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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