Today marks the release of The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals Season 2 on Netflix. Like the first season, the show dives into the craziest vacation rentals around the globe— all guided by the show’s resident experts, Jo Franco, Luis D. Ortiz and Megan Batoon.
As her over 700,000 Instagram followers know, Batoon joining the series is just an extension of her lifelong passion for design. The DIY designer and TV host has been a creative for as long as she can remember— a self-described sponge for a lifetime of passions that range from graphic design to dance to interior design. Her craftiness first struck hold during childhood.
“I moved a ton when I was a kid, and the only way that I felt like I had a home was by decorating my room with whatever I could find,” Batoon explained.
Her aptitude for DIY projects was mostly self taught, big thanks to YouTube and the horde of tutorials you can find across the internet. She sees it as a figure-it-out as you go process based on what you need and what you have. However, as Batoon has worked to professionalize her skills, she’s been able to take her work more seriously when collaborating with actual carpenters and contractors. This growth is partly in thanks to The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals.
“A lot of the TV shows are showing you the same exact type of design, so you don't get to find your own style,” Batoon said. “I was able to see a bunch of different things on the show, and that inspired me to go back to school and get certified.”
The graphic design graduate is currently doing an online program for residential design and taking computer software classes through Parsons School of Design. Nevertheless, Batoon has sage advice for those of us who are still beginners looking to spruce up our spaces. She suggests playing with color and texture. A good first step might be changing up a pillow cover.
“There's so many things that you can do to already made pieces, whether it's IKEA pieces, or using paint is the easiest way to transform a space,” Batoon said. “The internet is full of ideas of how you could even DIY stuff with no tools.”
Batoon also assured that it is possible to mix and match styles, but to do so she offered one rule of thumb: “The easiest way to make anything work is to just have one unifying color palette.”
Like Batoon’s career evolution, The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals hits a whole other level with Season 2.
“I think the first season was really eye opening of how you can travel and how you can have so many different experiences. But I think the second season, I think the properties are jaw dropping,” she said.
The first two seasons of the Netflix show were filmed all at once, aside from the 5-month, pandemic imposed break. The process of choosing what rentals to feature on the show is a collaboration between the streamer and the three experts. Netflix producers brought Batoon, Ortiz and Franco a number of options, from which they select the very best.
On set of The World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals.
Given the trio essentially live together on the road, they grew close while filming. Batoon explained this prompted a whole new consideration in picking rentals. Instead of just looking at amenities and design, they chose at places that would resonate with their co-hosts.
The decision speaks to Batoon’s primary advice when looking for the perfect Airbnb. She highly recommends the use of the website’s various search filters, but that your approach should ultimately rest on one choice.
“For me, what I learned through the entire experience is it's not so much about location,” Batoon said. “It's really about what is the experience that you want to have?”
Staying true to this goal informed Batoon’s choice of her favorite episode. Even though she doesn’t typically like haunted experiences akin to Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights, she really enjoyed filming an episode with a focus on paranormal estates. Just in time for rapidly approaching October, the trio visited Joshua Tree and Oberlin, Ohio and went sasquatch hunting.
“It was really fun to see that this is a huge market and people are specifically going to stay in these rentals to be haunted or to do really scary things,” she said.
View this post on Instagram
In addition to the Netflix show, her DIY projects and keeping up with her social media following, Batoon also produces a newsletter, “The Corner Project,” and an advice podcast, “Just a Tip.” It’s a behemoth list of duties to keep up with, so how does she do it all, and then squeeze in prioritizing herself?
“That's the question that I've been talking with my therapist about,” Batoon revealed. “As a creative, I'm still learning about what my rhythms of creativity are in a day and learning what actually is working for me, productivity wise, and what's not working and what's burning me out. And so I think the biggest tip that I can give anyone and myself right now is don't always be doing something every hour of the day...I really need to focus on pouring it back into myself because I'm creative, if I don't replenish myself, then I'm not going to be creating anything good or anything worthwhile. Everything will dilute if I don't create time for myself to replenish.”
Batoon’s knowledge on the importance of a good recharge is reflected in her commitment to creating lifestyle content.
“It gives us a chance to feel what is necessary for us to be functioning human beings in such a fast-paced society,” she said. “It is, ‘How do you feel? How are you eating? How are you living? What do you want to see when you wake up?’ Lifestyle content is really helping the human reconnect with themselves in their spaces to help them live in this really crazy world.”
Photography by: Nicol Biesek; Courtesy of Netflix