It seems like cryptocurrency slowly but surely integrates into our daily lives. Just a few years ago only a limited society of enthusiasts was buying Bitcoin and all they could do with it was hodling and trading. Right now, there are so many things you can do with crypto, including traveling.
Travelers who use crypto in their journeys are often called digital nomads. They consider cryptocurrencies a good option for quite a few reasons. First, they don’t have to convert the currencies every time they come to a new country. Second, they enjoy low fees. Also, they can be sure that their identities won’t be stolen since crypto wallets don’t hold any personal information.
However, some safety measures are necessary if you’re willing to travel with cryptocurrencies. Namely, you need to decide how you’re going to store them. Hardware wallets are a good option in cases when you’re sure that you won’t lose them while traveling. Always remember the sad example of Riccardo Spagni, Project Lead at Monero and one of the richest programmers in the world, who lost all his coins stored on a Trezor wallet in a boat accident. Ideally though, you should have backup storage so you could access your funds if one of them gets lost. For instance, you could have your Bitcoins on a hardware wallet but also have access to them with the help of a mobile app.
You can use a number of different cryptocurrencies, whichever you like the most. These could be stablecoins pegged to the US dollar as well – it’s easy to control your spending with them. Yet, the most popular crypto among digital nomads is still Bitcoin. It is accepted in more places around the world, easier to cash out, and the best part – if you’re traveling during the market rally, you can wake up much richer than you were yesterday.
So here are the top tips for traveling with cryptocurrencies:
1. Crypto-friendly locations
Whenever you’re traveling with some crypto in your digital wallet, you want to make sure that the location supports payments with cryptocurrencies. The more spots where you can spend some bitcoin or XRP, the better. Current prices for cryptocurrencies you can find on CEX.IO. In some cities, you can enjoy paying with cryptocurrencies right at the airport. For example, Australia’s Brisbane became the first crypto-friendly airport in the world. In San Francisco, you can use Bitcoin ATMs and pay for pizza in crypto. In Berlin, Frankfurt, and Munich, you can visit hundreds of crypto-friendly destinations.
2. Book a hotel and buy tickets
The easiest option is to download a mobile app that offers gift cards or direct purchases. One of such services is Travala. You can pay with BTC and nearly 40 other digital currencies for accommodation and earn rewards which you can accumulate and spend on other travels in the future.
Services like bitcoin.travel, Alternative Airlines, Travelbybit, CheapAir offer air tickets for bitcoin. By the way, the prices are often listed in the US dollar equivalent and they are quite affordable.
3. Buy a flight insurance
The world’s leader in the insurance sector, AXA has built the flight delay insurance service on an Ethereum platform. You can buy it through the Fizzy platform and pay for your insurance in Ether. This insurance is even better than the ordinary one because it exists on a blockchain in a form of a smart contract. It means that it pays out automatically in case of a flight delay. You can also insure your health during the flight, your pet, and even the crypto wallet itself. To do that, you need to use one of the DeFi services. Download a blockchain browser like Metamask and discover tons of insurance services on various blockchains with pretty and easy-to-use interfaces. However, you should keep in mind that DeFi insurance mostly works either as a risk pool or as a CDS (credit default swap).
4. Convert into cash
If the number of crypto-accepting products and services is limited in the country, a good option is to convert your digital currencies into local cash and feel free to spend it anywhere you like. Bitcoin ATM is the most convenient option without intermediaries. Another option is to use a cryptocurrency exchange to convert crypto to fiat money, send it to your credit card, and then withdraw at any regular ATM.
5. Use gift cards and spend in worldwide chains
Using crypto gift cards is safe and fun. You don’t have to worry about restaurants and other spots accepting crypto. You don’t have to make transactions on the spot. Just buy a gift card in advance and exchange it for the products of your liking afterward. You can buy bitcoin gift cards for the majority of your favorite food places, shops, taxis, health and beauty, entertainment, and so on. Another good thing is that they don’t charge you any additional fees. The amount that you spend on a voucher or gift card is the exact amount that you can spend later on.
6. Hang out with crypto nomads like you
Cryptocurrency is not just a means of payment. Quite often, it’s a philosophy. Who knows, maybe during your next hot discussion at Reddit you will find real friends. So if you happen to travel through the same country, you can make a meet-up and have lots of fun. Bitcoin and other crypto bring together people from all walks of life and the community of digital nomads is extremely fun and supportive for each other.
To sum up
Traditional payments with credit cards are enticing you by offering special perks like priority service in airports and a high level of fraud protection. However, if using cryptocurrencies and blockchain, you can gain access to a whole universe of services that are borderless and fair which is the coolest thing for any traveler. Smart contracts are free from the human factor, delays, and bureaucracy, while crypto payments set you free from the hassle of exchange and the risk of carrying around real money.