Consumers are changing their sightseeing habits to feed the travel bug despite Covid safety concerns, RVshare reported Dec. 3 in its annual Travel Trend Report.
Third-party research company STR joined RVshare to identify top travel trends and 2021 RV trip destinations. The survey analyzed consumer sentiment, travel behaviors and internal booking data.
“The global travel industry has been hit hard by this pandemic, but the demand for domestic travel options remains strong, and interest in RV travel has never been greater,” RVshare CEO Jon Gray stated. “These findings help us understand how consumer travel preferences are evolving. The results prove RV travel is here to stay, and we’re proud to be at the forefront of this new age of travel and discovery.”
Within the survey, more than half of respondents said they plan to travel domestically next year. Forty percent said they are unlikely to use air travel as their transportation method, and 70 percent said it is important to have minimal interactions with other travelers.
Other findings highlighted the new RVer surge. RVshare’s 2020 bookings included 80 percent new users.
“RV rentals will continue to be a preferred method of transportation for long distance travel, family adventure vacations and getaways to state and national parks in 2021,” RVshare stated. “Since May 2020, RV rentals have seen an increase in popularity, especially among first-time renters.”
The report found 75 percent of travelers consider RVs a great spontaneous travel choice, while 77 percent agreed that RV travel offers hotel conveniences and is more comfortable than camping while letting consumers get outdoors. More than half (57 percent) consider RV travel more appealing than before the pandemic.
“The coronavirus crisis forced many to reconsider nearly every aspect of traditional office and school life,” RVshare stated. “These days, consumers can work and attend school from home, or anywhere with a reliable internet connection. RVshare’s 2021 trend report found that travelers are ready to take advantage of this newfound freedom, with nearly one-third agreeing that RVs would be good workspaces.”
The report found the trend is led by millennials, who are introducing a new age of “live-work-play,” RVshare stated. Survey results showed 68 percent consider RVing more appealing than before the pandemic, and 73 percent said they likely will rent an RV in the future.
The public’s inclination to travel is strong as ever, RVshare stated, however, the survey found a resistance to planning too far ahead while quarantine, sanitation and refunds are causing concern. Three-quarters cited a need to be flexible when booking travel plans, as Covid guidelines frequently change.
“Due to continued COVID-19 safety concerns and altered consumer preferences, two-thirds of travelers said they are looking for lodging options that will provide them control of cleaning and sanitation,” RVshare stated. “RV interest skyrocketed as travelers turned towards self-catered accommodations, with amenities like a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen on-board.”
In the destination realm, RVshare found Covid encouraged many city dwellers to leave their home cities. States such as New York and Illinois have become “RV states,” the survey found.
“Travelers are ready to swap city life for beaches, mountains and fresh air, and they are using an RV to do so,” RVshare stated.