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Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride

When we were last in Ireland in 2000 we ended up picking up hitchhikers on 2 separate occasions. We would NEVER do that in the US. At the time we were told it was acceptable in the areas we were in and even expected, near Clifden and again in Co. Kerry. One person we picked up was an older, well lubricated gentleman, the other was a girl who had missed her school bus. So, when we are there in Dec/Jan, will we run into this dilema? Just wondering, haven't seen this addressed in the forums lately. Thanks!

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Ireland
Ireland
Europe
Clifden
Clifden
County Galway, Ireland
County Kerry
County Kerry
Province of Munster, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland
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1. Re: Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride

Hitch hiking in Ireland is generally less common than it used to be which is probably why it crops up fairly rarely on the forums. There are more affordable transport options available these days and many more people in Ireland have access to their own transport, although hitching may still be fairly commonplace in rural areas with poor public transport.

However, I don't really understand your dilemma - if you are not comfortable with picking up hitch hikers then don't. Hitching hiking carries risks, however minimal, for both the hitchhiker and for people offering them lifts.

I travel around Ireland regularly, never pick up hitchhikers and I wouldn't advocate it. I certainly would never consider doing it when abroad. If you wouldn't do it at home in more familiar surroundings, why would you consider doing it in an unfamiliar environment?

It's different for locals in the areas you mention who give lifts to other locals - they are much more likely to be familiar with the person hitching a lift or at least their family, friends, work colleagues, etc. and know where they live but as a complete stranger you don't know who you're picking up from Adam.

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Ireland
Ireland
Europe
Co. Kildare
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for Ireland
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2. Re: Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride

In my opinion hitchhiking is an absolute NoNo. It used to be acceptable but these days you just never know...

The well lubricated gentleman you picked up is probably the same one we gave a lift to years ago.

I am horrified to think that a schoolgirl would ask/accept a lift from strangers (this is absolutely no aspersion on your honest character, clkc86!) no matter what the occasion (don't they all have mobile phones these days?).

I would be very careful about whom I am asking to get into my car or into whose car I'm getting into.

Sorry for sounding so jittery but these days I just wouldn't take the chance anymore (either hitiching or giving a lift).

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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3. Re: Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride

"We would NEVER do that in the US. "

I wouldn't do it in Ireland either. Times have changed, you used to see backpackers as well as locals at the edge of some towns, especially in the West. I don't see it nearly as much these days, and I would not let a stranger in my car no matter how innocent they appear.

The only time I've done anything close to it recently was a French couple in Donegal, I met them in the pub and they had been around for a few days and the locals kind of vouched for them. They were backpacking around and I ran them down to Donegal Town since I was headed there the next morning anyway.

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Ireland
Ireland
Europe
Donegal Town
Donegal Town
County Donegal, Ireland
Tralee, Ireland
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for Tralee
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4. Re: Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride

I like to give lifts to hitchhikers, even though they are few and far between in the past few years. I spent many cold lonely rejected hours at various points of the 'western highway' as a student years ago so I try to ease the pain. Naturally, I would be very discenring, bordering on discriminatory. A drunk man would be a no no. Having said that, last summer I picked up a young Aussie man who was on the road after a night of poteen drinking and dropped him at a hostel. Obvious tourists with backpacks are safe enough I suggest, especially and for no logical reason, they have their national flags displayed. It's a personal choice but I would agree with the suggestion that visitors would be better off waving politely and driving on.

Limerick, Ireland
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5. Re: Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride

Firstly, If there is something that you are not comfortable with at home, then you shouldn't be made feel that you have to do it anywhere else. Don't feel pressurised into doing ANYTHING you are not comfortable ANYWHERE, regardless of local customs.

This applies to giving lifts, eating snails, walking over hot coals, drinking Guinness, whatever.

Secondly, as the mother of two teenagers, I would be aghast at either of my teens getting into the car of someone they don't know. To be honest, I even give them warnings about getting into the cars of people they DO know....

Finally, as a driver, I will not under any circumstances let anyone I don't know into my car.

The issue will only arise if you let it arise. If someone does ask you for a lift, then ask them first where they are going. Then apologise and explain that you are going a different way. Both of you save face and you escape!!

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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6. Re: Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride

I was just curious if it was still a "thing" We were shocked a girl would be willing to ride with a couple of Americans anyway. I think our rental car is smaller this trip so it won't really be an issue. But picking up those 2 way different people made for an interesting and fun memory.

Co. Kildare
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for Ireland
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7. Re: Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride

"We were shocked a girl would be willing to ride with a couple of Americans anyway"

clkc86, the nationality has nothing do with it at all. It could be anyone.

We have some lovely memories of giving lifts to hitchhikers (locals or tourists) but unfortunately it is safer not to do this anymore.

Hubby (in the days before I met him) spent two days on the road out of Cork trying to hitch a ride back to Dublin. Never got one, had to sleep in a barn and eventually got the bus. I suppose having long hair, wearing his mother's fur coat turned inside out and jeans with "Thin Lizzy" and handprints printed all over didn't help much! He's grown up since...

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Cork
Cork
County Cork, Ireland
Dublin
Dublin
County Dublin, Ireland
County Meath...
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8. Re: Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride

What a silly school girl ! You gave the lift in good faith but taking a lift from strangers sends a shiver up my spine !

Western Ireland...
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for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
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9. Re: Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride

To a tourist I would say don't do it. As an out in the wilds mountain man, I have been known to offer lifts to all types. We have 1 bus per week in the local village (4 miles away). I once piked up a man carrying a fuel can on the Connamara, the smell of diesel lasted days. So whilst country folk offer lifts out of courtesy it is not generally the done thing.

Cavan
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for County Cavan
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10. Re: Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride

While it might not be the done thing, it is certainly the decent thing to help another motorist in distress. Maybe someday you will be be left at the roadside and wishing that someone will stop for you, I know that I was on more than one occesion.