I'll give you a specific example from my play group. The standard Hunter setup is Helsing-London, Mina+Godalming-Vienna, and Seward-Bucharest. This allows Mina to use ability in 5 regions in 5 turns or 4 (minus starting region) in 4 turns (end in Spain). Hunters also have a very easy time mixing up the order of these regions they clear. Due to this, Dracula's standard setup is to start in Spain, the furthest away from all hunters. The hunters currently believe it is an acceptable amount of risk for Dracula to start in Spain, considering all factors. It has been very rare for Dracula to escape week 1 without being found (before 1st encounter matures).
We've had a few attempts to border hop and do the follow thing but they've all been caught early. I have a sense the highest risk/reward is from the border-hopping or follow but it can seem like such a gamble when (in the above setup) you have this nice open region where you can almost guarantee the hunters won't be there for at least 4 turns. And if they do show up that early they won't have much for items.
The 'sweet spot' for Dracula is of course completely different with other setups. I'd like to hear what other people do most often and how they approach it (both sides).