TRAVEL: Hitchhiking vs. Bicycle Touring

Arthur Oliveira @mrprofessorSeptember 2019 · 5 min read · #traveladvice

Oh yeah, readers. I'm back! Or at least trying to be back, after experiencing what I like to call - The wild travel blue.

In order to regain my motivation I'll be using the sexy Travel Feed website to exercise my writing on the new editor, let's see how it goes!

Without further ado, on this post I'll dive straight into comparing the two cheapest ways to travel that I've tried, to help those who want to hit the road no matter what.


It's a fact that the stresses of modern life and the lack of perspective lead many people into desiring to just go travelling for the sake of scaping the miserable routine we hate. Sadly though, is that many of us don't do it because we get trapped into the idea that it's not possible without loads of money. What if I tell you that I've done it, and that you can also do it?

So far I've always travelled with barely no money in my pockets and I'll tell you the pros and cons of these different experiences, now you just have to pick your favourite and go!

1. Hitchhiking

The classic of a broke backpacker or anyone wanting to move from A to B, all you need is a good ol' thumb, a sign, a smile and perhaps a shower too. Yes, nobody likes to carry a stinky backpacker inside their car.

By far the cheapest way to travel, since you'll not spend a single penny (only if you want/have the means to help with gas or something). Sometimes you'll also be gifted with snacks or some extra bucks to continue your journey, it all depends on your story. So, don't be shy and talk to the driver!

Pros

  • It may take time to find a ride, but once done it'll take you to the destination relatively fast;
  • Snacks on the way are opitional;
  • Someone to talk to and share stories;
  • It's relatively safe;
  • It's cheap, all you need is a backpack with some stuff;

Cons

  • You are dependent on finding a ride, and it may take for ever;
  • You won't be able to stop whenever you want to do whatever you want;
  • It would be disrespectful not to talk, even when you simply want to be quiet (be nice to the dang driver, you are the guest);
  • You'll sometimes find weird drivers, or drivers that speed like crazy;

While many people think that hitchhiking is dangerous, all I can say is that I've always been amazingly well treated. Of course it all depends on where you are hitchhiking, some countries may not have the tradition, or some places can not be reached by car. If you still think it's dangerous, but you really want to travel without a lot of money, maybe you can try the second option.

2. Bicycle Touring

Cyclo touring is one hell of an experience for those willing to travel, but that don't have a hefty wallet. Just don't do it during the winter, like I did!

To travel by bicycle you may need to spend some money to purchase a bicycle and some equipments, or you can improvise like many do; it's completely up to you and your motivation to decide how you'll go.

Travelling by bicycle will not only give you the versatility to move when you want, but you'll also become pretty fit doing it - it's a win win situation. But, is it?

Pros

  • You'll definitely become fit, strong legs and butt garanteed;
  • The versatility of moving/stopping when you want to/at any place you want;
  • You'll enjoy the views better from a bicycle, you'll feel the wind, smells and everything else on the way;
  • You'll be able to explore places where cars are not allowed;

Cons

  • Maintenance required, you'll need the basics at least;
  • It'll be more expensive to buy the needed equipment;
  • You'll be more exposed on the road;
  • It can be incredibly lonely and boring at times (if you are solo);
  • Having a bicycle with you may be a hassle around big cities if you need to sleep on the streets, or when you need to go shopping, or when hostels don't accept a bike;
  • It takes more time to move from A to B (not a big problem)
  • It'll require eating more! A lot more!!!

Being a solo traveller I found cyclo touring to be super lonely at times due to not having someone to talk to. I found it super tiring as well, after a day of heavy cycling all you want is to do is to sleep; this effect can be counter player by programming more days in a destination. Even having more cons than Hitchhiking, it's still a valid and relatively cheap way to travel if you want to discover yourself - yes, you'll be challenged in all ways possible!

My conclusion is that hitchhiking is a lot easier if you can handle the waiting time alongside the road; but cyclo touring is a lot more fun if you have someone to share the experience with.

And you? Which one do you prefer?


Topics: TRAVELADVICE

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