If it’s not security checkpoints and overpriced gas, it’s MTA crackdowns and the crap they call chicken Parm.
Getting where you’re going is usually the low point of travel, unless you check into a kooky hotel that puts the fun back in transportation.
Jumbo Hostel, Arlanda Airport, Sweden
A takeoff on: a decommissioned two-story jumbo jet. Book the cockpit suite for prime views of one of Sweden’s busiest tarmacs and surrounding terminals.
A departure for: aviation junkies who consider overhead air traffic awesome ambient sound.
Vliegtuigsuite, Teuge Airport, The Netherlands
A takeoff on: a 1960s government prop plane. The ultra-sleek model has been retrofitted with a Jacuzzi, infrared sauna, Blu-Ray, and three flat-screen TVs.
A departure for: the couple that covets mile-high thrills in the flyest private jet imaginable.
Hotel Costa Verde, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
A takeoff on: a salvaged 727 jetliner. Rest your head in the all-teak interior after partying in the Nicaraguan cargo plane-turned-cliff-side bar.
A departure for: wannabe cast members of Lost (smoke monster not included).
Aurora Express Bed & Breakfast, Fairbanks, Alaska
A takeoff on: a vintage passenger train. The decor recalls old-fashioned Alaskan cancans and bordellos.
A departure for: antique buffs interested in the Last Frontier’s risque past.
Controversy Tram Inn, Hoogwoud, The Netherlands
A takeoff on: old Dutch and German railcars. Four have been converted into themed residences on a trippy compound of farmland and discarded vehicles.
A departure for: freewheelers up for soaking in a sombrero hot tub and renting movies from the UFO-shaped video library.
El Cosmico, Marfa, Texas
A takeoff on: fifties RVs, including a Kozy Coach and Imperial Mansion. A small fleet occupies a peaceful campground near the Tex-Mex border beside yurts and tepees.
A departure for: drifters and loners in search of a quiet, no-man’s-land retreat.
The Shady Dell, Bisbee, Arizona
A takeoff on: antique caravans fully restored to their midcentury glory, with all the kitsch and none of the stigma of trailer-park living.
A departure for: retrophiles. The desert resort even has a golden oldies diner serving homemade pie and root beer floats.
From trailer park to tarmac, take your pick of tricked-out guest rooms. See our slide show.
Okay, you want to go someplace weird and wonderful and come back with tales that will make your boss sooo jealous. Where to? Take a spin around the Travel Desk to get inspired. Available online at blacktomato.co.uk.
Photos: Lioba Schneider / Courtesy of Jumbo Hostel; Courtesy of Hotelsuites.nl; Kaitlin Wilson / Courtesy of Aurora Express; Eric Ryan Anderson / Courtesy of El Cosmico