After a year of staying at home and escaping to other places mainly through the television screen, many people are ready to begin traveling again.
Netflix's latest variety reality offering, The World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals is taking travel inspo to the next level. Viewers can check out some of the most unique properties in the world from the comfort of their own homes.
The show's three co-hosts, Megan Batoon, Joanna "Jo" Franco, and Luis D. Ortiz, have each zoned in on a particular type of experience that will satisfy almost every budget. They've also stayed at all of the properties themselves.
DIYer Megan has vetted out the budget-friendly options, and she spoke exclusively with Distractify about the experience of shooting the show during the pandemic, how she was able to immediately connect with her co-hosts, and whether she'd consider doing another season.
Megan Batoon on her co-hosts and 'The World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals' Season 2 possibilities:
The eight-episode lifestyle series brings Netflix subscribers all around the globe — from a beach house in Bali, to a working ranch in Montana, to an igloo in Finland. The best part is that viewers can book any of the rentals that are featured on the show.
While Megan is in charge of the more affordable options, Luis is taking control of the luxury properties, and Jo has a handle on the unique selections.
Megan exclusively told Distractify that she immediately bonded with her co-hosts, who "helped each other be better" on the show.
"We had a natural chemistry, and then with traveling together, you learn all of the little quirks. [We were] sharing beds in the tiniest of places, sometimes. Even in the most luxurious places, Jo and I would still be sharing a bed," Megan said. "You become like a family with the people that you're traveling with."
The 30-year-old is hopeful that viewers will enjoy both the hosts' rapport and the "menu" of rental opportunities featured on the show.
"I don't think that there's been a show like this quite yet," Megan shared. "It's a hybrid of a travel series, an HGTV concept, a reality show, and a YouTube video. It feels really fresh, and I hope that people resonate with it."
The Just a Tip podcast host would "absolutely" be interested in participating in a second season of The World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals.
"[A second season] would be great, especially now that we know what the show looks like," she added. "Because, when you're filming the show, you don't really have an idea of what the final product is going to look like... Now that we've see it, I'm confident that it will just continue to be better if we're greenlit for more seasons."
In addition to forging connections with her co-stars and getting the opportunity to share her travels with the world, Megan wants the show to continue now that the pandemic travel restrictions are loosening. After all, the cast and crew had to take a five-month hiatus while filming Season 1.
When did 'The World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals' film?
Because the Netflix original features locations all around the world, viewers might be wondering whether it was shot before the onset of the pandemic.
Megan explained that production commenced in January of 2020, and that the crew went "all over" the world in the first few months of shooting. Once the COVID-19 travel restrictions began, filming was shut down for five months.
During this hiatus, a lot of changes to the schedule had to be made, as international travel was no longer an option. When they were able to return to filming in July of 2020, the focus shifted to places in the United States.
"We basically had to refigure what the route was going to be like, and what we were going to highlight," Megan explained. "Americans were not allowed outside of the country. We had to refocus our efforts into a lot of U.S. properties, which was really interesting for all of us..."
Though it wasn't part of the original plan to stay more local, Megan found that domestic travel has a lot of perks.
"When we think of exotic travel, we think of going as far as we can across the globe..." Megan added. "It was really cool for all of us to see exactly how big North America is — what's here and in our backyards, what's just a short flight away, [and what] we would have overlooked had we always been traveling to all of these other places."
Perhaps, if the show is renewed for Season 2, Megan, Luis, and Jo will get to take viewers to the originally-scheduled destinations.
Season 1 of The World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals is available to stream on Netflix now.