Around Texas: Tour West Texas by RV with Airstream 2 Go

WORDS
Julia Bunch
PUBLISHED
March 2016 in
DallasChild, FortWorthChild, NorthTexasChild
UPDATED
February 29, 2016
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Take a throwback trip with a modern twist as a family by exploring Texas’ Big Bend region in a fully-equipped rented silver bullet trailer from Airstream 2 Go, a company that partnered with Off the Beaten Path travel planners to create completely customizable itineraries out of El Paso.
 
Getting there: Round trip flights from both Dallas Love Field and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to El Paso International Airport run around $300 per passenger during spring break in mid-March.
 
Why it’s family friendly: Nearly three years ago, Airstream 2 Go, the only licensed and authorized Airstream rental in the world, started renting the iconic trailers for 3–14 days from outposts in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. In November of last year, Airstream 2 Go expanded to include a West Texas hub in El Paso.
 
Instead of surviving an eight-plus-hour drive to West Texas, you can comfortably fly to El Paso, pick up a Chevrolet Tahoe (part of the package) then drive three hours to Fort Davis to pick up your roomy mobile trailer — and get an orientation on all the need-to-knows, like hitching/unhitching, hookups and waste disposal. The retro ‘Stream has a modern layout and includes a flat screen TV, Bluetooth, an indoor/outdoor sound system, an iPad Mini (preloaded with info about the trailer should you need a refresher), running water, a refrigerator, a gas grill, a portable table and chairs (for alfresco dining and chilling), a shower, a toilet and lots of storage space, much of it stocked with pots, pans, kitchenware and toiletries. And trailers sleep either four or six people.
 
Families can rent an Airstream and plan their own adventure. However, we suggest the custom journey organized by Montana-based Off the Beaten Path, an adventure-travel outfitter. There are suggested itineraries such as the eight-day-seven-night Texas Two Step that takes travelers to Big Bend National Park, Lajitas and Marfa. But because everyone’s idea of a vacation is different, Off the Beaten Path offers more concierge-style services for family travel.
 
Custom journeys start at $2,280 for three days in a 23-foot Airstream that sleeps four and $2,625 for three days in a 28-foot Airstream that sleeps six. Park entrance, camping and excursions are not included, with some exceptions. Prices vary per itinerary. Spring break season gets busy, so book quickly.
 
Bonus: Lucchese, the prominent Italian-turned-Texan boot maker, partnered with the Texas outpost of Airstream 2 Go to give each family a tour of the company’s boot factory in El Paso and one free pair of custom-fit boots per family worth around $500.
 
What to do: We highly recommend hiking the Santa Elena Canyon Trail in Big Bend National Park. Making the 1.7-mile trek won’t leave the littles completely worn out, and you’ll find plenty of photo opportunities atop Terlingua Creek overlooking Mexico. But Grapevine Hills, Mule Ears Spring, Lost Mine and Window View trails all provide nice, short, easy hikes too. Low water levels make rafting, kayaking and floating within the park tricky, but check with Off the Beaten Path since some tours can still accommodate. Entrance to the park is $25 per vehicle (you don’t pay extra for having a trailer) and is valid for seven days.
 
Ask your Off the Beaten Path guide to schedule a Jeep tour through the Davis Mountains, a horseback ride through a cattle ranch, a brief excursion into Mexico or a round of golf at the Lajitas Golf Resort.
 
Lodging: You’ll pull in to a campground, RV park — like the Maverick Ranch RV Park in Lajitas or the Rio Grands Village RV Campground in Big Bend National Park — or private scenic residence (some ranchers allow overnights on their land) each day. While you might not want to forgo the Egyptian cotton sheets for the night to rough it, the kids might. Each trailer includes a tent and other camping gear.
 
Can’t miss: Plan to attend a two-hour star party (held Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evenings and more during the week of March 14) at the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, where you view notable stars, planets and constellations through some of the world’s best telescopes. Pro tip: Bring lots of layers as the temperature drops quickly after dark. Cost: adults, $12; kids, $8; ages 5 and younger, free. Or venture south to Marfa to see the Marfa Lights, West Texas’ version of the Northern Lights. 
SIDEBAR

Resources

Airstream 2 Go
airstream2go.com
800/780-9880
 
Big Bend National Park
nps.gov/bibe
432/477-2251
 
McDonald Observatory
mcdonaldobservatory.org
432/426-3640


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