RVshare, a peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace, released its 2022 Travel Trend Report in partnership with Wakefield Research predicting a record travel year. The organization hosted a five-person panel to discuss trends in the 2021 and 2022 travel seasons.
Nearly all (90%) survey respondents said they are likely to travel for leisure next year. RVshare’s report predicts 2022 will usher in a new age of travel as flexible work becomes a permanent lifestyle for many Americans. This shift will have long-term effects on the way people travel and approach trip planning in the next year and beyond, the report stated.
Jon Gray, RVshare CEO, said the report was focused on understanding and assessing the emerging motivators and desires of travelers in 2022 as global travel makes a return.
“Our findings are encouraging and reflect the ongoing evolution of the travel industry, proving that desire to hit the road has never been stronger,” Gray said. “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.”
The report found a strong travel urge among 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, according to RVshare’s data.
The researchers found 53% of travelers are 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; and 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.
RVshare’s report found the “work from anywhere” trend will continue to be a hot topic. More than three-quarters of respondents indicated their ability to work remotely will be a key consideration in how they travel in 2022.
Kampgrounds of America President and CEO Toby O’Rourke, one of the five panel members discussing the report, said her company saw an uptick in people working and camping, a steadily increasing trend for years.
“We were surprised in the fall because we thought we would see some normalization as offices open up, schools return to in-person, and restrictions ease,” O’Rourke said. “People are staying in the flexibility … but for it to be a lasting trend, we as a camping industry have to address Wi-Fi. A source of frustration can be how they can access work when they are at campgrounds or on the road.”
O’Rourke said camping at KOA sites is up 17% over last year’s record numbers.
Gray echoed her sentiments on sustaining the flexible work trend.
“When you have three-quarters of your audience planning around their work schedule to travel,” he said, “it is music to my ears to hear campground providers ramping up Wi-Fi.”
Other panel members were Jeff Hurst of Expedia Brands, Alyssa Ravasio of HipCamp and Laura Motta of Lonely Planet. The Points Guy Senior Editor Nick Ewen moderated the discussion.
RVshare’s 2022 report found that 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. According to an internal RVshare customer survey, 38% said they now have more opportunities to work remotely than they did pre-pandemic.
A work-life balance appeared to become more important to RVers, according to RVshare, which found more than half of prospective 2022 travelers looking to spend quality time with family or explore and discover new places.
The report found that 59% of travelers find an RV road trip appealing, followed by trips to national parks or scenic areas (56%) and family camping trips (45%). One RV market set to reopen, festivals, is cause for excitement according to Gray.
“Another thing that RVs are is a very flexible form of accommodation,” he said. “You could have where you are going to stay just feet away from where you want to go. Festivals have long been big for RV share. Our biggest event leading into the pandemic was Burning Man.”
National parks continue to top travelers’ lists when thinking about future trips in 2022, RVshare found. Most travelers (85%) would be at least somewhat likely to choose an RV over other accommodation options at national parks, including 26% who say they would be 100% likely to do so.
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. Additionally, RVshare found travelers are most likely to find RVs appealing for trips to national parks or scenic areas (56%).
As travelers become more and more familiar with RVs, they are using motorhomes and trailers in creative and unique ways, according to RVshare. More than half of respondents said they are very or totally 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.
In related data, the RV rental company found:
- 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 for certain they will RV.
- 24% say RV delivery to an event or festival appeals to them when considering an RV vacation.
- 77% indicated that they would 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% reported they are much more likely to choose RV accommodations given this option).
The full 2022 Travel Trend Report is viewable at rvshare.com/press.