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Backpackers all around the world keep looking for creative ways to make their journeys successful. You must’ve come across those who seek adventure in the journey itself and slide out of their homes for an impromptu vacay. Some of them even swear by the hitchhiking experience. Not only is hitchhiking an ideal medium of traveling for those who are low on budget but is also a source of ultimate gratification for the thrill seekers. Hitchhiking in India can be a worthwhile experience – you surely will come across all sorts of people but staying wise and cautious will help you throughout the journey.
6 Essential Tips For Hitchhiking In India
For those who are planning to have this experience for the first time, there are a number of hitchhiking tips India that need to be followed. The essential ones have been listed below.
1. Don’t Take Preparations For Granted
This tip is especially for those who are traveling solo and are preoccupied by the question – “is hitchhiking safe in India?”. You are planning to share your journey with a stranger(s) and therefore you must be well prepared. Don’t confuse well preparedness with carrying a heavy luggage. You must make sure that you are carrying enough eatables, a torch, a small knife, and other paraphernalia for emergency purposes.
2. Choosing The Ride
While you are looking for a lift, remember that you are also looking for a co-passenger. Hitchhiking in India can be a task when traveling alone and therefore you would certainly want to have an assurance about the vehicle owner. Apart from just knowing where the person is headed, you should also take care of his/her conduct. Even if the person seems to be only slightly dubious, consider it as a big red flag. Female travelers should specifically be alert when they’re choosing to share a ride with a male driver.
3. Catching Their Attention
If done right, this one can be the easiest task. In order to get the drivers’ attention, holding a placard with vivid details can be helpful. Best thing to do would be mentioning the name of the destination – but make sure it’s visible from a distance. In order to come into notice more effectively, wear bright-colored clothes. This is essential to follow and failing to do so would have you wait for too long. However, do not leave the edge of the highway and stand right in the middle for attention – don’t forget to act wisely even under frustration.
4. Everyone’s Preferences Matter
If you are hitchhiking in India in groups or pairs, do consider the choices of your fellow traveler(s). Since the hitchhiking experience can be a bit tedious, you have to be sure that everyone’s demands are being met. When clashes occur, make sure you find a middle way and look forward to a hassle-free and peaceful journey.
5. During The Journey
Remember that hitchhiking does not involve money. So before you hop on, have a clear conversation with the vehicle owner that you are not looking for a paid ride and avoid any sort of swindle to happen. When you finally get in, don’t forget that the driver is doing you a favor and don’t be hesitant to be kind to him/her. Indulge in conversations to give yourself some assurance and make them trust you. If you know how to drive, then you can also offer some help to them by taking over the wheel and covering halfway.
6. On Reaching
Since you found a stranger to be this helpful, don’t be reluctant to show immense gratitude. Your parting words can be a great gesture and would help you create a lasting impression on their mind. A sincere act of gratitude would go a long way and will help build their trust upon the hitchhikers.
4 Best Routes For Hitchhiking In India
Mentioned below are a handful of the most interesting and frequently taken routes for hitchhiking. The experience will definitely be worthwhile, as the routes are admired for their picturesqueness, depicting the true charm of India. Take a look!
1. From Guwahati To Tawang
Although this route is not a popular one, it is definitely worth taking. The people you’ll meet here are considered to be quite friendly and finding a ride here wouldn’t be a tedious procedure. You’ll be crossing high terrains and therefore the views you’ll witness would leave you awe-struck.
Distance: 450 km
Best time to hitchhike: February to May
2. From Manali To Leh
Adventure and breathtaking views are two aspects that strike our mind when Leh comes into the scene. Throughout the route you’ll see various monasteries and other attractions. You would want to stop and visit those sites – you must do so if the vehicle owner isn’t in a hurry or you can hop off and wait for another lift later.
Distance: 473 km
Best time to hitchhike: mid-May to October
3. From Ahmedabad To Kutch
This one wouldn’t surprise you with the mountainous views but the sights here are definitely worth witnessing. The terrains are quite challenging and this makes it one of the most interesting routes when you are hitchhiking in India. You’ll witness a vast desert landscape dotted with rural inhabitations.
Distance: 340 km
Best time to hitchhike: November to February
4. From Mumbai To Goa
Now this is one of those routes in India that is loved by all and that too for all the right reasons. It could be due to the excitement of finally ending up at a holiday destination like Goa. There are various cafes on the way so you may have to stop more than once during the journey. It is advisable to start your journey in the wee hours, as the distance is quite long.
Distance: 609 km
Best time to hitchhike: November to February
As a traveler in India, if you want to try something unconventional for your next vacation, go for a hitchhiking experience. Hitchhiking in India will not only be an addition to your adventurous stories but will also give you a great idea about the cultural significance of the country. Keep the tips handy when going for your adventurous vacay in India.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Hitchhiking In India
A. Hitchhiking can be a fun experience if one is alert and conscious enough. If you aren’t following the essential steps, then it can be an unsafe experience for you.
A. There’s no such legality issue involved when it comes to hitchhiking in India. This medium of travel is a bit uncommon here as compared to other countries. However, it is definitely worth a try.