The Jakarta Post
Hitchhiking is possible when you are traveling across Indonesia. (Shutterstock/File)
Hitchhiking, defined as "travel by getting free rides in passing vehicles", is very popular among travelers who prefer to keep their budget low when exploring a destination.
Either an individual backpacker or a group of travelers, hitchhikers can be found standing on the side of the road while pointing one thumb up.
Such activity is considered legal in the United States and Europe, and has slowly become popular in other countries as well, including Indonesia, since the 2000s, encouraging hitchhiking-style travel communities to appear in some cities, such as Jakarta.
Ejie Belula, one of the committee members of Hitchhiker Indonesia community, told tempo.co that she and the community members had traveled by hitchhiking to far away islands in the archipelago, such as Papua.
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"We did not spend any of our budget on transportation," said Ejie recently in Jakarta.
Those interested in traveling this way should consider these tips below first as there are real risks involved:
1. Don't go alone
Ejie advises travelers to avoid hitchhiking alone to protect themselves. Always opt to travel in a group of at least three or four people.
2. Be flexible
As you cannot estimate when someone will decide to give you a ride, be flexible with your travel schedule.
"If your next destination is around four hours away, hitchhiking will take at least six hours, including wait time," said Ejie, suggesting that you should add at least two hours to your itinerary.
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3. Pick a strategic spot
The safest place to hitchhike is somewhere near a crowded and strategic place. Ejie suggests a toll gate, the crossroad of a market and gas stations.
4. Stand on the safe side
Always put safety first when hitchhiking, as in do not stand too close to the road.
"Make sure to always stand on the safe side of the road," said Ejie.
5. Be communicative
As a hitchhiker, learn to make a good impression on those offering a ride by being friendly and having a good attitude. (kes)