Ever wanted to try hitchhiking? This guide offers detailed advice including what to pack and how to be safe. Available as a free download, on Kindle, or in paperback.

Free Edition


Absolutely Free

  • Exactly the same content as other versions
  • Not formatted for digital screens
  • No support for your author and fellow traveller

Kindle Edition

Download on Amazon.com

$2.99* / €2.60* / £1.49*

  • Carefully formatted for digital screens
  • Read on your computer, smartphone, or kindle device
  • Electronic devices run out of power easily on the road

Paperback Book

Buy on Amazon.com

$10.99* / €8.99* / £6.99*

  • High-quality 112 page book
  • Easy to read while travelling, no power supply required
  • Plus, get the Kindle Edition FREE (with Kindle MatchBook)
* Plus applicable taxes

About this Book

Rules of Thumb: How to Hitchhike and Live on the Road

In previous generations, travellers such as Laurie Lee, Jack Kerouac and Chris McCandless walked out of their front doors with the money in their pockets and spent years travelling the world, enjoying countless adventures that have inspired people everywhere.

Today, "budget travel" is an industry in itself, with travellers paying thousands of dollars to volunteer abroad, join in with hostel bar crawls, or spend a handful of hours at yet another tourist attraction in between endless air-conditioned bus journeys.

These guys would be disappointed

Rules of Thumb is a unique guidebook aimed at the travellers who are looking for real adventure. Travellers who want to take long, ambitious journeys around the globe without needlessly spending huge amounts of money.

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What's inside?

Rules of Thumb is filled with detailed advice for aspiring hitchhikers of all kinds. You will learn how to:

  • Plan the route of your journey effectively
  • Pack exactly what you need, and no more
  • Hitchhike with maximum safety*, comfort, and enjoyment
  • Find good places to camp outside
  • Eat healthy and delicious meals with very little cooking equipment
  • Spend as little as possible, and earn money as you go
  • Volunteer for food and shelter
  • Manage risk and minimise vulnerability* as a traveller
  • Adapt to the many different situations of the road
  • Trade a little discomfort for a lot of adventure

* There is always an element of risk when hitchhiking and living on the road (that's what makes it fun)

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Why can I download it for free?

As the entire book is written about how to travel while spending as little as possible, it doesn't make sense to demand money from every reader. Hitchhiking is all about giving and receiving for free! However, travelling is also about being fair and generous to those who help you along the way. If you can afford to pay, I'd appreciate it.

The kindle edition has been carefully formatted for digital screens for a much better reading experience, and is the recommended way to read the book. The paperback book has the advantage of being a lot more convenient when travelling. Take your pick!

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About the Author

Christopher Drifter is a 24 year old traveller from the UK. He has taken several major trips across North America and Europe, covering more than 13,000km via public transport, borrowed vehicles, and hitchhiking. He also likes to volunteer on organic farms, build websites, and go rock climbing.

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Sneak peak: an extract from the book

The important thing to understand is this: hitchhiking is most rewarding, and makes the most sense, when it’s the purpose of your journey – not just a means of moving from one place to another. The one true reason to hitchhike is simply because it’s really, really fun.

You will meet people you would never ordinarily meet, and they will tell you stories you’d hear nowhere else. When you get picked up by a local, they’ll tell you more about the place you’re travelling through than you could ever hope to learn simply by staying there; they’ll tell you the best places to eat and to go out and have fun; they’ll tell you the safe places and the dangerous places; they’ll tell you the town gossip for decades past. When you get picked up by a tourist, they’ll take you to viewpoints, beaches, and sideshows that you’d never have been able to reach without owning a car yourself.

Some people will share their philosophy on life with you. Some will tell you their biggest fears and regrets. Some will tell you about the best things that have ever happened to them, and some will tell you the worst things that are happening to them right now. You are unceremoniously tossed out of your personal sphere of existence and exposed to what is real and honest and authentic: the incredible variety of human life as it exists on earth. It’s exhilarating.

Every person you meet has made the decision to help you, to be kind to you, to treat you as a friend – and you do the same to them in return. When you hitchhike, you take nothing. A driver does not lose anything by letting you in their car – in fact, they gain your company. Of course, there are some people who may try to give you money. Some may want to take you to dinner, and some may invite you to meet their families and sleep on the sofa. Sometimes you might even accept these offers – it doesn’t matter. Because if you are a good hitchhiker, everybody wins. Don’t hitchhike because you want to get somewhere. Hitchhike because it will remind you that everywhere there are good people, and because the experiences you will have while hitchhiking are experiences that you could not have any other way.

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Table of Contents Preview

  • PART I: Introduction
  • Tales from the Road: USA
  • About this book
  • Why choose to hitch?
  • Who can hitchhike?
  • Should you travel with a partner?
  • Can you hitch with more than two people?
  • But isn't hitching dangerous?
  • PART II: The Four Hitching Commandments
  • Tales from the Road: Sweden
  • 1. Thou shalt hitch during the day
  • 2. Thou shalt have good judgement
  • 3. Thou shalt respect road safety rules
  • 4. Thou shalt pay it forward
  • PART III: Making the Journey
  • Tales from the Road: Canada
  • Planning your route
  • Packing your bag
  • Finding a spot
  • Soliciting rides
  • Travelling in the vehicle
  • Leaving the vehicle
  • PART IV: Life on the Road
  • Tales from the Road: Europe
  • Sleeping on the road
  • Eating on the road
  • Making money on the road
  • Volunteering for food and shelter
  • Minimising your vulnerability
  • PART V: Final Note
  • Further Reading

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Podstel: The Crowdsourced Hostel for Creative Nomads

Daniel Beaumont has a vision: to create a platform where travellers can share, experience, and connect. Follow him at podstellife.com as he travels Europe, raises awareness for his idea, and tries to build the first ever crowdsourced hostel.

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Go Greater Good: Hitchhiking Documentry

Learn more about hitchhiking with Thomas, a film-maker who hitched an incredible 38,500km and made a free documentary about life on the road.

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