- You don't know when (often even not which day) you will arrive, inform your hosts about this
- You can try to find some couches on the way, if you are going really far, but inform your hosts that you might not show up
- Keep a list of phone numbers and addresses from your hosts on you
- Keep them on you always, you might get stuck at some place, it's getting late, and you don't have a roof over your head. You realize that people you met beforehand (at some meeting or camp) are living very close, so you'll be happy to call them and see if they can help you out.
- Ask your host if he or she has a car and is able to drop you off at a good spot when you leave.
- Ask about local information centres - apart from being a great help they might let you have a phone call or check the web.
- The number one rule! Know when to say "NO." If you feel uncomfortable before getting in a car for a ride, trust your instincts no matter how desperate you are.
- If you feel uncomfortable during a ride, or find your driver going in a direction you don't want to be going, be firm and ask to be dropped off on the side of the road immediately.
- Have a clear, well written sign with a destination in black on white paper - it is to instantly show your personality and cleanliness.
- Stand where safe and where vehicles are moving very slowely already, so it is easy and safe for the driver to stop. Put yourself in their seat, so to speak.
- Smile and make eye contact, so avoid sunglasses and hats, if possible, and be very tidy.
- Two women is the best combination, secondly a couple - for fast and safe lifts.
- Show respect and make interesting and polite conversation, and learn to listen - there is often a reason why someone wants to have a passenger.
- Tread carefully when having conversation about sex, politics, race, or religion.
- Learn to be patient, relax, and never get angry at passing cars - Go with the flow.
- Anything is possible! Expect nothing.
- Find good spots on Hitchwiki city pages.
Another, perhaps less adventurous, but often more secure option, where you share the travel expenses of the driver is rideshares.
You can find a lot more of information about hitchhiking at the dedicated Hitchwiki.org, especially information about good spots to start. Also Wikivoyage has an article with tips for hitchhikers. Hospitality networks also have groups to discuss everything related to hitchhiking (BW groups: Hitchhiking and Hitchhikers / CS Groups: Hitchhikers, Hitchhiking and Hitchhiker / Autostopper)