Ever since its inception, Bitcoin has slowly emerged as a very promising payment method, exactly as Satoshi Nakamoto, its creator, intended. Over the years, Bitcoin has cemented its name in the history books as the most popular and most valuable cryptocurrency out there. Together with a new wave of other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin disrupted many industries.
One of the most important disruptions came about in the travel industry, one of the earliest adoptions and the key beneficiaries as well. The main reason behind Bitcoin’s success in this particular industry is thanks to its mix of convenience, anonymity, and decentralization. In short, travelers want a currency which is widely accepted, and that is safe to “carry around.”
Nowadays, it’s fully possible to plan and book your trip using Bitcoin. In fact, the whole process is very much similar (and arguably almost as convenient) as paying with a credit or debit card. In this guide, we will walk you through how you can use Bitcoin to pay for travel, as well as provide you with a list of top travel sites that accept Bitcoin.
Find a travel agency
The first step towards paying with Bitcoin for your future travels is locating a travel agency that supports cryptocurrencies as payment. There are numerous good alternatives out there which include Destinia, CheapAir, BTCtrip, Abitsky, Berkeley Travel, Fluege.com.
Destinia is a well-known online travel agency that specializes in online hotel reservations. The agency boasts a great number of good options for travelers and allows them to pay using Bitcoin. BTCtrip is a flight and hotel booking service that’s also known to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. It usually boasts very good deals with low prices and special deals. CheapAir has been in the field for quite some time now. Established in 1989, the Calabasas-based online travel agency is the first of its kind to accept Bitcoin.
Or book tickets directly from various airlines
There are numerous airlines that accept Bitcoin as payment so you can bypass the whole process of finding a travel agency. Some of the best airlines that fit this particular category are Bitcoin.Travel, eGifter.com, Gyft.com, Far Eastern Air, airBaltic, and FlyPeach.
Bitcoin.Travel is probably the most popular and most trusted travel site which has been around for quite some time (established in 2011). AirBaltic is also considered to be one of the best airlines and allows travelers to pay for tickets to over 60 destinations using Bitcoin. FlyPeach is an Osaka-based airline payment service which caters to the North-Asian market.
When it comes to accommodation, there are two main options, namely HotelGO24.com, and 9flats.com. The first boasts an impressive list of over 130,000 hotels and countless flight plans for those who want to pay with Bitcoin their stay anywhere in the world.
9flats.com is more of a sharing economy type of service. It allows you to book vacation rentals, apartments, or guest houses There are enough places on 9flats that accept Bitcoin, but things will only change for the better in the future, as Bitcoin will become more mainstream.
The advantages of traveling with Bitcoin
Even though Bitcoin has pretty much-hit mainstream adoption these couple of years, it can be argued that it’s still not as straightforward of a process as paying with a credit or debit card is. Be that as it may, Bitcoin can be used to pay for a great array of services, more than just plane tickets and hotel rooms.
The main advantage of Bitcoin is the fact that it can’t be controlled by external authorities. It can’t be checked at border controls, and it won’t ever have to face scrutiny from any type of authority. As we’re sure, you all know, traveling with large sums of money can be dangerous. Bitcoin accounts reduce the risk of getting pick-pocketed.
Another advantage that Bitcoin payments have over other credit and debit card payments is the fact that the currency conversion is simpler, as there are no foreign transaction fees. Since Bitcoin involves a high degree of anonymity (not entirely, but more so than normal currencies), it ensures that travelers are less prone to identity theft as transactions don’t require personal information.
Using Bitcoin to pay for your travels might seem like an impossibility in the current state of the world. However, there have been people who do it constantly, mostly because Bitcoin still has a lot of advantages over typical currencies.
Even though credit cards and cash money are two of the most used methods for paying for travel-related services, they are also very much subjected to fraud risks. At the end of the day, you will just have to spend a bit of time and read about the travel sites that accept Bitcoin, see some of the best practices when dealing with cryptos, and decide if it’s the right method of payment for you.