A new outdoor audience and surging interest in 2021 RV camping highlighted Outdoorsy’s travel trend report.
The online RV rental and outdoor travel marketplace experienced a record year in bookings, evidenced by statistics from the company’s 2020 Travel Trends report.
“Roads really do have a way of connecting us all, and we’ve seen those connections, be that with family members or the natural world around us, become one of the top priorities for folks this year,” co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Jen Young stated. “Those connections that happen when you break away from the traditional modes of travel — the four walls of a hotel, the cramped armrests of a plane — are why we started Outdoorsy six years ago.”
Within Outdoorsy’s travel trend findings, nearly 90 percent of the platform’s 2020 renters were first-timers, which the company calls a new outdoor audience. July was the most popular traveling month, followed by August and September, and the average trip length increased to 6.4 days, up from six days in 2019.
Memorial Day was reported as the most popular holiday for RV rentals, beating out the Fourth of July, which was 2019’s most popular choice.
Towable trailers were the preferred rental unit, comprising 46 percent of bookings from the platform’s users. Following behind were Type C RVs, accounting for 24 percent of bookings.
RV rentals were most popular in western and southern states, the report found, with California, Colorado and Texas topping the list. Cities such as San Diego, which saw double the bookings this year compared to 2019, along with Las Vegas, Phoenix and Denver were reported as the most popular metropolitan areas to rent in this year. Also included on in the top 10 metropolitan areas were Los Angeles; Seattle; Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and Mesa, Arizona.
In addition to this year’s stats, Outdoorsy revealed its 2021 RV rental predictions, beginning with a continuing interest in the RV lifestyle among all ages. The platform expects on-the-road work methods to surge, with access to Wi-Fi becoming essential as travelers with remote jobs and schooling do so in RVs. In Outdoorsy’s recent Renter Sentiment Survey, 75 percent of travelers said virtual work and learning make them more likely to take a road trip at off-season times.
“Due to overall new demand for outdoor recreational travel and activities, Outdoorsy predicts national parks campgrounds will be booked earlier in 2021,” the report added.
National park prime campsites typically book out up to six months in advance, Outdoorsy stated, usually around March and April. However, the company predicts the booking curve to happen in February next year.
“With international travel still mostly off-limits, state and national parks will see more visitors and campers than ever before,” Outdoorsy stated. “It will be the outdoor industry’s shared responsibility to help protect these national treasures for years to come, and help educate and promote sustainable travel and leave-no-trace practices.”
“This year has been a wild, rewarding ride of resilience, and our team eagerly anticipates the unprecedented growth our community and these connections are bound to see in the year ahead,” Young stated.