In recent years, Bitcoin has become widely acknowledged around the world as a genuine form of currency. The convenience in this highly digital age has caused it to gain popularity in part.
People around the world, especially travelers, have adopted the idea of a totally virtual and universal method of payment, avoiding the previously exhausting task of transferring their cash to other foreign currencies at every new location.
Care should be taken if the idea of using Bitcoin on your next vacation abroad crosses your mind. Total dependency on Bitcoin is discouraged because other travelers who have experimented on it have seen their share of problems in the process.
So, here is what you need to know:
- You Need A Wallet
The need for a wallet cannot be overemphasized. A digital currency, depending on its nature, makes your average leather wallet useless while traveling.
Special “wallet” software will be needed for accessing your finances, making transactions, and storing vital information. This has given rise to a new set of challenges for many travelers; whenever a purchase is to be made, one must have their laptop or smartphone with them, and access to the internet is compulsory for each transaction to go through.
A lot of travelers prefer going abroad without their smartphones, so before making a switch to Bitcoin, the necessity for this kind of software is to be considered.
- Bitcoin is not accepted in all Countries
Bitcoin has recently been banned within the borders of Bolivia. Other countries too have banned the use of Bitcoin within their borders; Bitcoin is not permitted in Vietnam and is highly regulated in countries like Russia.
It is important to do a thorough research about the stance a country has towards the currency before traveling. If you are traveling to a country that doesn’t allow the use of Bitcoin, you’ll have to abandon the currency and go with an acceptable tender.
- Each Country has its Own Bitcoin-Heavy Communities
Countries where Bitcoin is allowed sometimes show some bald patches when it comes to vendors who accept Bitcoin. However, there is a higher possibility of finding clusters of Bitcoin vendors in major cities and tech-savvy communities that operate within the same vicinity.
Kreuzberg in Berlin is an example of a city that houses high volumes of these types of vendors. Make sure you consider Bitcoin-friendliness in each area while planning out your journey.
- A Little number of Major Travel Merchants Accept Bitcoin
Before heading to your destination, paying for the plane ride with Bitcoin may be challenging. Big travel companies don’t catch up to trends in a timely fashion, and this makes booking your trip with Bitcoin tricky.
Fortunately, the travel merchant giant Expedia announced recently that they now accept Bitcoin for hotel reservations.
Although they are yet to begin offering flight purchases with Bitcoin, you can find Bitcoin-priced flights at CheapAir.com.
- Advisable to Always Have a Back-Up
A couple who tried to use Bitcoin on their 100-day trip majorly described the process as “feast-or-famine.” They experienced uncomfortably long periods where they were forced to go without food, unable to find a Bitcoin-friendly restaurant.
Try not to depend on one form of payment only or even two if you are extra careful. It’s best to supplement your Bitcoin with credit cards and cash to be safe.
- Taking Security Measures is more important with Bitcoin
Although theft of any sort can spoil plans made for your journey, a Bitcoin theft can be much more serious. Many aspects of Bitcoin make it more secure; however, there are ways for hackers and scammers to trick you into giving up information you shouldn’t.
In case you experience a Bitcoin theft, you will find it extremely challenging or impossible to reclaim your money. Bitcoin is not supported by the same security measures provided by your regular bank, and it is also very high-risk.
It is very important to be watchful in your own security practices while abroad, especially when it comes to information regarding your Bitcoin.
To Wrap It Up
The question of whether or not to travel with Bitcoin has no outright answer. It can either serve as a hassle or a major convenience, and this depends on the country, type of trip, and the travelers themselves.
Before you set out on a trip, doing your own research will ensure your trip goes according to plan or as close to the plan as a trip can get.