After more than a year of staying put, it’s understandable if you’ve forgotten some of your travel expertise. Finding unique and affordable places to visit is a skill that requires flexing to stay sharp, yet there are few people who were able to do that during the pandemic. So as things open back up and travel becomes more feasible, it’s likely you need a little help — and probably a hefty dose of inspiration — while getting back in the game. If so, mark your calendars: The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals host Megan Batoon is bringing all of that and more to Netflix with her two co-hosts starting June 18.
Yes, it will be full of amazing vacation rentals. The forthcoming series, hosted by DIY designer Batoon, content creator and veteran traveler Jo Franco, and Million Dollar Listing New York's Luis D. Ortiz, takes viewers around the world to showcase incredible properties that range in type and accessibility, from budget-friendly treehouses to private islands with the works. But according to Batoon, it also delivers well beyond that.
“It's a home show and a travel show, which is really interesting, because I think any that have been previously released that are similar aren’t exactly like this,” she tells TZR over the phone. “Any other travel show that deals with vacation rentals, the hosts don't really stay and test drive these properties. That's what makes our show so different.”
On top that of, each property featured on the series was chosen by one of the hosts using their respective lenses and parameters — meaning that there’s a flavor, of sorts, for every type of wannabe traveler watching. “It's essentially three people traveling the world in three different types of ways through three different types of eyes,” Batoon explains. “I'm the introvert and kind of the ‘newbie’ traveler who likes design; Jo is the culture queen who loves going off the beaten path; Luis is coming from a lens of luxury.”
For Batoon specifically, affordability was also a main criterion for her destinations — something she says she’s sort of innately good at sticking to thanks to her background. “I didn't grow up with money, so I know how to get creative without spending a ton,” she shares. “That's something that I've had to do my entire life and with my DIY background, and it definitely helped in finding budget rentals.”
Still, as sort of a “novice” traveler, Batoon admits that she learned a lot in terms of creating unforgettable vacations that don’t break the bank. “I think what the show taught me, with being the “budget girl,” is that anything can be affordable if you’re creative.” For example, she explains, she quickly learned that luxury spots can become attainable if you split them with a group of friends. “It's really the way you go about it.”
Perhaps Batoon’s biggest takeaway, though, is that venturing off the beaten path can make a huge difference in price. “Going a little bit further from the hot spots is a trick I definitely learned from the show,” she says. “Like in San Francisco, a [very expensive] city, I went a little outside of it and was able to find the most incredible rental that was shockingly affordable. It's about not being so dialed-in to what you think you want; if you’re open-minded, you'll see so much more.”
Of course, keeping costs down wasn’t the only skill Batoon gleaned from her experience. Honing in on unique locations was also important to her, which she says she now goes about in a slightly unconventional way. “After the show, instead of asking myself where I want to go, I ask myself, ‘What's the experience I want to have? What do I want to feel?’” she says. “Based on that — say, if I want to be cozy and with my best friend in a tiny little cabin — then I'll start searching for cabins literally anywhere. What's really important is not the destination, it's the feeling and the experience you want to have.”
Unsurprisingly, Batoon is full of little-known tips for getting the most out of your vacation. Yet even she leaves our conversation with a practical reminder not to forget one of the simplest steps of planning a trip. “Read everything. Everything,” she says. “Reading the reviews was monumental in helping us choose our final picks, because we didn't have one place that we wanted to go. It really came down to the reviews and what people said about their experience.”
Stay tuned for more insider travel lessons, along with plenty of location eye candy, when The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals premieres on Netflix June 18.