removed again at some point based on excessive advertising, majority original research, or just that wikipedia's goal has never been to provide external links. Specifically, community content and stories are not appropriate for external links, additional published and verifiable research about the article subject is. A majority of the gazillions of websites linked to on wikipedia should probably be removed. Regardless, the citation to the california traffic report should certainly stay. Thanks for all the work! here 09:18, 4 December 2006 (UTC)


Can someone make the parenthetical "(semi-force vehicle owners who would not normally use public transport to share the ride with the public by "bringing the bus to Muhammad")" clearer? I didn't understand it. --Christian Campbell 18:10, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

You're right, this is confusing and not particularly encyclopaedic, I've removed it. - FrancisTyers 18:27, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Request: Legal status[edit]

Wouldn't it be helpful and informative to compile a list of the legal status of hitchhiking in each country?

Of course it will be helpful and informative to list. I will try to list American laws. See wikitravel:Tips_for_hitchhiking#Countries for now.--Jusjih 05:04, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Hitchhiking is legal in every single country of the world. That it might not be are conservative myths. What is not legal is walking next to a motorway.

Try to tell that to a cop pulling over shouting "No hitchhiking in New York State!". Guaka 18:40, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Hitchhiking is illegal in a bunch of countries and regions. It is illegal in the Australian state of Victoria. Silly person. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:14, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Just a query[edit]

Which Luxemburg is it? Is it in Germany? Sorry, but there is no section on File History nor the link for the author. -- 10:36, 24 June 2006 (UTC) (<- was me--Anupam Srivastava 10:37, 24 June 2006 (UTC))

Luxemburg is a country --Banime (talk) 04:58, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

South Africa[edit]

When I was in South Africa in 2003 I was travelling with a local and passed a somewhat busy intersection south of Jo'burg. There was a bunch of hitchikers standing in the median, all making different symbols with their hands. It was explained to me that these represented certain destinations. I found it very interesting, maybe a local could elaborate?

Recent Changes[edit]

I'm not sure how to edit these, as they are obviously original research, yet may still be valuable. Possibly just a clean up? Schnauf 06:54, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Request: Hitchhiking Corner

I saw a reference to "hitchhiking corner" (as a definition for the German word "Trampereck"). It's not a term I'm familiar with.

Flagged 'Rules section' with inappropriate tone[edit]

The Hitchhiking 'Rules' section should be removed or rewritten to sound like an encyclopedic article instead of an article lifted from a pop magazine.--Dawaegel 23:13, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Links Moved?[edit]

Should all the links that are in the 'Reasons' section be moved to the 'External Links' section or deleted entirely? soldierx40k 13:46, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Weasel Words Warning Removed[edit]

This article has a problem with uncited sources and may possibly include original research, but I couldn't find any clear examples of weasel words. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:41, 1 June 2008 (UTC)


Platers are people who deliver unregistered cars by driving them, and they usually hitchhike back home after delivering the vehicle as thier travel cost would usually be too high to afford. They are recognised because they carry the red plates that are used on unregistered vehicle in the UK, and hold them with thier signs to show they are professional couriers, and so supposedly more trustworthy a passenger. They make up a large proportion of the remaining hitchers in the UK now.

I was going to add a bit on platers, but I can't think where to put it, I thought maybe a bit about couriers holding thier plates in the signalling section, but really it needs a bit more explanation about the red plates and driving unregitered cars about, a new section maybe? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:51, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Hitchhiking centres[edit]

I wouldn't call this thing hitchhiking, it's just an arranged car-pooling. Hitchhiking rather means finding a ride on the spot, and usually without paying, or as Frank Verhart describes it ad-hoc car pooling. The motivation for hitchhiking is usually not to spend any money, while on these car pooling sites, the fare is usually quite high. I would propose removing this part and putting a link to Carpool instead, to avoid confusion. --Philipp Gruber (talk) 10:01, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

I say go for it. Murderbike (talk) 20:39, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

There doesn't seem to be a citation of any sort for the info about Neil Doug Gregg. This is bad for 2 reasons. First, I can't find anything on the internets about him or the song or the Death Valley Ramblers, and I'd like to learn more about him and track down the song. Second, is it even true... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:15, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with File:Goingback dvdpic.jpg[edit]

The image File:Goingback dvdpic.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --20:29, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

very badly written -delete — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:57, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Disputed text in "Safety" section, and other matters[edit]

In revision 561900190, Nikkimaria (talk) didn't just remove unreliably-sourced material; she also silently undid a number of other recent edits. I have restored the other edits. Dear Nikkimaria: did Wikipedia warn you of an edit conflict?

I'm not sure I agree with all the removal of unreliably-sourced material in that edit, but I have left most of the edit intact, because I don't have so much time for arguing.

But I have restored one paragraph to the article's "Safety" section. The paragraph, in its entirety, is:

Recommended safety practices include:[1]

  • Asking for rides at gas stations instead of signaling at the roadside.
  • Trusting one's instincts.
  • Refusing rides from impaired drivers.
  • Hitchhiking during daylight hours.

An argument to back up my restoration of the text:

  • A lightweight source may sometimes be acceptable for a lightweight claim. The disputed text seems to me to be mostly common-sense advice. Nikkimaria, if you really don't like it, please use {{better source}} and let me know here on this talk page that you have done so. Perhaps I will have time to eventually go dig through Survival by Hugh C. McDonald (which discusses hitching) and The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker (which discusses situational awareness), and to provide sources. Or perhaps someone else will provide sources.

Dear all: Do you think the disputed text in the "Safety" section should stay or go?

Cheers, —Unforgettableid (talk) 06:55, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

I received no edit-conflict warning, so apologies for that error. I am happy to leave that text in the article without sources; the only reason I removed any text was because you objected to the removal of citations without the removal of associated text. The relevant citation cannot be left in place, though, because it does not meet the requirements for inclusion on the page you link – there is no indication of author qualifications, and it is not being used as a source about itself – and per WP:USERG cannot be considered a reliable source, even a "lightweight" one. Nikkimaria (talk) 12:47, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Ah. No worries; I'm glad that the edit conflict has been cleared up. About the disputed text: It seems to me that failing to say where the text is adapted from would be academic dishonesty. Plus, footnote markers don't just inform readers of an idea's source: they also let readers click through and read more from the idea's originator(s). If a footnote marker points to an unreliable source, why is it bad to leave the marker in place? I have never seen any policy which implies such a thing. P.S. I used Wikipedia's "thank" tool for two reasons: in order to thank you for replying here, and to notify you that I have responded. :) Have a wonderful day, —Unforgettableid (talk) 16:21, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Okay, your arguments seem a bit contradictory to me: if it's common knowledge, any source or individual would reach the same idea; if the idea is original, then it needs a reliable source, and without one should be omitted. We don't want to be directing our readers towards unreliable sources, and WP:BURDEN (and common practice) support removing material where it is not cited by a reliable source. I think there probably is a reliable source somewhere for this info, so I'm happy to just throw on a citation-needed tag until such time as one can be found; however, including a non-reliable source is misleading for both editors (who might not realize the material is effectively unsourced) and readers (who are directed towards a non-reliable source). Nikkimaria (talk) 22:02, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Hmmm. Maybe my arguments are indeed contradictory. I'm in a rush at the moment, so I don't have time to analyze things. But anyway, fair points. How about simply adding {{better source}}? Cheers! —Unforgettableid (talk) 23:53, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
In fact, it would be nonstandard, but you could even add {{better source}} both in the text and before each </ref> tag. Also, in response to your concern about "misleading" readers: As soon as they click through to Hitchwiki, they will realize that it lacks strict editorial control. Unforgettableid (talk) 18:30, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
I favor removing that text based on WP:NOTHOWTO. MakeBelieveMonster (talk) 00:19, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I would also remove it, as we are not a how-to guide.--Dmol (talk) 00:56, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Fine. I'm not sure I like WP:NOTHOWTO, but still, I've moved all four safety-advice bullet points to "Hitchhiker's safety#Summary" on Hitchwiki. —Unforgettableid (talk) 05:16, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
I just looked more carefully at the WP:NOTHOWTO policy. Based on what I saw, I've restored all four lines describing recommended safety practices. WP:NOTHOWTO forbids "instructing the reader in the imperative mood" but seems to allow "describing to the reader how other people [...] do something". Anyway, those lines briefly summarize four lessons from countless hours of safe and unsafe experiences from various hitchhikers. I think that, by doing so, the four lines significantly improve the section; please see WP:IAR. Cheers, —Unforgettableid (talk) 05:43, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Dear Nikkimaria: I reverted you again. I suggested {{better source}} above, but you didn't reply. Instead, you (again!) removed the disputed ref without removing the attached text, even though there is no consensus to do so and even though there seems to be policy which justifies such an action. If you repeatedly try to push through changes for which there is no consensus, then please don't expect me to pick apart the relevant edit in order to keep the good parts. Instead, please expect me to revert the entire edit. If you're unhappy with this, then don't make ordinary changes and consensus-lacking changes in the same edit. As for your edit-summary comment telling me to see WP:BURDEN: I looked at WP:BURDEN. It seems to imply that, after allowing a reasonable amount of time for references to be found, editors may remove the text together with its references. But it does not seem to imply that editors may remove the references and leave the text in place. Cheers, —Unforgettableid (talk) 18:30, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

As I said above, "We don't want to be directing our readers towards unreliable sources, and WP:BURDEN (and common practice) support removing material where it is not cited by a reliable source. I think there probably is a reliable source somewhere for this info, so I'm happy to just throw on a citation-needed tag until such time as one can be found; however, including a non-reliable source is misleading for both editors (who might not realize the material is effectively unsourced) and readers (who are directed towards a non-reliable source)". BURDEN notes that material lacking reliable sources should either be tagged with citation-needed, or removed; as mentioned above, I opted for the former, but if you prefer we can employ the latter. However, we cannot use unreliable sources. Nikkimaria (talk) 18:36, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
WP:BURDEN notes that if material lacks reliable sources, you should either add a citation-needed tag, or you should remove the material. (Emphasis mine.)
The disputed sentence already cites one (unreliable) source, and I can't find any policy which recommends removing the unreliable-source citation. Now, please remember: The ref thanks the authors; allows readers to see the original source to learn more; and allows readers to analyze the source's credibility for themselves. If you remove the ref, you lose all three advantages.
Given those three advantages, and since there's no policy which recommends removing the ref, it makes sense to leave the ref in place. If we leave the ref in place, then it would be nonsensical to add a citation-needed tag next to it. I can see only three alternative solutions.
  1. You could add {{verify credibility|failed=y}}, which would produce an [unreliable source] tag. But non-Wikipedians think of "unreliable" as a harsh accusation, so I think the word "unreliable" is the wrong word choice to use inline.
  2. So I think you should use {{better source}}, which can alert both readers and editors to the fact that the article is citing user-generated content.
  3. Or, like you said, you could remove the material. But neither of us want to do that.
Dear Nikkimaria, what do you think about alternative 1? How about alternative 2?
Cheers, —Unforgettableid (talk) 00:35, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
1 is more appropriate than 2, but of those three I would prefer option 3. Actually, I prefer my original solution, but 3 would be a close second. Nikkimaria (talk) 03:18, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
What don't you like about the [unreliable source] option? —Unforgettableid (talk) 19:14, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
It retains the unreliable source. Nikkimaria (talk) 03:01, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I explained to you the advantages of leaving the unreliably-sourced ref in place and adding an [unreliable source] tag. What are the advantages of removing the ref and the tag? Cheers, —Unforgettableid (talk) 23:17, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I explained to you the problem of citing an unreliable source. We don't want to include material citable only to unreliable sources, we don't want to send readers to an unreliable source to learn more. So: the material in question has been removed from the article. Per WP:BURDEN, it cannot be added without citing a reliable source. User-generated sources are not reliable in this context. Nikkimaria (talk) 02:21, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Folks - the issue isn't the sourcing, it is the type of content being considered. Wikipedia isn't the place for how-to content. MakeBelieveMonster (talk) 02:03, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

I respectfully disagree. Please see my comment of 05:43, 30 June 2013 (UTC), above. Cheers, —Unforgettableid (talk) 23:17, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy[edit]

I changed the popular culture link to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to refer to the original work rather than the 2005 film which is just an adaptation. (talk) 16:57, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

A good change. Beyond My Ken (talk) 17:00, 10 December 2013 (UTC)