15 Signature Experiences In 15 Countries For $15 Or Less

Another from the archives: I wrote this for a “millionaire dating site” back in 2015. (I felt so dirty. More than usual, I mean.)

sean hoade

You don’t go to Paris but skip out on seeing the Eiffel Tower, you don’t visit Rio but miss visiting Cristo Redentor, and you don’t take a trip to New York and pass on seeing the Statue of Liberty. There are signature experiences that travelers just can’t miss.

However, not everyone has the budget to dine on unagi in Japan (currently about $7,700 per pound) or even to tour the Grand Canyon by helicopter ($400 including limo to the airport) unless a benefactor from MissTravel.com is footing the bill.

But not every signature experience comes with a high price tag. There are plenty of world-class moments that globetrotters on a budget can enjoy.

Of course, the fantasy-fulfilling items below don’t include airfare, rental car, or anything else to get there (and have been changed from euros, pounds, rubles, yen, etc.) but once you get there, try these one-of-a-kind travel triumphs:

  1. Sip absinthe in Paris for $12 at La Fée Verte.
  2. Smoke some legal hashish in Amsterdam for $10 at one of their notorious coffee shops.
  3. Hunt kangaroos in Australia with a $10 license. (But be cool and just shoot them with a camera.)
  4. Gorge on an All-American “Triple-Bypass Burger” in Las Vegas for $15 (with optional 15 slices of bacon) at The Heart Attack Grill.
  5. Take a Jack the Ripper Tour in England for $10 with London Walks.
  6. See Zen temples in Japan for $10 (including unlimited transportation and entrance to the temples) on a Kyoto tour.
  7. Stay in Luke Skywalker’s house (now a hotel) in Africa for $10 at the Tunisian set of Star Wars.
  8. Visit Dracula’s Castle in Romania for $6 admission to Vlad the Impaler’s old haunt.
  9. See the Taj Mahal in India for $12 admission in Agra.
  10. Drink a potato-based spirit in Russia for $15 on the Vodka Tour.
  11. Eat pizza in Italy for $11 for a one-person pie (which is quite different from the American version) at a restaurant in Rome.
  12. Play roulette in Monaco for a $6 minimum bet at the Casino de Monte-Carlo.
  13. Smoke a top-quality cigar in Cuba for $15 at a store or on the street.
  14. Tour the Jameson Whiskey Distillery in Ireland for $15 with The Irish Whiskey Event.

There are also a lot of mind-blowingly expensive things to do in each of these locales, but why not travel like a bohemian, if only for one drink? 

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The Mile High Club: Myths and Realities

by Sean Hoade

You’ve seen it happen in movies from Euro Trip to Snakes on a Plane. Two hot-for-each-other passengers join (or attempt to join before being bitten by poisonous snakes) the infamous “Mile High Club.” (It was also featured in the movie Mile High Club, as you might expect.) So, what is this Mile High Club and how does one become a member?

sean hoadeAlso, with the snake problem these days, are you sure you really want to?

Let’s say you meet a travel partner on a site like MissTravel.com. You hadn’t met before, but once you do, sparks fly immediately and the next 12 hours of this intercontinental flight is going to pass like molasses unless you both can work out a suitably carnal solution.

Hmmm, that lavatory says “Unoccupied/Desocupada.” Two people could fit in there, couldn’t they? Like, if they were really determined to do the deed? One goes first, then the other waits a few minutes so as not to arouse any suspicion, and then BOOM! A cramped yet probably very satisfying bit of in-flight coitus takes place. The couple returns to their assigned seats, now knowing each other a lot better.

sean hoadeHey, you two, get a (bath)room!

Lovin’s in the air

This cramped couple just became members of The Mile High Club.

That’s right, knockin’ boots at cruising altitude (when passengers may move freely about the cabin) is the only requirement for admittance into the Club. It’s on the honor system, so that pal of yours at the Gas ‘n’ Sip might be full of it, but some wealthy men who use private jets to fly their lovely new partners around the country and the world? You’d better get busy printing out those membership cards, because five will get you ten that two new Mile High-ers have just flown the friendly-with-benefits skies.

Before you join those bumping uglies way up in the sky, however, you might want to know the answers to a few questions:

Is it legal to boink at 30,000 feet?

Indeed, it is. As long as no one witnesses the act as it’s happening, you’re cool. (Even if you’re busted, as long as you come out when asked and behave from then on, you probably won’t even get tased.) Flight attendants frown upon it, but you can use the old “ask the guy next to you to call over the stewardess” bit while you slink away to bliss in the bathroom with your already waiting partner. A word of warning, however: Don’t try this on Emirates or Singapore Airlines or any other carrier from a country that canes people for crimes against public morality. Keep your surreptitious shtupping to domestic flights and more-lenient foreign airlines.

planesexPhoto courtesy of Amsterdam Airlines.

Is it as cool as it sounds to bang on board?

From what Yours Truly has heard, yes—it is amazingly cool. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s particularly comfortable or results in particularly satisfying sex. Unless you’re grinding gears on a Learjet leather seat, you’ll be in the lavatory on an airline plane, which means cramped and overly warm conditions, to say the least. And don’t get me started on the potential germs. But it’s really more about the experience and the bragging rights than the actual genitapalooza. So you hit your head and she accidentally flushed the toilet four times? You did it for the story!

Icarus should have been so lucky

Both the legend and the reality of The Mile High Club are alive and well. Whether you and your partner are actually able to get down while going up is immaterial—you can always lie about it. It might make you feel a little dirty, but isn’t that why you wanted to join the Club in the first place?

3 global Thanksgivings worth celebrating

by Sean Hoade

Here at MissTravel, we like to introduce members to trips they may not even have realized they wanted to go on. Also, both our attractive and our generous members have a lot to be thankful for, attending events and taking in sights that few others can. So it’s a natural step when we in the U.S. celebrate Thanksgiving in November on the fourth Thursday to wonder how other cultures give thanks for what they have in their lives. There aren’t any Pilgrims or stuffed turkeys, but these thanksgiving celebrations around the globe might make a great trip for a curious couple.

1. Canada: America’s Buckled Hat

Thanksgiving in Canada features a different group of Europeans and is held in gratitude for a plentiful harvest instead of forging bonds of friendship between invaders  settlers and natives. Actually, the very first T-Day in North America was held by Englishman Martin Frobisher in 1578 in thanks for his long voyage ending successfully in such a polite area of the New World. Today, the toque-loving country celebrates their Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. Why not take a trip to Frobisher Bay and dig in to some poutine with maple syrup on top?

sean hoade
Be careful, though. This sliced Canadian ham is clearly mislabeled.

2. China: Pure Luna-cy

The Chinese enjoy a nice lunar festival, and their Thanksgiving is one of the sexiest festivals this side of Carnivale. Their Celebration of the August Moon brings people together on the 15th, when they believe the moon to be at its brightest and roundest. Under the pale moonlight, lovers express their feelings for each other. Then, in thanks for virtue and fertility, everybody eats moon-cake. This is a must-take trip even if it’s just to find out what the heck “moon-cake” is.

Moon PieIn Alabama, something similar is consumed.

3. Liberia: Woody Shrubs FTW

For those of you who might have been busy passing notes during history class, Liberia is a country founded by freed American slaves. Its history has been rocky, to say the least, but the free men and women of this African nation take a day every year to celebrate their delivery from slavery. Their Thanksgiving traditions are similar to those in the U.S., but with mashed cassavas (which are woody shrubs—yum?) taking the place of potatoes and stuffing. Take a seat—and not at the kid’s table—at a festival almost no one else in the world even knows about. It’s held each year on the first Thursday in November, giving you three weeks to get back to the United States for Black Friday.

sean hoadeOr to travel even further away.

Every culture gives thanks

One of the greatest benefits of travel is to see your own world in a different way. Whether it’s Thanksgiving or Easter or a holiday entirely unknown where you live, taking a trip to attend a festival that brings a culture’s people together can expand your world. That’s one more thing to be thankful for.


  • Posted Nov 20, 2014
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The first chapter of my new Hugo Navikov novel, The Found World!

This is the first chapter of The Found World, the brand-new pulp by my alter ego, Hugo Navikov. It’s a quasi-sequel to Spinosaurus, but you don’t need to have read that to love this new one. (It’s a good read, though! Check it out!) 

The Found World cover

The man sitting alone at the center of the middle bench seat of the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter barely looked out either window at the jungle foliage as they landed a few hundred feet from the clearing made for the carnival. Six heavily muscled commandos in tactical gear sat three across on the bench in front of him and the one behind. Up front sat the pilot and the also—heavily muscled commander of the paramilitary troop. The man’s name was not Lathrop, but that is what he went by when on assignment. The mercenaries were under his nominal command, but they were not under his employ. The people he worked for had contracted these “soldiers,” much to his dislike. The fact that they were paid by the same entity didn’t mean he had to sit next to the beasts, however.

 If Lathrop had been given his druthers, it would have been himself and the pilot in a much less ostentatious mode of travel. His tasseled attaché, which matched the tassels on his pair of Bolviant Verrocchios, was his weapon of choice. It was loaded with ammunition—contracts and legal papers that served as modern letters of marque, enough to take down entire governments if his employer wished. But not just ammunition: within the galuchat attaché case were untraceable bearer bonds each worth millions of dollars and pre-signed deeds to properties in Dubai and Tokyo worth even more. It contained carrots as well as sticks.

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Okay, you’re a millionaire. But what kind?

 Image result for thurston and lovey

 

Many people, when they hear that someone is a millionaire, envision mansions, Bentleys and Ferraris, tailored clothing, perhaps a private jet. Whatever their exact level of wealth, they definitely have money at hand to do pretty much whatever they want, whenever they want.

But this image of millionaires isn’t always accurate—it’s just one dish on a pretty tasty smorgasbord.

To be sure, multi-millionaires (people with $2 million qualify, but this is generally reserved for the famous “1%” worth $10 million or more) may have the Cristal flowing from bottles brought by liveried servers while lying beside their custom swimming pools. Or they may have palatial estates which they never have to leave thanks to their private movie theater, exercise facility, bowling alley, and on and on. This kind of millionaire is not what I’m talking about, the fantastically rich who don’t need to waste their time working.

Image result for spaceman tesla
Instead taking that time to launch cars into space.

“Paper millionaires”

We know these folks simply as “millionaires,” since they have a net worth of over $1 million—technically, at least. However, it’s important for those Attractives who might like to develop a relationship with such a Generous should be aware that he is a “paper millionaire.” This means that most, if not all, of his apparently huge net worth may be tied up almost entirely in property, long-term investments, and other financial assets that are not what economists call “liquid.”

And liquidity, Dear Reader, is what makes a Generous able to be a Generous with you.

For example, if a gentleman professes a net worth of $1.5 million, that sounds great, doesn’t it? But he may have liabilities (insurance payments on all his property, lawyer and accountant costs, college tuition for children, car payments, and other debts) that bring his net worth down to “just” $1 million. He’s still a millionaire, right? So someone to get excited about, right?

Not so fast. This hypothetical millionaire owns a small apartment worth, say, $500,000. It’s his property and so it counts toward his net worth, but in real terms it means he has “only” another $500K in the bank. He owns his nice but not spectacular house outright, and it’s worth $350,000. It’s lovely, but its value is hardly liquid. And it’s that liquid money that he can spend on you. His liquidity is no more than $150,000.

shutterstock_216862450Every dollar he saves on indoor plumbing is one more dollar he can spend on you.

Liquidity morbidity?

But let’s keep going. He loves to spend his weekends—the time he doesn’t need to go into the office or work from home—on the lake, so he owns a lovely catamaran worth $125,000, plus a few thousand per year on upkeep. This takes his liquidity down to $20,000, still a lot … at least, if you don’t count the alimony payments. Or the taxes for his various endeavors. Or this. Or that. It’s liquidity death by a thousand cuts.

Of course he still has his probably high-paying job, so there’s money coming in from that for his day-to-day expenses and activities, and this is where taking care of his Attractive new friend comes in. He has very little liquidity, but some of what he has he will spend on you.

This financial fact will probably mean no trips to Europe or stays at 5-diamond hotels, but it certainly could mean nice meals in town and the occasional high-end gift. Don’t knock it! Attention from a successful man is always going to be better and luxurious than the same amount of attention from someone without $1 million in assets.

The Other Kind of Millionaire

Enough with the paper millionaires. What about the ones who, y’know, have a lot of liquid cash?

Q12WARNING: Liquid cash is not literally a liquid.

These Generous new friends could have $1 million or they could have $80 million. What’s important is that they have access to a lot of cash–in other words, liquid money. (Most big multi-millionaires have both big assets and big liquidity, so here I’ll consider a man with exactly $1 million, some of that in the bank.)

Let’s say this kind of millionaire has a very modest house worth maybe $150,000. He doesn’t need a big house because he jets around the world a lot (with an Attractive companion, let’s assume) and should he and his companion spend the night together, it’s at a very posh hotel where they are treated to all the amenities. (After all, he’s a regular guest there and they know he likes to tip big.)

His wardrobe could be worth $20,000. His car, $80,000. He has never been married and has no children, so there’s no alimony or child support to pay. The taxes on his modest home are low, and his $100,000-per-year income is from annuities set up for him by his wisely investing grandparents collecting interest since he was born.

That means his net worth of exactly $1 million is made up of $750,000 in pure liquidity. That means he has three-quarters of a million dollars at his immediate disposal. And unless he spends more than $100,000 per year on a regular basis, that money in the bank will remain at that high level and even grow with interest. Spending “only” $100,000 (or a large chunk of it) on keeping his Attractive companion happy can mean exotic travel, luxury that boggles the mind, and the finest meals in the world.

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Or maybe all three at the same time.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a “paper millionaire.” But when our female SeekingMillionaire members are, well, seeking a millionaire, this latter kind of rich man is what they’re probably envisioning. These Generous men are out there, and when I say “out there” I mean have joined our website, attended our parties that bring together our Generous and Attractive members in real life, or are just finding out about the benefits of SeekingMillionaire.

Room for everyone

A millionaire is a millionaire. But they’re not all equal. Depending on whether you primarily want security and comfort with a hard-driving alpha male (who could later become that other kind of millionaire due to his own efforts) or mostly desire crazy top-shelf experiences with a trust-fund pal who sees the world as his playground, either might be a well-suited Generous for your kind of Attractive.

The most effusive praise of straight-up whoring yourself for money you’ll ever read

 

Image result for woman in pile of money

“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” — Woody Allen

Dating someone with a lot of money may sound like an ideal situation for someone who likes the finer things in life. That’s because it is. If you’ve ever dated a poor person—maybe an artist or even a blog writer—you know how completely not worth it the whole experience is, even if you get a few funny/sad stories out of it.

No, spending romantic time with a rich partner is where it’s at. Here are 4 reasons why one should be quite thankful to be “dating up.”

cmimg_72554“God bless us, every one who has money!” — Tiny Tim, opportunist social climber

1. Cars

Even if you’re not poor poor but instead on an average salary with average bills and debt, your car is probably serviceable at best. A 2006 Toyota is nothing to be ashamed of, and a 2014 Smart Car shows that you care about the environment enough to make accommodations for it in your lifestyle decisions.

When you’re dating someone with money, however, the car in which you ride isn’t only about getting from Point A to Point B. Like many things in the lives of the wealthy (and their companions), it’s about luxury on the inside and about inspiration on the outside. A creamy real-wood old-school dashboard housing the very latest in automotive technology creates a pleasing dissonance in which the rich can delight.

Of course, wending a top-end Jaguar XJ Ultimate, classic Rolls Royce Phantom, or customized Hennessey Venom GT through a sea of lesser vehicles means that your luxury transportation gives all those other drivers something to aspire to. Yes, some guy might be driving his girl around in a 2005 Hyundai, but when they see you and your significantly wealthy other in this kind of automobile, your attitude of gratitude and thankfulness will inspire each dream of driving a Bentley or a Ferrari, too. Or at least being driven around in one.

celebrity_vehicles_wrecked_exotic_richard_hammond_top_gear“You’re welcome, plebes!”

2. Food

Fashionistas and actresses, as well as some high-society divas, need to stay abnormally skinny and so may have to settle for smoking a cigarette or licking a stamp as their “lunch.” But for the relatively normal rich folk (and those who date them), the world is your oyster, Rockefeller.

pun-dog-pun-husky-00(Rimshot.)

Oysters aren’t the only delicacy available to you when you’re out on the town with a wealthy companion. You can have regular old luxury dining like kobe beef steaks, sushi prepared by the world’s top Japanese chefs, and the freshest seafood even in places like Las Vegas not known for their large bodies of water.

Depending on the mood of both you and your rich pal, there are very exclusive eateries catering to the tip-top of the 1 percent. Here you can choose steaks from lions or giraffes, try edible orchids, and dig in to some endangered species with entrees like grilled panda claw, bald eagle fritters, and baby seal fillet with au jus made from Sarah McLachlan’s tears. (Okay, not really, but most high-end restaurants will bend over backwards to find exotic, unique, and very expensive meals for their best customers.)

That’s something to be thankful for every time your tummy grumbles.

3. Hotels

Sure, the well-to-do usually have spacious homes, even mansions, and/or condos in a big city’s most exclusive high-rises. But what if you are not the spouse, but rather someone who’s kept comfortable and dated by the wealthy man or woman? That usually would mean that “home” is a no-go zone.

But, as with most everything in the life of someone dating at the diamond level, there is an even more alluring alternative to the normal, even stultifying, atmosphere of a family home: the très chichotel. With every kind of service available to the well-heeled and their companions, you might find yourself getting light-headed with thankfulness for all that luxury.

Dressed-Well-Man-002For example, this is just the bellhop.

4. Less Stress

So far we’ve discussed only material goods and the thankfulness one should have for how they make us feel. But an important—actually, a central—benefit of dating someone with money (and who knows how to spend it) is peace of mind. Stress over bills got you down? A wealthy paramour can knock that worry right out of your life. Stress over marriage or have-a-baby pressure? Not with millionaires, who may already have their domestic dance cards quite full, thank you.

Dating up provides a unique respite from “the real world.” Special times with a wealthy friend or romantic partner make for a fantasy experience like no other, and that’s worth all the gratitude in the world.

Don’t worry, be wealthy

Although it may not be you who has the cash in the bank and the platinum credit cards with your name on them, dating a rich beau lets you live as if you are. Romance and spending quality time together are vital for any dating couple, but when one of you is wealthy and you both know how to appreciate the finer things in life, everything is just that much better, isn’t it?

Image result for gold toiletLike, everything.

How to impress your new love’s family

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Happy-cute-baby-pictures

Sorry, any romantic relationship. Babies are just in it for the boobs. (Actually, this is like some romatic relationships. Never mind. Carry on.)

In most dating situations, ultimately one partner will bring the other home to meet the family.  And these days, it’s entirely possible that such an event could mean meeting the other half’s children among all the other important people in their life. Close-minded people may not approve of or even understand their relationship, but usually one can probably expect a family to want to be well-disposed toward the new addition.

Since this was originally written for a dating site catering to “sugar daddy” arrangements, it looks at what can a Sugar Baby, the special woman who fills a real role in a Daddy’s life (it feels so dirty now to say that, but it’s a legit thing, okay?), do to make sure that the meet-and-greet is a happy one? For our purposes, let’s say that the family is having a home-cooked meal to welcome the Sugar Baby. Here are three suggestions for what a young lady can do at this kind of gathering to make a good impression on the other important people in her Daddy’s life.

1. Zero In On Grandpa

As an average man gets older (but not rich), he does not become unattractive to attractive young women. He becomes invisible. While a Sugar Daddy has wealth and probably influence to boot, his father or even grandfather might not have been as lucky (or perhaps hard-working and educated). So young ladies pay them no mind, and they certainly don’t act flirty with them.

0 2“Can I get a Big Mac … and, if it’s not too forward, your home address?”

Although this does make sense (we all seek out people who we consider relevant to our own goals and lives, not to mention worth procreating with), it can leave an old guy feeling sad and neglected.

Enter the Sugar Baby! You need to find where Gramps is and start giving him nice (but not overly fawning) attention. Talk to him and try to make him laugh. Touch him on the shoulder or the knee. Make him feel like a million bucks. But most importantly: make sure the family sees you doing it. Everyone will love you for it.

2. Don’t Eat Like A Supermodel

At most family dinners to meet a new belle—that’s you, and you’re legit no matter how you and your gentleman met—a nice meal is prepared, perhaps by the females of the house or by everybody lending a hand. So the last thing you want to do is refuse to eat anything (or take nibbles smaller than that of the average housefly) and tell the gathering that you care more about your figure than about your beau or his family.

On the other hand, you don’t want to stuff your face so full that your nice black dress looks like a maternity outfit. And you certainly want to avoid making the family (or your Daddy) think you belong in front of a trough. Is there a happy medium between starving/insulting and overeating/disgusting?

hambananaSome dishes stand no chance of making you overeat.

You bet there is. Sample a bit from each dish (if it’s a pass-around), and be sure you say something nice about how the dish looks or smells. (Vary your comments a bit in content and timing: exclaiming “What a wonderful [X]!” every time as a dish is  passed to you will look rehearsed and suspicious.) Then, when you take a bite, even if it’s just one, make a nummy sound either to your Daddy, to the cook, or to the room in general. Your appreciation has been registered even if you don’t eat another bite. Everyone will love you for it.

3. Hug Everyone

Your Sugar Daddy could come from most any walk of life. He could have been raised in a wealthy home or he could be an entirely self-made man when it comes to finances. He could be a complete WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant; think country clubs and Martha’s Vineyard) or his family could literally have gotten off the boat from Ethnic Albania when he was a baby. No matter what his family’s background or current living situation, you should hug every man, woman, and child at the get-together at some point during the evening.

Does that sound weird? It shouldn’t. Remember giving Grandpa a little attention, back up there in suggestion number 1? This is like a diluted version of that. A nice embrace of well-wishers when you walk in, finish a conversation, thank cooks and servers for the dinner, and when you’re leaving will do wonders for your first impression. The family will believe  that your Sugar Daddy has found a keeper who makes him happy, because you made them feel happy.

And everyone will love you for it.

group-hug-e1324736447271This is either three cats hugging or two police cats boxing in a fugitive.