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Bitcoin wallets might be considered a "techie only" thing by many people, but I disagree. I'm an average person who just happens to be a fan of blockchain technology—and I see the amazing potential that digital currency has.
One of the biggest game changers that I've noticed about the world of crypto is how well Bitcoin works as the travel currency of choice. That's why I actually got myself a cryptocurrency wallet; I wanted to travel abroad.
Now, for the typical person, this may seem pretty counterintuitive. It is my guess that you might be wondering why I'm such a huge advocate of owning a Bitcoin wallet while you go traveling around the world.
Bitcoin wallets seem like they're over-the-top, and I totally understand why. It's new tech, and it's kind of an indication that you might be a little over-geeky. Truth be told though, there's a lot of reasons why you should have a Bitcoin wallet when you travel.
Traveler's checks carry way higher fees than Bitcoin debit cards do.
The biggest reason you should buy a ledger wallet for your crypto when you travel deals with the price of exchanging currencies. Think about how much money it costs to get travelers' checks, exchange your currencies, and even transfer money.
The red tape you have to deal with when going through traditional methods of getting foreign currency is enough to make anyone wince. With Bitcoin, all you need to do is transfer your coins into a debit card. The debit card will instantly exchange your coins for the fiat currency of the country you're in.
Many cards, such as Bitpay, are usable in hundreds of countries. It's a good way to have a backup form of currency. That said, exchange rates can eat up a hefty portion of your spending money—but there are feasible options to pursue that can remediate that.
Not carrying cash on you is a smart idea when traveling in certain places.
Do you know what one of the smartest reasons to get a Bitcoin wallet is while traveling? It deals with theft. Pickpocketing is a real problem in many parts of the world, and if you carry cash or look like a tourist, you're a target.
A Bitcoin wallet can be stored on your phone via an app. If someone grabs your wallet and you didn't have a Bitcoin wallet, you would be out of luck when it comes to your travels. A cryptocurrency wallet can help you out, big time, by letting you access your cash via a Bitcoin ATM, so that you always have an emergency fund.
A crypto wallet can also help you avoid fraud.
Multisignature wallets are a thing, you know! These wallets require at least two out of three security keys in order to access funds. In places where digital thefts are commonplace, having a multisig Bitcoin wallet can save you where regular wallets and debit cards won't.
Once again, it comes down to security. Financial security, however, isn't all you can enjoy with this tech.
It's also a major status symbol.
I hate to say it, but there's something to be said about the way people treat you when they see you have a Bitcoin wallet while traveling. People who see you pull out a debit card that allows access to Bitcoin almost immediately assume that you've got major connections.
Once in a while, you might get preferential treatment at a bar if you flash a Bitcoin card or a hardware wallet. The same can be said if you offer to pay in Bitcoin at some upscale venues.
It's also worth pointing out that many travel companies accept Bitcoin and other digital currencies as payment.
Anyone who is a fan of traveling can tell you that you can book flights, hotels, and car rentals with Bitcoin. Major sites like Orbitz have been allowing cryptocurrency payments for years and show no signs of stopping anytime soon.
If you have a Bitcoin wallet while traveling, booking another stop becomes a breeze. All you need to do is go online and buy a ticket. You won't even need to worry about transferring the value of Bitcoin to local currency beforehand.
There are also other venues that accept Bitcoin.
Though cryptocurrency isn't mainstream by any means of the word, the truth is that there are still plenty of venues that accept Bitcoin out there. In Europe, there are hundreds of places you can go and spend your Bitcoin freely.
This means that owning Bitcoin wallets can offer you a way to avoid spending those precious travelers' checks—if you want to hold onto them for some other reason.
Having a Bitcoin wallet while traveling can also offer new experiences.
Did you know that people are willing to buy Bitcoin off you, in person? It's true. What a lot of travelers have found is that owning a Bitcoin wallet can be a good way to link up with other people who want to keep digital currency on hand.
Travel is all about trying new things. This is a new thing! This is an easy way to learn more about local culture, make new friends, and a sign it's time to sell your Bitcoin. Why not make some money (in local currency) when you can?
In certain cases, having Bitcoin can allow you to spend more money than you would otherwise be able to.
There have been some cases where banks refused to allow people to withdraw more than a set amount in cash. During Grexit, banks only allowed people to withdraw $60 or so per day.
If you own a Bitcoin wallet, you can still spend more money—and as a traveler, that can make a huge difference in how well your life works abroad.
Using Bitcoin rather than credit can make a huge difference in how well your bank account handles your trip. After all, you don't want to add credit card debt to your account while you're on the go, do you?
If Bitcoin spikes while you're on a trip, you might be able to treat yourself.
If you're the type of person to HODL for dear life, you might not like this reason. However, you should still hear me out. Bitcoin is a volatile currency and it has its ups and downs; we all know that fiat money affects Bitcoin prices, right? If the value of Bitcoin spikes, you might be able to enjoy a nice splurge during your trip.
Traveling with Bitcoin is cool like that, especially if you're not using it as the be-all, end-all of your travel budget. If you're lucky, you may be able to extend your trip a little longer with the extra cash in your account!
Overall, it just seems like a good idea.
The reason why I'm so avid about having a Bitcoin wallet when you travel is because they just work well with the travel lifestyle. They're safe, they offer a way to work around transaction fees, and when you travel with Bitcoin, you will get the most out of your vacation budget. What's not to love?