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Crowdsurfing at Metallica concertThree travel startups recently teamed up to issue a challenge to travel hackers. Their people-powered trip planning contest asked contestants to design a two-week trip including flights, accommodations, and activities for under $3,000/person.

The winning trips looked amazing.

The good news is that you can use each of these travel sites yourself to create your own dream trip.

Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining services from a distributed group of people, often via the internet, rather than from traditional suppliers.

Turning to people, rather than corporations, for your travel planning can save you money and help you find unique accommodations and activities that you couldn’t experience otherwise.

Ready to give it a try? Here’s your guide to crowdsourcing your next trip.

Find out how to crowdsource your trip

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By the time you read this, I’ll just be touching down in London for a three week trip. On my way home to San Francisco at the end of June, I’ll be stopping on the east coast for a beach weekend slash wedding.

Why am I telling you this?

To show you how much you can pack in a carry on bag. To show that you can pack clothes for any amount of time and any situation all in one bag. And, at least partially, to show that we practice what we preach: CARRY ON ONLY.

Below is my full packing list, all of which fit into my carry-on sized Tortuga. There’s not much room to spare, but it did all fit.

Click to continue…

Fred’s at Coachella right now, so odds are he’s very thirsty. That got me thinking about hydration and water bottles, in general, and how most of the solutions to one of the most basic human problems of quenching thirst suck.

Most water bottles are about as elegant as a concrete block. They’re hard, they take up a lot of space, they start to stink after a while and make water taste bad, thereby inherently making them bad at doing their sole job. I imagine most cavemen had the exact same problems with their water-carrying devices.

Can’t we find a better solution?

The Problem With Hard Water Bottles

I’ve tried to use Nalgene-style water bottles a few times in my life, but I’ve always been excessively disappointed from a utility standpoint alone. Let’s be honest: they’re less than ideal to drink from. The size of the opening is simply too big for a bottle that large. Unless I’m enjoying the great outdoors on a hot day, I have zero interest in pouring water all over my chest.

Hard water bottles take up a fixed amount of space. When they’re empty, they don’t become any smaller. Should we take it for granted that a water bottle should take up a fixed amount of volume in our precious luggage space?

Click to continue…

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