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    Hi there,

    I'm hitching to Paris (from Scotland) for charity, leaving on monday, and I'm FREAKING OUT!! :p: I have no idea what I need to do/pack/ organise. Any suggestions, advice and reassurance would he hugely appreciated! I'm starting to think I was maybe a bit crazy to agree to it at all!

    oh scrub all that - I'm too late! Hope it went well....

    Quote me and tell me how it went. I should be hitching through Paris for charity too, this Easter


    (Original post by La Esmerelda)
    Quote me and tell me how it went. I should be hitching through Paris for charity too, this Easter

    I'm not the OP, but I have done this, also from Scotland to Paris. We managed it in 18 hours -- if you get across the Channel that night you're sorted but if you can't get across then it just drags on. When I did it there were only 5 teams (of 40) who got over the Channel that night then we all arrived in Paris with about 2 hours of eachother, then everyone else didn't arrive for another 12 hours or more as they'd been delayed at Dover.

    Its all about luck to be honest, but within the UK it is fairly easy - we managed to get on trains all the way from Edinburgh to Dover with no problems what so ever which included getting through the underground. Your best bet is to aim for train stations which don't have ticket barriers to get onto the platform (do some research before hand) because the ticket people will probably not let you through as its not their decision. We got on a direct train to London in Edinburgh (no barriers) whereas a lot of people we know who tried further down the country got stuck at ticket barriers. You need to speak to the train guard on each train before you get on and ask them if it is okay (you will have a letter from your charity etc) they tend to get off the train at one end of it so its fairly obvious who they are Or if you can't find the train guard, get on the train anyway and then go immediately to find them and ask for permission to stay on the train. All of the ones we had were really lovely and our London bound train guard got really into the competition and was contacting other guards on his company leaving London to ask if we could go on their trains once we arrived etc. National express busses are really good too and will generally let you on if they have a spare seat on their bus, but will say there is a chance they will have to kick you off en route if people with a ticket come instead, which is how loads of people ended up stuck in Newcastle and unable to get into the train station!

    Don't bother with the Eurostar, they are not interested AT ALL and its a waste of time trying to get on at Ashford. Several groups got removed from the station. If you are one of the first to hit London and your train is into St Pan/KC then its worth checking, but don't go out of your way to check. Its also not worth trying the airports unless you have a connection in there anyway. And hitching is way more fun!

    Then at Dover, just chat to people -- it really is about luck here. We just asked people to take us literally onto the ferry (its priced per car) and then we said we'd try and find someone else to take us off the other end, as that is less of a commitment for them than you saying "can you take me to Paris please??" The best place to do it is in the car park at the ferry terminal where there is a ticket collection area/food place/toilets etc. If you just have a sign at the side of the road you won't get picked up quickly and you get asked to move on by the police apparently. Girls are generally better at getting lifts from chatting to people than guys - we aimed at middle aged/eldery couples without children and managed to get a lift within 15 minutes. Targetting coach parties in the car park is good as well as they often have spare seats and might even be going to Paris.

    Its much harder in France as people are less friendly (I found) so its better to approach foreigners than French people! Although lorry drivers are fairly good if you speak French and can explain what you're doing. We got dropped off at a service station by a couple we met on the ferry in the early morning and it took us about an hour and a half to get a lift out of there to Paris, which was the longest we spent in one place.

    Good luck!!! My best advice is get clued up about trains, train stations etc before you do it. I'm fairly knowledgable anyway which really paid off as you know which trains to target at stations etc as it might not be the most obvious route which is the best one due to the ticket barriers etc.
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