Neer VarshneyFormer TNW writer
Two years ago, Felix Weiss, a software developer, inspired awe from the entire cryptocurrency community when he traveled the world for 18 months using only Bitcoin. As more businesses around the world appear to accept cryptocurrency payments, I wonder if repeating this feat is easier now in 2018.
I tracked down travel services accepting cryptocurrencies to see how luxurious or humble your travel experience would be if you decide to take the Weiss route.
Booking your flights
There are multiple airline booking services that accept cryptocurrency payments. CheapAir.com, a US online travel agency, was the first to start accepting Bitcoin in 2013. The flight booking service currently also accepts Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Dash payments.
Today there are multiple other services who do the same, such as Expedia, BTCtrip.com, Destinia.com, Japan’s Peach Aviation, California’s Surf Air, and Latvia’s airBaltic, and A Bit Sky.
Finding a place to stay
This one isn’t hard. Most of the travel agencies (including Expedia, Destinia, CheapAir) that let you book your flights with cryptocurrency also let you book accommodation. Airbnb-like services such as 99Flats and CryptoCribs also let you pay in cryptocurrencies for your accommodation. Depending upon which part of the world you are traveling to, finding a place to stay shouldn’t be too hard.
Eating with cryptocurrencies
This one is a little tricky. While you can book your flights and accommodation online with services that accept cryptocurrency payments, for food you will need to track down local restaurants that will accept your digital gold. There are only scattered restaurants and cafes around the world that accept cryptocurrencies, such as the Suryawanshi family restaurant chain in Bangalore, India or La Sirene in Manhattan. Try using CoinMap to see if any restaurant near you accept cryptocurrency.
If you don’t have any luck, there is still the option to buy food coupons with cryptocurrencies from services such as Gyft or eGifter. Local exchanges in some countries also give you an option to buy gift cards with cryptocurrencies, including coupons for food.
Shopping with cryptocurrency is not nearly as difficult as buying food. Use CoinMap to find the stores accepting cryptocurrencies around you, which are far greater in number compared to restaurants.
If you end up at Brisbane International Airport in Australia, all the merchants there already accept payments in cryptocurrencies.
While some online stores such as Overstock.com and Shopify-based stores accept cryptocurrency, shopping at local shops for a souvenir might be difficult.
What if you are stuck in a situation where no one is taking your cryptocurrency payments and you have no cash? Your last bet is to find a cryptocurrency ATM around you and cash out your cryptocurrencies!
The number of businesses supporting cryptocurrencies has increased greatly, making it far easier to attempt the Weiss challenge, but it remains a challenge to travel with nothing else.
So, cryptocurrency nerds, are you ready to try the Weiss route?
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