Texas is far removed from the transportation hubs on the East and West Coast, but it’s easily accessible by plane and relatively accessible by car. Air travel is the best option because the state’s two largest cities—Houston  and Dallas —are primary hubs for major airlines (Continental and American, respectively). As a result, flights from all over the country wind up in Texas, often at affordable rates.
In a state this big, however, a vehicle is virtually a necessity, despite some recent advances in metropolitan public transportation systems. Still, to get anywhere in Texas’s sprawling cities and widespread landscape, a vehicle is the most practical approach. Fortunately, the interstate highway system is pretty impressive—for a state this huge, you can get from most major cities to the others (excluding El Paso) in about three hours.
The only problems travelers occasionally encounter when entering the state are at the Mexican border, where agents can take their sweet time checking vehicles and asking questions. Those planning a jaunt across the Rio Grande should familiarize themselves with the WHTI (the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative), a U.S.-entry program coordinated by the federal government’s Department of Homeland Security. The WHTI’s proposed rules require U.S. citizens entering the country to have either a U.S. passport or a valid military identification card.
As for the climate, there’s an old saying in Texas that goes, “If you don’t like the weather, stick around a few hours and it’ll change.” That’s true for one or two months of the year (February and November), but the opposite is true most of the time. As a result, travelers should always pack plenty of warm-weather gear, including hats, sandals, swimsuits, and especially sunscreen, since much of Texas receives an average of 300-plus sunny days a year. Don’t be surprised by Texas’s chilly winters, though. For those traveling December through February, make sure to bring jackets, raincoats, and heavy sleeping bags.
Outdoor adventurers don’t have to pack anything extra, but a raincoat and tarp are a good idea during the state’s rainy months of May and November. A solid pair of hiking boots are essential for the rocky terrain in West and Central Texas. For those diving into the low-key Gulf Coast  waters, surfboards won’t be necessary.