This Family Is Road-Tripping Using Only Bitcoin
4,400 miles across the country on zero U.S. dollars. (Thinkstock)
Each June, John Bush packs up his family truckster (a Honda Odyssey) and drives with his wife, Catherine Bleish, and two young children from San Marcos, Texas, to the Porcupine Freedom Festival in Lancaster, New Hampshire.
This year, Bush decided to do things a little differently. As an experiment, the Bush family is trying to use nothing but bitcoin, the digital currency, to pay for everything on the road, including hotels, meals, gas, and even tips at hotels.
“We’ve been into bitcoin heavily for about six months, and we thought this would be a good opportunity to use travel to inspire people about the practical uses of bitcoin,” Bush said.
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Bush, who uses Blockchain as his virtual bitcoin wallet, detailed for me the trials and tribulations of taking a road trip using a currency that has yet to reach mass-market acceptance.
The Bush family will find creative ways to travel, eat, and sleep without using dollar bills. (Catherine Bleish)
So far on their nine-day journey, the family has managed to use bitcoin for absolutely everything except for paying for the toll roads in New York.
“We probably could have mapped around them, but it got really late,” Bush said.
The family will spend about $6,000 total over the course of the trip. Traveling on bitcoin alone requires a lot of advance planning and some creative hacks. Here’s how they’re paying for things:
Gas: The family thought that gas would be the biggest hurdle, until they found a service called CoinFueled.com. You send them bitcoin, and then two weeks later the service sends you gift cards for specific gas stations. This meant the family had to map out the entire trip (gas stations included) in advance. On the way up, there were a lot of ExxonMobil stations, and on the trip back they found a lot of BPs, so they had two different kinds of cards delivered before they left.
CoinFuel allowed the family to pay for gas using bitcoin. (Catherine Bleish)