TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A low-cost way of traveling called hitchhiking is initially long done by backpackers from the United States and Europe in a bid to suppress travel budget on the transportation cost.
Hitchhiking can be done either in a group or private. They commonly stand by the roadside with a thumbs up as a sign that they are asking for a lift. The vehicle driver then will stop to give them a ride.
Such travel way is legally applied on both continents, although some countries impose special rules. This culture then developed to other countries, including Indonesia.
In Indonesia, hitchhiking became famous in the 2000s, precisely when the concept of backpacker began to spread. Ejie Belula, one of the Indonesian Hitchhiker community officials, said she and her community had traveled by doing hitchhiking to several remote islands, such as Papua.
However, this travel way requires special tips to be applied in Indonesia since hitchhiking is unfamiliar to the public which makes it susceptible to risks. Here are several tips shared by Ejie.
1. Not traveling alone
Ejie suggested to not travel by hitchhiking alone to prevent any criminal acts. She appealed the traveler to go hitchhiking in groups of three or four people.
2. Waiting time
The waiting time to get a lift is considerably long. So, to get to the destination, the traveler could not use a normal estimation time. "If the next destination is about 4 hours to go, by hitchhiking it might take 6 hours because we have to look for a lift first," said Ejie. Thus, the traveler usually needs to add 2 hours from the estimated time in general.
3. Waiting for a lift in strategic place
A safe place to wait for a free ride, Ejie said, is that close to the crowd and strategic area. She suggested hitchhikers stand at the tollgate, market intersections, and gas stations to look for a ride.
4. Standing on the safe boundary
Travelers should also pay attention to road safety while waiting. Hitchhiker should not stand too close to the street body. “We have to pay attention to the road line. Do not exceed the roadside border," she noted.
5. Well Communicate
As its name, hitchhiker should show a good impression to the prospective lift giver. Being friendly, smiling, and good ethics are the basic to get a ride.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA