- Always support local economy instead of multinationals. Instead of drinking Nescafe, try local coffee. Buy locally grown vegetables instead of imported ones. This might not be a hitchhiking trick, it belongs definitely on top of this list concerning travel ethics!
- Respect others’ point of view and different cultures, be polite and friendly, especially when talking to ‘hitch-drivers‘ about sensitive matters. Politics and religion are famous topics that people tend to avoid. It should not necessarily be avoided, just act sensible and do not give a strong opinion when the hitch-driver has a clearly different or opposing opinion. Be prepared to listen and kindly smile and nod, even when the hitch-driver is a Nazi jerk off ass. You can get out of the car any time, friendly works better. Express your stronger opinions with friends. Some hitch-drivers become instant friends 😉
- Learn the local language(s) or at least try! Make an effort to learn at least ‘hello’ and ‘thanks’!
- Don’t abuse hospitality but don’t be too harsh in refusing it either. It can be difficult to say no to people offering food, lodging. Sometimes it just seems like a bridge too far. Hitch-drivers are already taking you down the road as it is. As a responsible hitchhiker, it is needed to find a balance in the care and worries one should give to you. It mostly depends on the attitude of the hitch hiker itself. This subject is one to come back to at a later time, since it is a complex issue of trust, care and being an independent & responsible hitchhiker.
- Do not burden others with your unwanted possession, find a proper new home. Try not to forget things in cars or houses from others. It should not be mentioned to not steal from them either.
- Last but not least: Just be you and make a shining appearance so you make others’ people (sometimes boring) day a bit nicer just by being present!
For some real-life experiences and many hitchhiking tips and tricks, such as starting point out of a city, country information – ‘hitchability’-, and a lot more.. I highly recommend hitchwiki and digihitch.