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XPONENTIAL Innovation Preview -- www.allthingsunmanned.com

Thu, Nov 08, 2012

New Travel Option ... Jethiking

Blogger Hitching Rides On Private Planes, Hopes To Visit All 50 States

There's no doubt about it, air travel is expensive and likely to continue to increase in the future. But an enterprising freelance travel writer and blogger has found an innovative way to get around the country which takes a page out of the books of budget-minded travelers of the past.

Amber Nolan has been bumming rides on private airplanes since last summer, according to a story appearing on Today.com, a website associated with the Today Show. The 28-year-old says that "there's a wonderful community of pilots out there who enjoy sharing their love of flying with people."

Nolan has traveled to 12 states since starting her journey about 12 weeks ago, and admits it's sometimes difficult to catch that next flight. While waiting to "thumb" the next ride, she says she spends her time blogging at JetHiking.com and sightseeing.

Nolan reportedly did her research, learing about aviation and contacting pilots on online forums. She connected with a pilot on an aviation ride-sharing site who helped her plan her strategy and get her started. While the site is called "JetHiking," she travels mostly on GA airplanes with private pilots, and says that she's only chipped in for gas once so far.

Nolan says she is very careful about the pilots with whom she hitches a ride. She sends 'N' numbers to her family, and generally flies with pilots who file a flight plan. "My family and friends always know where the plane is," she told Today.

What is not clear is how she's supporting herself between rides, as the blog does not appear to contain any advertising. But it does indicate that she has attracted the attention of television producers at PBS ... and a 13 installment reality show is in pre-production.

FMI: www.jethiking.com

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