Brent and Michael's Secret Travel Hacks, Part 4!
More hacks you didn't know you desperately needed, including which country has the best not-yet-widely-known cuisine and how to tell if a neighborhood is safe. Plus, which bathroom stall is cleanest?
Yet another edition of our list of unique travel hacks. For more hacks, see Part One of this column here and Part Two here and Part Three here and Part Five here and Part Six here.
Without further adieu, here are more of our outside-the-box travel tips!
Offer to take your Airbnb host out to dinner or invite them over for a meal! Not many guests do this, so you’ll almost certainly: (a) get all kinds of great local information and insider-y tips, and (b) make a personal connection, which is always nice, and will also probably result in an agreement that the next time you’re in town you can contact them directly. This way, you’ll avoid Airbnb fees and get a better deal, more than paying for the cost of that one meal. (Hat-tip to Georgiana and Tom!)
Worried that a particular street or neighborhood is unsafe? Look for the presence of children playing. If parents are comfortable enough to let their kids play outside, that's an indication that the neighborhood isn't too rough. (When it comes to personal safety, always listen to your gut, err on the side of complete caution, and ask your apartment host or hotel desk clerk about safety before you venture anywhere. And when in doubt, always just call an Uber.)
Here’s a simple-but-filling travel meal: packaged ramen, but add a handful of fresh veggies and an egg, which can be boiled on top of the noodles or whisked then added to the water. Wait 15 seconds and stir for a yummy egg-drop-soup-like broth.
I’m not the kind of person who says you should travel to a certain country just to try the cuisine, but the food that has surprised me the most in all our travels is Georgian (in Eastern Europe) — because I’d never tasted anything like it before, but also because I’d never even heard about this incredibly delicious fare. Meals are a combination of roasted meats, stewed and marinated vegetables, rich nutty sauces, and, oh God, those delicious khinkali dumplings. I’m completely convinced Georgian food will one day sweep the world as the latest chic and trendy cuisine, but in the meantime, get yourself to Tbilisi ASAP. P.S. I lied before, I’m totally the kind of person who says you should travel to a certain country just to try the food!
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