Traveling light with only cryptocurrencies may not be possible just yet
Tokyo, Denver, Berlin, Nairobi, Helsinki, and Moscow are not just Money Heist tropes, but also beautiful cities to visit.
Travel has always been a luxury for boomers, but Millennials have made it a part of growing up. However, as millennials travel, their expectations from a trip differ too, especially if you’re into cryptocurrencies. If you are one of them, the common question on your mind usually is whether a certain place takes crypto. And boy, can you even quantify the joy one gets when a restaurant or a hotel says they do accept cryptos.
Even though cryptocurrencies are new for most parts of the world, there are some countries that are hands-on with the utilization of cryptos. With such countries in existence, is it possible to travel light and carry just cryptocurrencies?
Planning in Crypto
Yes, there are hundreds of places worth visiting on the face of the earth, but my fellow traveler, if your intention is to spend only in crypto, you’ll have to make a few difficult choices. Unlike your regular travel agencies, there are only a handful of crypto-travel agencies that allow you to spend from a wide range of digital assets. Some popular names include Travala, Bitcoin Travel, Travelbybit, Xceltrip, and More stamps global
These agencies provide the wanderer in you with a variety of cryptocurrencies to choose from and according to many, Bitcoin is the go-to choice for most.
After choosing an agency that offers you convenient terms and conditions, it’s time to look for a crypto-friendly destination you would like to visit. However, more than usual, this will require more research than you think. In fact, due to regulatory concerns, not many countries support the use of cryptos. Ergo, DYOR.
Few places that do offer the luxury of spending money in crypto are Japan, Sweden, Estonia, Netherlands, Russia, Australia, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. Most of these countries (No, Estonia. Not you) are generally high on a traveler’s list, so the choice shouldn’t be hard.
Here, it should be noted that even across crypto-friendly countries, the ease associated with the use of crypto for a variety of purposes varies from country to country.
Travel and accommodation
Once you have managed to set your heart on a destination and a travel agency, you can go ahead and check for flights. Like any other website, crypto-travel websites offer you a similar interface, except with an option to pay via your preferred digital asset from its list. The most popular cryptos used on such websites are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Tron, and Binance Coin.
In fact, many of these popular travel agencies also have tie-ups with wallets and will require you to choose the wallet to make payments, like Alternati airlines. Even though the price of these flights may not differ much from fiat pricing, it is always good to choose your money.
What next? Well, the next important thing is to book a hotel. Depending on whether you’re a whale or a regular sardine, you’ll have a range of options to choose from for your accommodation.
Let me give you an example – Imagine Japan is the country of choice for your travel diaries. Over the years, the Asian island country has emerged as a very crypto-friendly country, even for tourists. In fact, Bitpoint, a subsidiary of Remixpoint, had once promised to bring Bitcoin payments to Japan through a partnership with Evolable Asia. At the time, nearly 1,400 accommodation facilities across the country had started to accept Bitcoin as a mode of payment.
Since millennials are hardly the people to choose luxury over experience, a place like Capsule hotel might actually provide them the luxury of a fun hotel, a unique experience, and of course, the opportunity to pay with Bae-coin (Okay, too cheesy). In fact, the Japanese crypto-exchange Coincheck provides two capsule hotels with merchant payment solutions. Among these are Hotel Anshin Oyado and Capsul Hotel Comicap, Kyoto.
Mount Fuji, Cherry blossoms, and Sake
Japan has been at the heart of entertainment, arts, and culture for a long time now. With crazy animes, festivals, and also Takeshi’s Castle, it has always been a popular travel hub for the young crowd. However, if you want to travel to Tokyo, Hachiōji, Machida, Fuchū, or Chōf, a private taxi or a personal car will be really helpful. But, can you rent a taxi or a car through crypto? Apparently, you can.
Back in 2018, Carchs Holdings and Hinomaru Limousines allowed crypto-payments at its used car dealerships and airport taxi services, according to Bank of Hodlers. Users will be able to rent a taxi or a car service from other dealers too.
Once your travel within the country has been sorted, you can shop for souvenirs using crypto at electronic stores such as Bic Cameras and department stores such as Marui.
Japan is the only country to deem Bitcoin as a legal currency and this offers other options to pay for crypto too. However, it must be noted that the use cases have not yet expanded to prominent restaurants, places where one might have to lose some fiat money.
Is Crypto travel-ready?
Despite there being several use-cases for crypto, it has not been as user friendly, thus it has not been widely used either. However, that does not mean you cannot opt for digital assets to pay at available locations or for one-time payments like flights and accommodation.
Interestingly, there are some countries where airport agents have been adamant about seizing and searching electronic devices, something that puts at risk any wallets one may have, over and above the usual intrusion of privacy. It would thus seem that it would be prudent to follow a fellow traveler’s advice after he recounted his experience. According to him, one should make sure s/he doesn’t travel with 1) wallet apps on your phone and, 2) an active [PIN unlockable] hardware wallet to protect your privacy.
So, what is the answer to the question of whether it is possible to travel light and carry just cryptocurrencies? Well, not yet.
In any case, at the moment, it would seem foolish to make any sort of travel plans. But hey, you can always plan for the future. Once this pandemic blows over, spin that little globe on your desk, put your finger on the country of your choosing, and travel. Do that, and you can once again flood your Instagram with the hashtag #wanderlust (Please, don’t).