Hitchhiking with your dog
Traveling with a dog is something beautiful... But not easy. The biggest obstacle along with accommodation is transportation. Unless you have a car or your dog is small enough to enter hidden in your backpack... We do not have the luck (or the money) to have any of the two things, and we usually travel by hitchhiking. There are more alternatives, which you can see by clicking on this post, but we like this way of traveling, even with the obvious disadvantages. Let's me explain you why.
Get ready: before hitting the road
Valuation: why do it
GET READY: BEFORE HITTING THE ROAD
Here are some useful tips for when you decide to hit the road with your dog:
Good weather. Always choose, as far as possible, days of pleasant weather, neither too cold nor too hot. Especially if you travel slowly. It will always be better to hit the road a day later and enjoy the hitchhiking.
Put a coat on your dog... Or refresh him. If it is cold it's good to have something to warm your furry friend. If it is hot, you can wet her head and body continuously. If there is a shadow it is better that she wait there while you ask for a ride.
Hydration. Always put a bowl of water for your quadruped friend. Unless she has drunk recently. When you travel by hitchhiking you never know when a saving will (two minutes, five hours?). It is important that your dog has water, especially if you are traveling around a warm place.
Try to get a ride as fast as possible. Your dog can get bored, hours and hours without doing anything. A sign and a good attitude always help. See more tips to get a ride more easily in the post "Tips for hitchhiking".
VALUATION: WHY DO IT
Let's see some reasons why I travel like this and I want to encourage other doggy travelers to raise their thumbs "on the road":
Always together. Your dog will be happy to be always by your side. Both on the road and in the altruistic vehicle. It is likely that some pickups only let your dog ride in the back. If you think he can have a bad time in solitude you can do two things: go in the back with him or wait for another ride (I do not recommend this, unless it is a country or area where it is easy get a ride with your dog).
Getting quick rides. Often it is easier to get ride with a dog than without it. Many people have asked me if it is not very hard finding people who would stop because of my dog, and the truth is that is not usually the case. While it is true that in some cultures dogs can produce rejection, there are several reasons why more people would stop to give you a hand if you are in the company of a dog:
They will trust you more
Super dogfriendly countries. Everywhere there is someone who loves dogs, but there are places where this is extremely obvious. We have appreciated it a lot in USA and Canada
They will find it funny. Especially if you dress her up for the occasion ;)
Getting to know amazing people. What I like most about traveling by hitchhiking is that you are lucky enough to meet the most courageous and generous people, willing to take a stranger for nothing. But if you hitchhike with your dog, those the ones who give you a ride will certainly be animal lovers and, especially, dog loves. Your dog will get treats and will be pet while you have the opportunity to meet these extraordinary people. The journey is the people.
An incredible adventure. Begging for a ride can be hard, but the trip will be more adventurous than ever. We have lived many adventures: from seeing bears crossing the road, to meeting people who have ended up having us at their homes. It is better that you experience it in your own flesh.
Longest trips. Traveling by hitchhiking is a significant saving, which means a longer adventure. We have traveled like this for months in South America and for a year and a half in North America. Had it not been for our thumbs we would not have lasted half of that "on the road" (and never better said). Or maybe we would but working more along the way.
Valuing things more. The food, the good weather... And, above all, every destination reached. Everything tastes better when you sweat blood! Seriously, you can get to many places with your car and see lots of things, but nothing can be compared to traveling in this way. You will see less (places), but you will enjoy them double.
I wrote a post with some of the most incredible and beautiful stories that I have lived with Cocaí thanks to hitchhike. Have a look on them by clicking here, or click on the post below.