Brent and Michael's Secret Travel Hacks, Part 9!
Eat dinner for $2 in any city on Earth, fend off stray dogs, dine with locals, make your passport last longer, rent cars worry-free, and enjoy my yummy lemon-tahini sauce over rice and veggies!
Back again with another edition of our unique travel hacks.
For other travel hacks, see Part One of this column here and Part Two here and Part Three here and Part Four here and Part Five here and Park Six here and Part Seven here and Part Eight here.
Without further ado, here are the hacks!
Looking for an incredibly cheap meal in virtually any city? Get two “regular” McDonald’s hamburgers, which usually cost around $1 USD each. They’re often hard to find on the order-screen — the chain wants to upsell you more expensive items — but it’s the original McDonald’s hamburger product, and every restaurant sells them.
In other words, for the price of a single Big Mac, you can still get five of these basic burgers.
Are two regular McDonald’s hamburgers a good meal? Not really. Nor is it particularly healthy. But it’s cheap! And it’s available almost everywhere on Planet Earth.
Trying to become a more sophisticated Airbnb, Booking.com, or VRBO renter? Check out this guide from the POV of a unit-owner — and also a friend of ours, Hi Tim! — which is one of the most helpful I’ve ever read.
Some interesting pearls of wisdom?
Competition is fierce for the cheapest rentals, and they typically book very early. If price is important, plan far in advance.
“Superhosts” are mostly professional managers who control lots of units, and you’ll get a more efficient service and rental, but it will also be much more impersonal and generic — more like a hotel. If you want a local or more personal “ma and pa” touch (or if you’re looking to aggressively negotiate), avoid Superhosts.
Most users reflexively rate a unit five stars, or they rate it one single star. In essence, a four-star average rating usually means the unit is terrible.
Most owners don’t want long-term renters or nomads, who use more utilities, spend more time in the unit (doing damage and requiring deeper cleaning, especially to the kitchen), result in fewer reviews, and typically want steep discounts.
Is mixing with locals one of the reasons you enjoy travel? If so, consider EatWith.com, which is a website where locals have you over for dinner (or some other food-related activity) — for a small fee, of course.
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