Thanks to Instagram we’ve all become obsessed with living the best travel lives we can live.
And while travel trends come and go, there’s certainly one trend that we’re all too happy to see still going strong in 2018, and that’s Airstream camping. Because ever since the first Airstream was built in 1929 they’ve changed the way we thought about how, and where, we can travel.
From the mountains of France to the California desert, I’ve compiled a list of 10 Airstreams hotels that I think are particularly wanderlust worthy. And that, most importantly, require no towing.
El Cosmico, Marfa, Texas
El Cosmico is a particularly trendy and quirky hotel where the sleeping options range from yurts, safari tents, tepees, and even traditional rooms, to Airstreams – which are, if you ask me (and this list), the coolest option of the bunch. From a small 13-footer to a trailer measuring in at 42 feet long, come alone and mingle with this super hip crowd, or bring a group of friends and make a desert detox out of it. Check out their Goings On calendar before you go – there’s an eclectic mix of festivals, workshops, cook outs, bands, yoga retreats and more that are also worth heading here for.
Caravan Outpost, Ojai, California
Caravan Outpost is by far one of my favorite places to stay in all of Southern California. Plus, have you seen Ojai? I’d argue that it’s one of the cutest towns in the world. So, camping in a super cute, decked out Airstream just makes sense here. The trailers can sleep one to five people, they all come with record players and records (which you can swap out in the General Store), all of them are equipped with showers – but there are also beautiful communal showers and bathrooms on-site, and refrigerators, pots and pans, plates and utensils and A/C and heating are standard in each. At night, expect a bon fire and s’mores and conversations with some of the coolest travelers you’ll come across anywhere, the people that stay here are just as interesting as the Outpost itself.
Bel Repayre Airstream and Retro Trailer Park, Manses, France
Situated on top of a hill with beautiful views of the surrounding Pyrenees Mountains, Bel Repayre isn’t in a touristy area of France, and that’s exactly what makes it so perfect. Quiet and peaceful, guests come here to spend time in the landscaped gardens, lounge trailer-side on sunbeds and take in the views from the trailer park’s Canadian red cedar wood hot tub. The Airstreams here are all vintage (‘40s to ‘80s models), and there’s even an Airstream converted into a bar, and another converted into a food truck. The French clearly know how to have a good time no matter where they are.
AutoCamp, Santa Barbara and Guerneville, California
With locations in Santa Barbara and Guerneville, I must admit that the Russian River AutoCamp in Guerneville is my favorite of the two (although the Santa Barbara camp is still pretty spectacular). Maybe it’s because the Russian River campsite is nestled among the Redwoods, with the Russian River, where you can spend your days swimming, canoeing or just relaxing at the beach, sits just outside your trailer door. Or maybe it’s because even though you’re just 90 minutes from San Francisco, in the heart of Sonoma wine country, this feels like a real escape, but without the whole having to rough it part – all of the Airstreams are outfitted with coffeemakers, TVs and internet. But now that I think about it, it’s probably because you can also book packages like the Cocoa n Camping Mugs or the Pinot Lovers package and have Ghirardelli hot chocolate mix or wine waiting for you when you arrive.
Camping Ca’Savio Italy Airstream, Venice and Rome, Italy
Everyone has seen the Colosseum, but not everyone has glamped in Rome, and that’s a real bucket list item to check off this year. Camping Ca’Savio’s Airstream’s in Rome (and Venice) are your only chance to glamp in Italy, and I’ll be the first to admit that even though camping isn’t exactly the typical way to visit the Eternal City, typical is boring, and this is anything but. Instead, imagine sitting beachside in Venice or escaping to the camp’s garden oasis outside of Rome’s chaotic city center where you’ll experience a side to these cities most others won’t. Now that’s what I call living la dolce vita.
Hicksville Trailer Palace & Artist Retreat, Joshua Tree, California
With trailers having themes from western to alien, Hicksville is a quirky getaway in one of California’s best places for a desert retreat: Joshua Tree. This place doesn’t take itself too seriously, and guests can do everything from testing out their skills with a BB gun on the retreat’s BB gun shooting range to taking a dip in their solar heated pool (which is only open from March to November). Mini golf, darts, corn hole and an archery range are also part of the Hicksville experience, so you can spend the day kicking your travel partner’s ass at just about every silly sport out there.
BaseCamp Young Hostel Bonn, Bonn, Germany
A tour bus, two Volkswagen buses, a rooftop tent on top of a GDR Trabant, two totally decked out sleeper trains, four Airstream trailers, and a few more not-so-typical places to rest your head, this is the wackiest hotel on the list, by far. Not only do most of these – I’ll call them, interesting – accommodations sit inside an old storage facility turned faux campground, but they all come complete with faux front lawns, lawn chairs and props, each fitting the theme of the accommodation. There’s also a food-van and a beer-garden out front, because – as you can tell – this place has dreamed up, and included, just about everything.
Shooting Star RV Resort, Escalante, Utah
While other campers will be bringing their own RVs and Airstream trailers, you can go the easier (and some might say, smarter) route and rent one of the eight Airstreams already onsite here. Designed to resemble dressing trailers for Old Hollywood stars, the movie theme here is fun and playful. Stay in Marilyn’s trailer while she was filming Some Like it Hot, John Wayne’s trailer while he was filming The Searchers, or Robert Redford’s trailer while he filmed Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. When the sun goes down jump in one of the hotel’s vintage cars and watch a movie at their drive-in theater, the same way you would have when these Old Hollywood movies first came out.
Kate’s Lazy Desert Airstream Motel, Landers, California
Good luck choosing between a stay in Tinkerbell, Hot Lava or Hairstream – these trailers are all quirky, fun and a whole lot of retro. And that’s because owner Kate Pierson – one of the founding members of a little band called the B-52’s – is all those things, and more. Once you do finally decide which trailer you’ll call home for a few days, unpack, settle in and then head outside to explore – this is the perfect starting point to experience the magic of the Mojave Desert and surrounding Joshua Tree. At night, stick with the fun and music theme and make the 20 minute drive to Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneer Town Palace, where there’s almost always a live band playing, the food is excellent and drinks are served in mason jars.
Hotel Daniel, Vienna, Austria
Okay, Hotel Daniel is a traditional hotel, but there are three words to explain why this Airstream trailer had to make this list: free standing bathtub. Yes, you heard me right, there’s a full-size bathtub that sits inside this Airstream, and that alone is worth seeking out a night in this trailer. Not to mention, this 1952 Silver Creek Clipper has been beautifully redone to feature a clean, bright interior complete with wood panels and metal accents that make you completely forget that you’re in an Airstream. And while roughing it and camping are cool, you’re still essentially staying in a hotel, which means you still get all the perks – who doesn’t love a great hotel breakfast?