The Bitcoin economy is hidden in plain sight. Newcomers often ask what you can actually do with it, what can you buy with Bitcoin? How can you use it? The general answer is everything online and even offline. However the tourism industry stands out as one of the earliest adopters and one of the key beneficiaries as well. Naturally, travelers look for a safe currency they can take around that is widely accepted. With Bitcoin they have all the advantages, and the industry was quick to realize the potential.
Everyone loves to travel. That’s probably why there are dozens or even hundreds of websites to find plane tickets, to book hotels and endless reviews and blogs about the best restaurants, landmarks and attractions. Tourism is a massive industry and it seems that Bitcoin has taken over. The ecosystem of companies and establishments offering travelers Bitcoin deals is becoming ever more sophisticated. We’ve compiled a list of excellent Bitcoin travel websites to help you navigate it. Plan and book your trips using Bitcoin.
Step One: Book a Flight
Established in 2001 by Ian Webber and Amuda Goueli, it is the first Spanish travel agency that specialized in online hotel reservations. The business grew and now offers flight booking services as well, all in Bitcoin. Their 24 hour support, competitive prices, and wide coverage make it a great option for travelers. If you are looking for more information about Destinia or about purchasing travel packages through this online agency using bitcoin, click here.
The Latvian carrier has become the first airline to accept Bitcoin for its tickets to 60 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Russia and the CIS. The fact that they break the top 10 on the ‘most innovative airline’ list is no surprise!
BTC trip is a flight and hotel booking service that accepts Bitcoin. It offers very low prices and special trip deals such as flights to the Burning Man festival or Oktoberfest events in Germany. With testimonials from some of the most famous Bitcoin Who’s Who – including Erik Voorhees, Roger Ver and Vitalik Buterin – you know it’s legit.
Expedia is already a well-known travel booking service, and it now accepts Bitcoin. Although Bitcoin payments are not a main feature of their website, we’re sure that as the Bitcoin user base grows, it will become a main feature. The fact that a company like Expedia is taking Bitcoin payments, shows the advantages that this currency has in the tourism industry.
Established in 1989 and based out of Calabasas CA, it is the first online travel agency to accept Bitcoin. They started accepting Bitcoin payments following a question by a customer, who just asked if paying with for the trip with Bitcoin was possible. CEO Jeff Klee reacted to the question immediately, and within a short period of time, the Bitcoin payment options was up and running!
If you’re looking to book flights or hotels, Travel for Coins is an excellent resource offering zero registration fees, a very close conversion rate for BTC/USD and no address required or storage of coins.
Step Two: Accommodation
A twist on the classic ‘book your trip’ site, Hotel Go 24 wants to incentivize booking with them by offering YOU Bitcoins by booking with them. No, seriously. With over 130,000 hotels and countless flight plans, this is an excellent way to travel with Bitcoins.
Taking advantage of the fact that Airbnb has left the field wide open, 9flats is taking Bitcoin into the sharing economy. Currently about 20% of the places advertised on 9flats take Bitcoin, but this will probably start changing quickly.
Step Three: Shop, Dine and Have Fun!
Once your flight has been purchased and your accommodation booked, it’s time to see how you can further incorporate Bitcoins into your trip. Bitcoin.travel provides you with thousands of businesses accepting Bitcoins around the world with an emphasis on merchants that travelers would be likely to use – airport transfers, hotels, tourist attractions and more. This is an excellent resource when you’re on the go, or to see which merchants accept Bitcoin near you.
We’ve have already written about how great CoinMap is, but it warrants another mention. Like Bitcoin.travel, CoinMap is a resource map for finding Bitcoin merchants around the world. Just input where you will be traveling to in order to see what’s available for your trip and where you can spend your Bitcoins. Plus it looks really cool.
Other Advantages of Travelling with Bitcoin
As bitcoin becomes a more widely used currency, travelers can use it as their primary source to pay for their travel expenses beyond their plane tickets and hotel rooms. Nowadays, taking bitcoin instead of, or to complement cash and credit cards, can be very useful. Local bitcoin exchanges would allow users to change their coins for local currency, and the fact that bitcoin is a web-based currency, will let travelers go through border controls without facing scrutiny from the authorities regarding the amount of cash they carry with them.
Additionally, bitcoin accounts can reduce the risk from pocket pickers that travelers face. This is a tangible physical security advantage that bitcoin bestows upon its users that is especially necessary while travelling. Besides those advantages, bitcoin allows travelers to have a safe money reserve if they lose their physical wallets, their credit cards or their cash.
Bitcoin can also enhance travelling experience. By coming into contact with local bitcoin users at bitcoin friendly establishments, travelers will be able to see a different side of the destinations they visit. They will even have the opportunity to bond with the locals over their shared values and opinions on bitcoin. Most recently a programmer called Felix Weis completed a year-long trip around the world using only bitcoin. The account of his experiences and the people he met is amazing, but it also shows travelers how far bitcoin has come in terms of international acceptance.
It is clear that as a traveler, if you want to carry your money safely, be able to convert it easily into local currencies and even enjoy a very unique travel experience, bitcoin is the way to go. So go ahead, book your flights and hotels, pay for food, cab rides and memorabilia, enhance your personal security, and even go a step further and forge lasting friendships across borders by using bitcoin the next time you travel.
More Bitcoin Travel Resources
We will keep on adding information about every aspect of bitcoin travel, to keep you up to date. We also hope to encourage bitcoin tourism and have them open up more and more vendors and industries to the advantages of bitcoin. In the meantime, we will keep you informed as we expand our lists of travel sites that accept bitcoin, through our newsletter as well as through this page.
If you are looking for other ways to use your coins, take a look at other things you can buy with bitcoin, by clicking here.