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An airstream adventure across California

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Some people may think of a caravan vacation as being a bit of a safe option, an ideal family-friendly expedition if you’re not going too far from home and are just looking for somewhere with a bit of space that the kids can run around in. But, like any sort of travel experience, a caravan vacation can be whatever you choose to make it.

One of my dream vacations is to tow an Airstream caravan across the United States — visiting some of the iconic destinations, the ultimate road-trip.

Why an Airstream caravan?
The company behind the Airstream began building caravans in the late 1920s, but it was in 1936 that the classic Airstream model was first introduced to the world. Made from silver aluminium and constructed in a streamlined shape to cut down wind-resistance.

The Airstream has found a place within the world’s popular culture consciousness — primarily because company founder Wally Byam began leading groups of Airstream owners on group vacations around the United States. The convoying caravans were known as Airstreamers — there is nothing quite as striking as witnesses a convoy of Airstream caravans on the move.

How to do it
Airstreams are still being manufactured at the company’s factory in Ohio, but for the casual Airstreamer there are also options to hire a caravan for your expedition. California was the original home of the Airstream, and there does seem to be some sort of spiritual connection between an Airstream adventure and the wide open spaces and rugged landscapes of California and the South West of the United States.

The best time to visit this part of the world is between June and September, when you can enjoy the beaches and the great outdoor living that California offers. But the desert climate of the south-west region means that there is year-round sunshine, so you really can enjoy your Airstream caravan travels without too many restrictions.

Where to go
My dream Airstream caravan vacation is to begin from Los Angeles, driving up the coast road to Carmel and Monterey, and then cut across to Yosemite National Park.

Carmel is a small coastal artists’ colony perched on a beautiful white-sand beach. Once you’ve parked the Airstream, everything is within walking distance as you wander around this village with its laid-back beach-side vibe.

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary features tide pools and kelp forests, which create a home for a huge range of aquatic life — you’ll find sea lions, sea otters, dolphins, and humpback whales. You can go sea-kayaking to get a closer look.

Yosemite National Park covers a huge area of spectacular wilderness. The best place to start is with some hiking in Mariposa Grove, and then aim for the top of Sentinel Dome. There are climbing schools and guides available if you fancy some serious climbing.

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Destinations

Travel Tips: Cancún, Mexico

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Photo by Conor Luddy on Unsplash
Photo by Conor Luddy on Unsplash

Situated on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, bordering the Caribbean Sea, Cancún is known for its beaches, resorts, and nightlife.

Cancún is composed of two distinct areas — El Centro which is the more traditional downtown area, and Zona Hotelera which is a long, beachfront strip of high-rise hotels, nightclubs, shops, and restaurants.

How to get there

  • There are direct flights to Cancún from most major airport hubs across North America.
  • If you’re flying for Europe, you’ll most likely have to change once. Prices start from around £600 per person.
  • British Airways does offer some direct flights from London Gatwick to Cancún.
  • Package holidays might be the most cost effective way to experience Cancún. Options include Club Med and Tui.

When to go

  • Peak season for Cancún is December to April.
  • Wettest months are generally September and October. It can rain at any time of the year, but rain is generally short bursts that clear quickly.
  • Hurricane season rarely impacts Cancun. The highest likelihood of a hurricane would be in the period between August to October.

Spring Break

  • Cancún is a hugely popular destination for college students during their universities’ spring break period.
  • Peak period for Spring Break is March, although February through to April will be a popular time of year for students to vacation in Cancún.

Gay stuff

  • Cancún is generally more of a family-friendly vacation destination than a sizzling gay hot-spot (if you want uber-gay you should probably consider Puerto Vallarta).
  • Most of the gay venues are found in El Centro — the downtown area of Cancún.
  • Playa Mamitas and Delfines are the two major beaches. You’ll probably spot some fellow gays on the beach, but they’re more likely to be pool-side at the resort.
  • There is reportedly a nudist beach in Cancún — apparently it’s a forty minute walk from the Coco resort, but we haven’t been able to verify this.
Photo by Rutger Geleijnse on Unsplash

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