Basics

Take a friend with you. Take a friend with you.
It is more safe, more relaxed and more fun.
Choose a beautiful destination. Choose a beautiful destination
Your destination will determine your starting point. To find the latter look for help in databases like Hitchwiki and Hitchbase.
Take lightweight luggage. Take lightweight luggage
Your should take a map with you, some cardboard and a pen for the signs, water (is your friend) and some food – otherwise as less as possible. In the end you should go with a small backpack that easily fits between your knees.
Get over your fear. Get over your fear
… and go. Excitement is normal. People will tell you scary things but mostly they don’t have experiences with hitchhiking. You hear about all the things that have gone wrong (about 0.001%), but you never read about the 99.999% of rides where a hitchhiker gets picked up in A, gets dropped off in B, and both the hitchhiker and driver happily go their separate ways. Shit happens, but very, very, very rarely! The worst that can happen is that you get stranded outside for a night, and in the summer under the stars that’s not really that bad.
Use motorway service areas. Use motorway service areas
Hitchhiking in Germany is like going by S-Bahn. From the petrol stations beside to the motorway you get a ride fairly easy. These are the network hubs. Have a look at the overview of German gas stations.
Choose your driver. Choose your driver
… and don’t let them choose you. If you only have the slightest doubt, don’t get in the car, just be patient, and another one will stop. As for woman, you should probably not get into a car with more than one male.
Talk to them. Talk to them
Even if you don’t feel completely comfortable about it, you should talk to the drivers while they are getting some petrol – they have a spare moment. Talking is important for both sides, your driver has some time to get to know you and you can judge them. Usually this method works quite well! Ask if they’re going your direction, and let them know that you would already be quite happy if they could just take you to the next petrol station. Once you’re on your way, and the driver turns out to be going further towards your destination, it’s not impossible that what might have started as a 25 km ride turns into a 250 km ride.
Take care. Take care about you
Send a message with the licence plate number to a friend and let the driver know about that. Violation will just happen, if the driver feels safe. Nobody will harm you if there is a trace behind you. Explain that kindly and everybody will understand. If not – get out of the car. Still doubts? Read tips about safety.
Keep the destination in mind. Keep the destination in mind
Think while getting in about getting out. On the wrong petrol station, you can loose a lot of time. Often, you better not drive as far as possible but get out at a crowded gas station. Always try to take your luggage with you (remember the small backpack?) and try to avoid putting it in the booth, on very rare occasions you may have to get out fast. And you should still do so, even if your backpack is in the booth, a backpack can be replaced!
Try it out.

Try it out. We’ll see on the road!