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Access to money while traveling can be an issue. You might loose your cards and/or wallet or you need to repay someone from another country

Are bitcoins worth considering? To me it sounds like an ideal way to get money transfered quickly, but once you have the bitcoins can you actually use them to pay for your travel expenses.

So far I have only heard of pubs accepting bitcoins. So yes you can pay with bitcoins in a specific pub when traveling through England. Can you however already pay you hotel, plane ticket or repay a debt to a fellow traveler with bitcoins?

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One thing to consider is that the bitcoin/dollar exchange rate has proven to be extremely volatile, which is not a good feature for a currency. Consequently, if you find them convenient to transfer money when you travel and unlike you want to speculate or have some other way to hedge the risk, you probably should change bitcoins in local currency as soon as possible instead of using them to pay for expenses as you go. If you do that, the question becomes irrelevant. –  Relaxed Dec 6 '13 at 10:12
    
@annoyed if it is easy to exchange in local currency, it is actually very handy. You can just sent bitcoins to repay someone. –  andra Dec 6 '13 at 10:18
    
@Annoyed true that the coin is currently very volatile. But I think it's reasonable to expect it to stabilize as it spreads and the limit of bitcoins that can be generated approaches. –  nsn Dec 6 '13 at 10:29
    
I would expect just the opposite, I don't see that limit as a desirable feature but then again I am not an economist so this is just one-guy-on-the-Internet's opinion. –  Relaxed Dec 6 '13 at 11:39
    
Not Useful. min –  LessPop_MoreFizz Dec 6 '13 at 16:23
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2 Answers 2

I am not sure bitcoins are already useful for the day to day life. It's not that common yet. But there are places (hotels, etc) that are starting to take them:

The coin is spreading. Even in rural areas where you would expect it to appear later. A nice example is for instance this nature resort in Portugal. You can find their page about bitcoin payment here (Portuguese).

I am not sure about airplanes but according to this article you can definitely fly to space with bitcoins, .

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Not that useful.

If you're a True Believer who is intent on conducting business in bit coin whenever possible, nsn's answer shows that there are destinations and businesses with which you can transact, yes. As this recent WSJ article demonstrates there are travelers making a concerted effort at it. The article also includes links to a few notable travel agencies.

However, the articles subject also notes that using Bitcoin has been "consistently inconvenient and occasionally frustrating," and cites travel plans that include carrying an extreme quantity of provisions - including gasoline for their car - for fear of not being able to acquire them with Bitcoin when pressed. Put in other terms, BITCOIN IS NOT A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE FOR EMERGENCY FUNDS.

While you can plan a trip and book lodging that will accept Bitcoin, the situation cited in he question, losing a wallet while abroad, is one in which you need flexibility above all else - which bit coin offers very little of. Converting Bitcoins into other currencies - especially on short notice, and in economies with which you are unfamiliar is... non-trivial, to put it lightly. If you're unable to convert your magic beans into local currency, you'll find your options become very limited, very fast. Furthermore, a large amount of Bitcoin spending and management is dependent on computer and internet access. Losing your smartphone can become as, or more, crippling than losing your credit card. While you can make 'paper wallets' in preset amounts to hand people to conduct a transaction, you need to prepare these in advance, and it requires access to yet more technology in terms of a printer.

TL;DR: anything you can do with Bitcoin, you can do more conveniently, in more places, on shorter notice, and in most cases, more cheaply with real money in normal bank accounts or cash. If you don't have an ideological reason to do so, there's no reason to use Bitcoin.

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Today internet access is also crucial if you loose your credit card, so that argument doesn't hold. What I distill from your answer (which in my opinion is more a rant) is that it is a matter of personal preference, but that in certain conditions bitcoins offer a valid means of payment. Whether you use it or not depends on your ability to be an early adapter or prefer to have a conservative approach in your travels. –  andra Dec 9 '13 at 17:12
    
Internet access is not required to deal with a stolen credit card - just a telephone. –  LessPop_MoreFizz Dec 9 '13 at 17:34
    
How do you intend to pay the long distance call to your cc company? Don't get me wron, I am quite skeptical when jt comes to bitcoin, but a rant from a sesamestreet figure is not convincing. –  andra Dec 9 '13 at 19:58
    
Most credit card providers offer a number with which to make an international collect call if your card is lost or stolen. It's generally written right on the back of your card. –  LessPop_MoreFizz Dec 9 '13 at 20:00
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And it's really easy to find the number on the back of your card after it's been stolen? –  Michael Hampton Dec 10 '13 at 1:06
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