The global travel industry is still in the midst of an upswing. According to Deloitte’s 2018 travel outlook, global travel bookings reached $1.6 billion in 2017. Several factors play into the global population’s commitment to exploring, including confidence in the global economy and the new millennial/Gen- Z mindsets that place a high priority on experiences rather than things.
Spending priorities among the younger demographics have shifted -- fairly dramatically. In fact, some reports indicate that millennials would rather spend their earnings on exploration than saving up for a home. This desire to travel is showing no signs of slowing, however, how people fund their vacations may soon change, thanks to the cryptocurrency boom.
Since its inception, most early crypto adopters largely viewed digital coins and tokens as an alternate vehicle for long-term investment. Now, however, it’s getting easier to put tokens and coins toward everyday expenses. While it’s still not widely accepted, there is a growing number of bullish merchants willing to accept coin-based transactions. Users who bought coins, especially bitcoins, are more interested in putting those investments toward tangible things and experiences -- like travel.
The global travel community is not blind to this shift. In fact, more travel booking sites and resources are open to accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. In fact, airline booking sites like Cheapair.com have long been champions of cryptocurrency payments, and it’s likely only a matter of time before more aggregated booking sites (as well as standalone airline sites) are willing to follow suit.
And it’s not just the air travel world that is responding -- hotels are also coming around to their notion that global clientele want travel payment options that are just are just as diverse as the experiences they’re seeking. The AIRSTAYZ™ platform is one example of a new era of hospitality fueled by cryptocurrency. The platform, powered by a proprietary STAY token, allows travelers to connect with hotels and local experiences in one centralized location-- making it easier than ever to experience new locales without the hassle of using multiple booking sites and exchanging currencies at every stop along the trip.
As more travel-based crypto services come to fruition eager travelers will be rewarded with booking experiences that are streamlined and secure -- giving individuals more time to spend seeing rather than scheduling.
While this token-based shift is unfolding, travelers still have the option to make their way around the globe with nothing more than half a bitcoin. So, if you have half a bitcoin floating around in your crypto wallet and want to put it toward seeing the world, there are more than a few places it can take you.
If you’re looking for even more advice on traveling the world with a digital currency, check out these six key tips from Laura Shin’s 2017 Forbes article, How To Travel the World While Spending Mostly Bitcoin:
- Decide how you’re going to store your bitcoin
- Get a smartphone wallet for daily expenditures
- Do your homework upfront
- Find Bitcoin meetup groups
- Find locations that accept Bitcoin
- Be nimble
As covered in Shin’s piece, traveling exclusively with cryptocurrency is not the most relaxing way to spend your vacation days. However, more resources are emerging to help the crypto community in cities across the globe.
It’s also important to note that some destinations are more coin-friendly than others, including Los Angeles, London, Vancouver, and Vienna.
One of the best things you can do is connect with other crypto enthusiasts before and during your travels. By asking questions and forging your own online, global community, you’ll gain access to key information that, typically, only locals have.