The Road Trip Resurgence Isn’t Slowing Down, Report Shows
Outdoorsy, the Airbnb of camping vehicles, made predictions for what travel will look like in 2022.
There’s no denying that the pandemic upended the way we think of travel. International trips relenting to border closures incited a recalibration of our personal bucket lists, catalogs that, for many, now brim with CONUS-based destinations that have seen attendance skyrocket in the months since.
So, too, have the methods of travel been overhauled. This year paved the way for a road trip renaissance unlike any in recent memory, as never-before-seen work flexibility, travel restrictions, and active avoidance of the crammed spaces of airlines, among other factors, combined to spawn a blossoming movement of conversion vans, RVs, and camp trailers.
One such company that found itself inundated with booming business courtesy of the open road’s renewed allure is Outdoorsy, an organization founded in 2015 that acts as the Airbnb of camping vehicles, allowing private owners of the aforementioned vehicles to rent them out to vacationers all over the United States, Canada, the U.K., Australia, and more.
The Texas-based Outdoorsy unveiled its annual report on traveler trends earlier this month and, based on figures collected via customer surveys and industry-wide data, made a few predictions for what travel could look like during the upcoming year.
“The pull back of leisure travel in 2020 and 2021 has created a slingshot effect, a revenge travel effect if you will, that we’ll see spring to life in 2022,” Outdoorsy’s co-founder and CEO Jeff Cavins says in the report. “If anything has changed in the psychology of leisure travel since the start of the pandemic, it’s a traveler’s optimistic prioritization of factors like cleanliness, safety, and convenience—preferences that will continue to create first-time RVers and sustain demand for modes of self-contained travel.”
The nuts and bolts of the report, meanwhile, show just how much of a road trip resurgence is underway. More than 90% of survey respondents indicated plans to take a road trip in 2022, with scores of destinations scattered across the Southwest topping many of the participant to-do lists.
Accompanying this road trip enthusiasm has been a surge in family-oriented activity, an added emphasis that comes in large part due to a continually evolving post-pandemic workscape. In fact, 62% of respondents reported having the current flexibility to remain either partially or fully tuned in to work from any location.
In terms of family road trips, survey respondents expressing a desire to take one in 2022 surged significantly over recent years. Over 80% of those surveyed reported making plans to hit the road with a significant other in 2022, while nearly half of respondents are looking to bring kids along for the ride.
These responses do not just comprise seasoned campers, by the way. Two-thirds of Outdoorsy’s 2021 web traffic came from novices looking to crack into the nature feels-on-wheels landscape for the first time. Of that demographic, approximately 40% and 34% were made up of Millennials and Gen Xers, respectively. And nearly half of all survey respondents suggested their road trip experience acted as the catalyst to purchase their own camper.
Despite the surge, price-per-night rates have remained relatively steady, averaging just $14 more per night in 2021 ($153) than 2019 ($139). And, for those not wanting to venture great distances for a specific camper, approximately 60% of vehicle owners listed on Outdoorsy offer the added convenience of delivery.
The road trip is back. If you’ve got a camper van, RV, or Airstream trek on your 2022 radar, Outdoorsy is a great place to start. Visit their website for more information.