Travel on bitcoin has become a simple reality. Not only can you find a place to stay with bitcoin, but you can also fly, buy gasoline, and eat food purchased with bitcoin.
If you want to spend the night in a hotel, CheapAir and Expedia offer bitcoin as a payment option. CheapAir uses BitPay and Expedia uses Coinbase to process their bitcoin payments. We have found Expedia more difficult to use because only a portion of their hotels are currently available for bitcoin. On the other hand, CheapAir offers all hotels listed on their site for bitcoin.
Gyft.com allows you to buy gift cards for GlobalHotelCard.com (powered by Orbitz). This step adds the process of buying a gift card for GlobalHotelCard.com before booking your room. Gyft.com uses BitPay to process their transactions. The complication here is that gift cards are sold in set increments and the hotel room expense doesn’t always add up. This requires you to often buy a gift card that is over the price of the hotel, leaving a gift card balance.
Some individual hotels allow you to pay in bitcoin once you arrive on-site. The Holiday Inn Express in Brooklyn, NY takes bitcoin at their front desk with BitPay. You can find such hotels by visiting coinmap.org.
Hotel Booking Tips:
To save on your bitcoin-travel expenses, search for a hotel that offers a hot breakfast.
Book your hotel in advance. Yes, CheapAir and Expedia both offer last minute booking the night you travel. No, you should not pay with bitcoin at the last minute through these sites, if you can help it. Read our Nightmarish Experience Using Bitcoin on Expedia here.
TripAdvisor.com has the best fitering and search options. I like to use TripAdvisor to find the perfect hotel, then book it through CheapAir. My search filters include “free breakfast”, “pet-friendly”, “best value”.
Bed and Breakfast
You can book a Bed and Breakfast by purchasing a gift card for BedandBreakfast.com through Gyft.com.
Room / Guest House
If you are looking for a more laid back experience, AirBNB and 9Flats accept bitcoin as well. These services allow you to rent a room or guest house that someone privately owns.
Simply use these services to reserve your room and select “bitcoin” as your payment option.
There are three websites that allow you to book airfare directly: CheapAir.com, ABitSky.com and BTCTrip.com.
You can purchase a giftcard for American Airlines through Gyft.com and Egifter.com.
To go on a bitcoin-only road trip you need to buy gasoline with bitcoin. As of right now, residents of the United States have the option of CoinFueled.com at which you can buy gasoline giftcards for most gas stations across the country. To place an order you need to know the dollar amount and the companies you want. The invoice for your gasoline gift cards will be sent via BitPay. Expect this process to take several weeks, so order well ahead of time!
Gasoline Purchasing Tips
You have to know how much gas you will need before placing the order. We found that driving through mountains, tents tied to the roof, construction traffic, and the weight of your luggage greatly impact gas mileage. Order more than you think you need so you don’t run out!
Our family’s favorite bitcoin food experience has been Whole Foods. We purchase a giftcard through Gyft.com then stop to eat lunch and grab food for snacks and meals throughout our trip. This is an excellent way to kill two birds with one stone (hot meal, groceries). You can also get toiletries and reading materials, and replace that piece of clothing you forgot to pack!
Most food purchases on the road will likely come through Gyft.com or EGifter.com. Those sites carry gift cards for restaurant chains across the country.
If you want a restaurant that accepts BTC directy, visit coinmap.org or use the AirBitz application on your phone/tablet.
I highly suggest a visit to Cleveland Heights, OH if you want to experience a full vacation on BTC. Their Bitcoin Boulevard is jam packed with restaurants and shops that accept bitcoin directly.
Tips for Eating on the Road:
Always call ahead if you are traveling a long distance. We have shown up to chain restaurants we found on google maps, only to find a closed sign on the door. Since we were spending BTC only, we had to spend some time finding the next closest place to eat.
Be prepared for delays if you are purchasing directly with BTC. Several restaurants we visited from coinmap.org did not fully grasp how to accept payment and it took over 20 minutes to help them figure it out!
With bitcoin you can stay in hotels or bed and breakfasts, you can fly or drive, and you will even find the option to stay in resorts, visit casinos and take a cruise.
You can follow our latest bitcoin journey at uncoinventional.com.
Uncoinventional Travel Guide:
- GlobalHotelCard.com via Gyft (articles about Gyft: 123)
- Groupon via Gyft
- Hyatt via Gyft or EGifter
- SanLuisRestort.com via EGifter
- BTCTrip.com (articles about BTCTrip: 12345)
Bed and Breakfasts
Rooms / Guest Houses
- www.coinfueled.com (review)
- Carnival Cruise Line
- Celebrity Cruises
- Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino via EGifter
- Amazon via Gyft