Traveling can be a hassle. Imagine all the work involved in putting together your last vacation. There’s the flights to arrange, the hotels to book, packing and the never-ending parade of money, money, money.
What’s more, not all money is equal when you’re on vacation. There has to be cash set aside for tips and street-market bartering. You’ve got to phone your credit card companies in advance and let them know you’ll be traveling out of your usual spending zone. And that’s without discussing the hassles of foreign exchange.
What if I told you there’s an easier way? It’s now possible to plan, pay for, and execute your dream vacation without leaving the cryptocurrency world. Imagine – traveling with a safe supply of money that doesn’t need to be converted or stuffed in a safe or fanny pack.
Crypto adoption is growing, and that means you can finally spread your wings and use it in the real world. Here’s a quick guide to traveling the world of the future.
Booking Your Travel
A wide swath of airlines and flight-finding services will allow you to book and pay for your flights exclusively with cryptocurrency.
Just a few of the airlines profiled by Fortune magazine include: CheapAir.com has accepted Bitcoin since 2014 for all major carriers; Spanish travel agency Destinia.com offers Bitcoin as a payment option on their website; ABitSky.com serves continental Europe and accepts cryptocurrencies for advance bookings; airBaltic is another airline that specializes in cryptocurrency for travel within eastern Europe and the Baltic states; and Peach Aviation accepts Bitcoins for flights throughout northern Asia.
Finally, there is BTCTrip, which bills itself as the travel agency of choice for the cryptocurrency community. With just a little bit of shopping around, you should be able to book your flight painlessly – and without ever using a debit or credit card.
Booking Your Travel, Part 2
If you can’t find a travel agency or airline that directly accepts Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, consider this workaround. eGifter.com allows you to buy gift cards for most major airlines with Bitcoin.
Simply research your flight on your desired airline, buy a gift card for that amount via eGifter.com, and then use that gift card on the airline’s website. It adds a bit of an extra step, but really – is it that much more complicated than putting a flight on a debit or credit card? This is also a useful tip for spending Bitcoin in places that don’t normally accept Bitcoin. Simply swap your Bitcoin for a gift card and spend away.
Getting a Hotel
Some of the travel agencies that accept Bitcoin, like CheapAir and Destinia, will also allow you to reserve hotels directly with Bitcoin. The big player in this space, however, is Expedia.
Expedia doesn’t currently accept Bitcoin for flights, but you can reserve a hotel with the cryptocurrency. Expedia is partnered with Coinbase to make the transaction seamless. There’s also a gift card workaround here. Gyft.com offers digital gift cards, payable in Bitcoin, to chains representing more than 150,000 hotels.
You’ve got your flight and you’ve got your hotel. Need transportation? CheapAir and Destinia are back in the mix, as they offer car rentals in Bitcoin. If you’ve got your own car, you can use CoinFuel to get gasoline gift cards with your Bitcoin.
You can also pay for Uber gift cards through CoinFuel. Uber does not yet accept cryptocurrencies, but you might just be able to find a driver who will accept crypto tips. Adoption is spreading like wildfire, and crypto tip jars are becoming more and more common.
It’s not ready just yet, but keep the Gitto crypto project in the back of your mind if you’re planning a long-term vacation. The Gitto project aims to bring the car rental business to the blockchain. What’s more, Gitto ultimately envisions a system that’s much like a decentralized Uber. By tokenizing car sharing, Gitto hopes that peers will be able to use the blockchain to directly rent rides from one another, wherever they may be.
Time to Eat
Pizza and Bitcoin have been linked since the cryptocurrency’s earliest days. How many times have we heard the semi-urban legend of the million-dollar pizza bought before Bitcoin reached its current multi-thousand-dollar highs? Many pizza joints still accept Bitcoin, and a quick Google search should tell you if any are in your immediate area.
For more sophisticated dining options, check out location tool CoinMap to find businesses and restaurants that accept Bitcoin in your target location. There’s also Bitcoin Restaurants, a website specifically tailored to find crypto-friendly restaurants in a given geographic area.
Time to Shop
For places to spend your hard-mined Bitcoin, again consider CoinMap for suitable places. Many online retailers accept Bitcoin, and their brick-and-mortar locations do, as well. For the rest, you’ll have to do a little legwork. Crypto adoption varies from place to place, and some areas are just plain easier to navigate than others. Begin by Googling your destination, followed by “Bitcoin” or “crypto.” Most major cities have a host of hole-in-the-wall locations that will accept cryptocurrencies. Which brings us to our last bit:
Plan Your Next Trip to a Crypto Oasis
Cryptocurrency is about freedom, and the freedom to travel where you like is why this tip isn’t number 1 on the list. However, if you’re really looking to make the most of your crypto vacation, consider a crypto hotspot. Puerto Rico has a thriving crypto community based around the Sol project, which aims to set up an entire crypto city within the neighborhood of Old San Juan built on blockchain technology. Malta has received recognition lately for hosting a number of major cryptocurrency exchanges due to its progressive laws, so this Mediterranean island is another likely crypto vacation spot.
Humble Canada has been fairly accepting of the crypto trend, and you’re more likely to find Bitcoin and TRON ATMs in Canada than you are anywhere in the United States – particularly in tech-oriented cities, like Vancouver. Finally, cryptocurrency use is on the rise in Singapore. Not only is the locale a hotspot for crypto development, it is also one of the top vacation destinations in the world.
Traveling without money is surprisingly freeing. There are no exchange fees to worry about, and your funds can’t go missing into a maid’s cart. You’re not likely to drop your online Bitcoin wallet at the beach, and there’s no chance of leaving it behind in a cab after a rough night out. Step into the future and plan a cashless crypto vacation.