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What will 2022 travel look like? According to a new travel trend report, 90% of Americans plan to travel for leisure next year, with RVs a top choice, fueled by the return of events, increased opportunities for remote work, family convenience, and a desire to see the beauty of the great outdoors.
Peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace RVshare commissioned the study through Wakefield Research, predicting that next year will be a “blockbuster year for travel” as 90% of respondents say they’re very or even 100% likely to travel for leisure next year. Some of it is fueled by a “revenge travel” desire to have more freedom than they’ve had during the pandemic, but long-term shifts in lifestyle like remote work should affect the way people travel beyond 2022.
“As the global travel industry makes its return, we focused our research on more deeply understanding and assessing the emerging motivators and desires of today’s travelers,” said RVshare’s CEO Jon Gray. “Our findings are encouraging and reflect the ongoing evolution of the travel industry, proving that desire to hit the road has never been stronger. While 2020 and 2021 may have been a time of discovery for many when it comes to RV travel, the category is growing in demand as more and more people find RV and motorhome accommodations appealing for a number of priorities and reasons.”
Roadtripping is On The Rise, RV Style
According to the report, after over a year of pandemic-related travel restrictions, Americans are eager to get back out and travel again, and RV travel is on people’s minds, specifically Millennials and Gen Xers. Nearly half of likely 2022 travelers plan on taking a road trip or vacation in an RV in the next 12 months. Travelers are interested in making long road trips more exciting; experiencing nature while reconnecting with travel partners; and clearing their minds to escape, explore and discover new places.
- 53% of travelers say they’re likely to consider renting an RV for a trip in the future.
- 45% of travelers surveyed included RVs in their top three preferred types of accommodations, a 13% increase from 2020.
- 70% of Millennials and 54% of Gen Xers are planning on taking a road trip or vacation in an RV in the next 12 months.
- 74% of travelers have reported that local diners and dives are their favorite stops during road trips.
Flexible Work = Flexible Travel
Many Americans took advantage of the option to work while traveling in 2021, capitalizing on the opportunity to book and plan more spontaneous and longer trips due to more flexible working environments. The “work from anywhere” trend will continue to be a hot topic with more than three-quarters of respondents indicating that their ability to work remotely will be a “key consideration” in how they travel in 2022.
- 76% of employed travelers had the option to work remotely in 2021 and,
- of those, 59% chose to work remotely during at least some of their leisure trips.
- 38% said they now have more opportunities to work remotely than they did pre-pandemic.
Family-Focused Travel Styles and Destinations Remain Important
Family travel is projected to remain an important factor when choosing how and where to vacation in 2022. More than half of likely 2022 travelers are looking to spend quality time with family or explore and discover new places next year, both of which have increased in appeal since 2020. Family-focused destinations such as the campground at Disney Fort Wilderness Resort, for example, are continuously among the top destinations for RVshare customers.
- 81% of travelers reported that they are excited to travel with family in 2022.
- 59% of travelers find an RV road trip appealing,
- followed by trips to National Parks or scenic areas (56%)
- and family camping trips (45%).
- 62% of parents responded that RVs offer an exciting experience for their children.
- 62% of pet owners are planning to bring their family pets with them on at least some of their trips this year.
- Pets are consistently listed as one of the reasons people choose RVs for travel. 50% of RVshare rentals, for instance are pet-friendly.
National Parks as Popular as Ever
While many Americans visited National Parks in 2021, they continue to top travelers’ lists when thinking about future trips in 2022. And, the majority of travelers surveyed would likely choose RV accommodations for trips to National Parks.
- More than half of likely 2022 travelers (54%) say National and state parks, as well as nature reserves, are important factors when deciding what type of vacation to choose in 2022.
- Travelers are most likely to find RVs appealing for trips to National Parks or scenic areas (56%).
- When deciding on the type of vacation to choose for the coming year, nearly two-thirds of likely 2022 travelers (63%) are looking for beautiful scenery and half (50%) are considering outdoor activities.
- For planning a trip to a National Park, the majority of travelers (85%) would be at least somewhat likely to choose an RV over other accommodation options, including 26% who say they’d be 100% likely to do so.
Event Experiences Return
As travelers become more and more familiar with RVs, they are increasingly using motorhomes and trailers in creative and unique ways. One-third of RV Share’s renters in 2021 didn’t travel in the unit — they had the RV delivered to a location to stay in. And with the reopening of sporting, music and culinary festival events taking place in 2022, demand for RVs is projected to rise. Over half of respondents said they’re very or even 100% likely to choose an RV over other accommodations when attending a music, food or other multi-day festival event, including a sporting event or game.
- 80% of travelers are at least somewhat likely to choose to stay in an RV over other types of accommodations when attending these events.
- 67% of respondents are at least somewhat likely to consider renting an RV over other types of accommodations when planning a tailgating event at a sports stadium, including nearly 1 in 5 (18%) who say they’re 100% likely to do so.
- 24% say RV delivery to an event or festival appeals to them when considering an RV vacation.
- 77% indicated that they’d be more likely to consider an RV trip if the RV is delivered to the destination, particularly a popular choice among travelers coming from urban areas (58% much more likely to choose RV accommodations given this option).
Research conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 US adults 18+ who have taken a vacation in the past 24 months. The survey was fielded in November 2021. View the full report here.
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