The Airbnb phenomenon is so entrenched now that it’s no longer a phenomenon. You can rent places to stay of every size and shape pretty much all over the globe, and they can range from exotic (and luxurious) tree houses to sagging backyard tents. And some of those available rentals—not all through Airbnb—are those in pretty out-of-the-way places. Some of the most intriguing are in our old pal, the Airstream.
Let’s start with needing salt for your margarita. If you stay in the Airstream in the Bolivian salt flats, there’s no need to bring any in your cooking supplies. This is an otherworldly destination, in an environment that’s little traveled. There are several touring companies that will set you up in fine style in the trailer, and trek you to a nearby volcano and pre-Inca ruins. The trip includes a support vehicle with a kitchen to serve you Bolivian cuisine and wine. You’re on your own with the margaritas.
If the pretty polish of a newer Airstream doesn’t take you, you might be better served by the wide selection of vintage trailers at the BelRepayre Airstream & Retro Trailer Park an hour south of Tolouse, France. Bring your own trailer if you’ve got one, but there are 12 vintage ‘Streams done up in fine style if you don’t. Each has its own garden, barbecue and view of the Pyrenees. Oh, yeah, the French thing: you get your fresh croissants delivered in the mornings.
If you hunger more for big ocean views than croissants, the Malibu Dream Airstream might be the ticket. This sweet ride is snuggled into a private bluff that looks out to the Channel Islands and Catalina. And that lookout is large, because the trailer has had a big chunk of its side removed and replaced with sliding glass panels that open onto a big deck. This is a view that lives large.
And if you want to cruise a bit south from Malibu, you can continue with the Airstream theme at Kate’s Lazy Meadow. Not too far from stunning Joshua Tree, Kate Pierson (of B-52’s fame) has six vintage Airstreams with wacky décor, kitchenettes, high desert views—and air conditioning for that sharp sun. But there’s a pool too, so even if you’re hot, you’re cool.
Speaking of cool (and hot at the same time), this Belize beauty is on the edge of the jungle, not far from a Mayan village. It’s close to archeological sites, and there’s good hiking at the nearby Pine Ridge Mountain Reserve. For those more modern archeologists, there’s also zip-lining, tubing and horseback riding.
It’s only natural that Airstreams are a part of this new—and still developing—wing of the travel experience. Airstreams have been on the road, or parked off it, for eight decades. Now more than ever, where there are travelers, there will be Airstreams to meet them. And if you don’t make it to that Bolivian site, do remember the salt.
By Tom Bentley