HitchHiking in Kerala by Sujith Bhakthan

Hitchhiking (also called lifting or thumbing or, universally in several Languages around the world, auto-stop with different pronunciations) is a form of transport, in which the traveller tries to get a lift (a ride) from another traveller, usually a car or truck driver, for free.

Hitchhiking is a very common means of transport in most less affluent countries (although often a form of payment is expected). Hitchhiking is probably as old as the wheel and will probably exist as long as people need to move from one place to another.

There are several types of hitchhiking.

  • traveling by road motor vehicles: cars, trucks, buses.
  • traveling by train, either the risky act of train hopping or, as is sometimes possible, with the permission of the engineer or conductor.
  • traveling by ocean vessel, often called boathitching
  • traveling by air: planes and helicopters, also called airhitching

Whether getting a lift to the corner shop, covering the four corners of the world or simply just in case, there is a method to the madness of hitchhiking. Because you will be traveling with a stranger, it can be dangerous. With the right preparation, intuition, and etiquette, hitchhiking can be safe, fun, memorable, and enjoyable.