Hitchhiking: alone vs with a partner and woman vs man
Note. Although for being accurate in this respect we would need to do a "hitchhiking study", I am talking here from my own experience and the chats I have had with other hitchhikers. So it will not be a scientific post and some of you probably disagree.
If you travel alone or with a partner, and if you are a woman or a man, has also an influence when it comes to get a ride. There are some drivers who are going to give you a ride no matter if you are a girl or a boy, or if you are traveling alone, with your partner, with your dog or with your iguana. But there are also drivers (the majority) who are going to have doubts and fears, and will give you a ride depending on whether they trust you or not. Here is where the different combinations come into play. The most favored combinations to travel quickly by hitchhiking are those that involve women, especially women alone and women's team, but also a boy and a girl (even more than a man alone!). In order from highest to lowest ease:
One girl and one boy
Why do people traveling alone get rides faster?
There are several reasons that I can think of (some confirmed by some of these road saviors, when I asked them about it):
They trust more on independent travelers. Besides, in the hypothetical case that these hitchhikers were evil beings, having to face two (or more) is worse than if there is only one. However, for other drivers it will be just the opposite. Seeing someone alone will give them a bad feeling, whereas if they see a happy couple it will give them greater security. Everything depends on the psychology of the people!
Greater compassion to see someone alone. According to some people, independent travelers are more vulnerable, and need more help. When a driver see a couple he/she may think that they have each other, but when they see someone by him/herself they may feel sorry for him/her. (I think this is the main reason)
They may think that independent travelers are more interesting and want to hear from you.
Why do women get rides faster?
I think there are several reasons why this happens:
People (usually) rely more on women. (I think this is the main reason)
They, according to some people, are more vulnerable and need to be "assisted" more than men. (I do not agree!)
There are fewer girls who travel like this (fortunately, more and more girls dare to do it) and this impacts the drivers. The surprise factor!
My friend María on the road
Disadvantage for women: dangerous men
As a possible disadvantage, they say that for a woman it is dangerous to hitchhike. Ok, there is always some risk in doing so many things, including hitchhiking (also for men)... But I have to say that, after having got dozens and dozens of rides in my travels, only one thing is clear: people are fucking amazing. I do not think it is dangerous for girls, but in comparison we could say that the risks of something bad happen are higher than for a man. However, again, I do not consider it is dangerous and I have met many women who travel in this way, both with a partner and alone. I would love for women who have hitchhiked to leave comments here to encourage those who have doubts.
I encourage everyone, whether man or woman, whether alone or in group, to hit the road without their own car, getting it (them) on the way by amazing people. Even if you spend a lot of hours on the road without success, even if you have to expose yourself to "dangerous men", it is worth it. You will not forget it. You will not forget those adventures... And you will never forget those wonderful (and many times crazy) road saviors.
Traveling through northern Argentina with Romi, a very good vibes Swiss girl