For most travelers, hitchhiking is the most adventurous form of traveling. You will meet a lot of people along the way that may also give you unforgettable experiences.
It is also undoubtedly the cheapest form of travel. While hitchhiking may not always be free, especially in some countries, it usually won’t cost you any penny in most of the world.
You might already have plans in hitchhiking in Canada. And you may be wondering if there are any tips or guidelines that you need to know before doing so.
Well, you are in luck. This article will give you enough information about the things that you need to keep in mind before hitchhiking in the land of the maple leaf.
So, where do we start?
Hitchhiking Is Not Just About Fun and Excitement
First thing first, this article does not encourage first-time hitchhikers in any way to do hitchhiking. That is not the purpose of why I wrote this. You should hitchhike because you wanted it, and you already have decided in the first place.
Most travelers hitchhike because of the fun and excitement that it gives them, and not because they got swayed by some blog that they have read on the internet. (Related: The Benefits of Being a Lone Traveler)
Hitchhiking may be fun and exciting, but it can be dangerous as well. Even some of the experienced hitchhikers had some moments where they got a ride from a psycho driver. You probably have heard it in the news as well.
So, before you hitchhike, make sure that you really wanted to do this. After all, you still have a long list of what-to-keep-in-mind-when-hitchhiking ahead of you.
It’s Not That Hard to Hitchhike in Canada
Almost everyone in Canada is trustworthy and generous. Most often than not, they offer hitchhikers a ride because they always enjoy the company. Compared to other countries, Canada is one place you won’t find it difficult to hitch a ride.
You Should Be Patient
If you are a traveler who is in a rush, then hitchhiking is not for you. Impatient travelers and hitchhiking don’t mix well.
You should know that this type of traveling is random as it gets. While most people in Canada are generous and often trust almost everyone, not every car that will pass, will offer you a ride whenever you swing your thumb up in the air.
Is It Safe To Hitchhike in Canada?
Canada is a very safe country. As of 2019, Canada placed 11th in the world’s safest countries, according to Global Finance Magazine.
However, no place in the world is 100% safe. Bad things can happen anytime and anywhere. So, you might want to tell yourself not to be too naive and lax just because you are in Canada.
Canada Is A Bear Country!
You need to do your research first before you do your hitchhiking in Canada. Canada has bears and cougars you need to deal with. Thus, you need to know that you will have different experiences compared to your previous adventures.
Learn about the behaviors of bears and what to do if you encounter one. You would want to make sure and know where the bears travel, eat, live, and stay.
Storing food inside your tent is also a big no. The odor of the food may attract hungry bears and other animals. Some hitchhikers hang their food up in a tree and away from their tents.
Bring A Self-Defense Weapon
As mentioned, even though Canada is one of the safest countries in the world, you still need to be careful, especially when hitchhiking. You will be traveling with a stranger, and the best thing you can do is bring a pepper spray with you or a knife to help yourself in case something terrible happens.
Pack As Light As Possible
When traveling, you often want everything that you need to be in your bag. However, you need to realize that some drivers will more likely not to offer you a ride if they see you with a lot of backpacks. It is not convenient for them that your things will consume all the spaces in their car. (Related: The Best Travel Purses for 2019)
Look Nice And Presentable – First Impressions Last
Most people in Canada are not judgmental. But they surely would not want a stranger who looks grumpy and dirty riding in their car. Try to look friendly and presentable as much as possible. In this way, you will increase your chance that someone will hitch you a ride.
Enjoy The Ride
Aside from the fact that hitchhiking will let you save more money, it is the experience and fun moments that the hitchhikers are looking forward to when hitchhiking. Be sure to thank the drivers once they offer you a ride and after they drop you off. You are not only thanking them for the trip but also the shared memories on the road.