How World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals Made Megan Batoon Brave - Exclusive Interview

As one of the hosts of "World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals" on Netflix, Megan Batoon has found herself traveling to some of the most unexpected locations. "Initially, [I was] traveling for work, but now it's traveling to learn about myself and to see what I like and see how I like to explore," she told Explore. "You can learn so much from traveling — more than you can learn in a book, from my experience."

As a successful dancer turned design host, Batoon is also no stranger to experiencing back pain, whether she's at home or traveling. In her new partnership, Batoon is helping to launch Advil Dual Action Back Pain, which combines ibuprofen and acetaminophen to specifically target back pain so that people don't have to stop doing the things they enjoy. "I especially love [Advil's] Dual Action Back Pain, [as it's] specifically for back sufferers," she told us. "Especially as I'm getting older, it feels like a godsend to me ... That and yoga are the two things that helped me stay human."

During her exclusive interview with Explore, Megan Batoon opened up about her new partnership with Advil, her travel tips for exploring the world, and her experience making Netflix's "World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals."

Partnering with Advil to keep traveling fun

You're partnering with Advil for the launch of Advil Dual Action Back Pain. How did the collaboration come about, and what do people need to know about this new product?

My relationship with back pain has been consistent my entire life, especially starting as a dancer. Before that, I was a cheerleader — so [I'm] very active and physical. Then, the last job that I had done was a travel show that was six months long, so [I have] a lot of different body pains in that. When Advil came to me, I felt like it was the perfect partnership. I told my friends, "Advil reached out, and they want me to be a partner with them." They're like, "You're like the CEO of back pain, so this is perfect." ... It feels like kismet to me.

What first sparked your interest in travel?

Before I started traveling for fun, I was only traveling for work. I would only get on a plane because I was such a workaholic. I would only travel for work, and then I decided to start being nicer to myself and taking myself on dates. I would plan little weekend getaways to San Francisco or places in the U.S. to treat myself how I wanted to be treated in a relationship. I'm actually glad that I did that, because I'm in a new relationship, and I'm traveling for someone that is treating me the way I treated myself when I was in my single era. It works out great.

Advice for nervous travelers and bucket list dreams

Do you have any travel tips or recommendations for people who might want to travel but are feeling scared?

I still am a big homebody. I like to travel, but I like to be comfortable, and I'm a creature-comfort person. If you're scared to travel, either go with a friend if you can, or find countries or places that speak the same language as you do. The worst thing is going to France and not being able to speak French and feeling super lost in a bunch of different ways.

Also, asking people that know you ... When you ask a stranger, "Where do you think I should go next?" It's like, "I don't know you at all." But if you ask people or family members that might know you, [their] good recommendations would be probably helpful instead of shooting in the dark.

Are there any places on your bucket list that you're desperate to go to?

I didn't get to see the northern lights at max capacity, so that would be amazing. Also, seeing a solar eclipse — I don't even know where I could do that, but a solar eclipse in general. Any world wonder would be amazing, and Morocco, for the design.

Are there any places you've visited that have had a big impact on you, either in your life or in your career?

The one that was probably the most surreal ... I'm Filipino, so I went to the Philippines a couple years ago for a festival called "It's a Girl Thing." That was amazing because I had never been to my home country before, and everyone was so welcoming. I remember teaching a dance class — there were 200 people there, and I felt so loved and accepted, like I fit in for once. I always grew up feeling like I was a little different, and when I went to the Philippines, it felt like I was right back at home.

On joining Netflix's World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals

What's it been like joining "World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals" on Netflix, and what do you enjoy most about it?

That was such a fun experience because I had only traveled for work. Even though that was work, I had never thought I would be able to see all the places that we were able to go and the different ways of travel, because we hit three different categories. There was budget and unique locations and luxury.

Growing up, I'd been thrifting for my entire life. I didn't grow up with money. Being able to see places where the nightly rate was like $30,000, it was like, "What?" I've never had the opportunity to experience anything as grand or as crazy as some of the places that we stayed, igloos and huts. Talking about back pain — sleeping on an ice cube, that would've been nice to have Advil Dual Action Back Pain then, I'll tell you that.

My jaw always drops when accommodation costs 30 grand a night. 

Yes, and I'm excited that I didn't have to pay for it!

How do you select the vacation rentals that you go to on "World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals"?

It's almost like when you see those movies where people are trying to crack a case and they draw all the red lines. That's how I feel in the very beginning of narrowing down where to stay. But pictures and reviews — reviews are the biggest thing for me. I used to never read reviews, but whether it's an Airbnb or a hotel or even a place to go, I'm always looking at reviews. One time I didn't, and I booked an Airbnb in Jamaica, and it was one of the scariest places I had visited because I didn't read the reviews. If I would've [read] the reviews, I would've gotten somewhere else. That's a pro tip — read the reviews.

The most surprising part of World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals

I love the chemistry you have with your "World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals" co-hosts, Luis D. Ortiz and Jo Franco. Can you share any funny moments from behind the scenes?

Oh my goodness — all of it was so funny. The three of us in different locations ... Talking about the igloo again, we found ourselves having to share such close quarters, and we didn't know each other before. We met each other during the audition and had to share little tiny beds or share being in a hut, and it felt like we were siblings. It was such a great way to explore the world, especially as someone who's pretty introverted, because I felt like I had two siblings with me wherever we went, so I was never scared. I never felt like I was too far away from my family and friends because these friends became my family.

Have any of the destinations on the show surprised you? 

The ones that surprised me the most were ones where I normally wouldn't have gone on my own. There was a place in Hawaii that was right next to a waterfall, and we rappelled down a waterfall. The ones that were the most adventurous, that had adventure connected to them, or helicoptering into some of Luis' properties ... I probably wouldn't have done any of that on my own. I'm not really a thrill seeker anymore, so those surprised me.

Luis would always want to push the boundaries of cold plunges or things that took you out of your comfort zone. Even Joanna too — she's such an explorer. Any of their properties or anything that they offered up was probably unique. For me, I want to be laying out by the pool or cooking inside or shopping. I'm a very big homebody even if I'm traveling.

Learn more about Advil Dual Action Back Pain on their website.

This interview has been edited for clarity.