Hitchhiking Across America: One Ride At A Time

Hitchhiking the United States
Hitchhiking America: From Coast to Coast
United States

Is hitchhiking still possible in the United States? Is it safe? Follow along for the next 4-5 weeks as I attempt to hitchhike my way across America from coast to coast.

I’m pretty f*cking excited right now. A bit nervous too…

By the time you read this, I’ll be standing on the side of the road in Oregon — attempting to hitchhike across America from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.

Soliciting free rides from complete strangers. Hopefully meeting interesting people from across the country — and sharing their stories with you.

I’ve explored jungles in the Darien Gap and journeyed through remote canyons in Northern Mexico.

But a long-distance hitchhiking trip in my own country could possibly be the most challenging travel experience yet!

Track My Progress

To make things interesting, I’m letting you track my progress in real-time! With the GPS on my iPhone, you can see exactly where I am right this moment!

Check back frequently to see how I’m doing.

Where Am I Now?

Live Instagram Updates

Hitchhiking the United States
Hitchhiking Updates on Instagram

Not only can you track where I am, but I’ll be live-streaming photos via my Instagram account. This will let you see what I see on the road while hitchhiking across America!

READ MORE: 40 Travel Jobs To Make Money On The Road

What’s My Route?

I really have no idea. West coast to East coast is my basic plan. I’ll probably stay North to avoid the heat of the summer, but who knows. Some back roads, some long highway rides — I’ll attempt to mix it up a bit.

Where Will I Sleep?

Like always, my trusty Hennessy camping hammock will come along with me.

I’ll be doing some stealth camping in the woods, and pay to stay in a campground or two. Because showers are nice from time to time!

Cheap motels or hostels won’t be ruled out either, as I’ll still need the occasional WiFi to get work done. I’ll also be using CouchSurfing.org to stay with locals interested in hearing a good story.

Is Hitchhiking Illegal?

Yes and no. It’s illegal to stand on the side of a major highway and solicit rides, because this is a danger to other drivers on the road.

However, standing at the on-ramp entrance before a highway is legal in most states. The laws vary from state to state, as do the interpretations of the law.

Occasionally different police officers will interpret the law differently too.

There’s a possibility that I’ll get a few warnings, maybe a ticket, but it’s very unlikely that I’ll get arrested. Think of it like jay-walking. Technically it’s illegal, but it’s not something that’s enforced with an iron-fist.

READ MORE: Road Trip Quotes To Inspire Your Travels

Why Hitchhiking?

Because hitchhiking is an adventure. Because it will be challenging. Because I’ll meet interesting people. Because it’s something I’ve always wanted to try.

Because I’d like to inspire you to follow your dreams, no matter how ridiculous they are.

Follow #HitchUSA

Join the adventure! Follow along on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #HitchUSA.

UPDATE: Mission Accomplished!

My hitchhiking journey across the United States is now complete. You can read about the whole adventure using the links below.

Have you ever been hitchhiking before? Have any questions about it? Let me know in the comments below!

THANKS FOR READING

Hi, I’m Matthew Karsten — I’ve been traveling around the world for the last 9 years as a blogger, photographer, and digital nomad. Adventure travel & photography are my passions. Let me inspire you to travel with crazy stories, photography, and money-saving travel tips.
Matthew Karsten
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