Most Americans are planning to travel more this year compared with 2019, even before the pandemic took hold, a new survey found.
Harvest Hosts, which conducted the survey, said the difference is in travelers’ priorities. Travelers are now focusing on safety, cost-effectiveness and accommodating travel options, the survey found.
Less than a quarter of consumers plan to fly, the survey found, with 69 percent of respondents saying they do not feel safe traveling by plane and 56 percent reporting feeling unsafe staying in a hotel. Meanwhile, 99 percent of respondents said they feel safe traveling by RV.
“After the year we had in 2020, people are itching to hit the road,” CEO Joel Holland said. “The survey results may seem extreme, but it comes down to the fact that many still have reservations about air travel. The data shows that people will continue opting for the safety of road trips, leading to a boom in backyard exploration and growing interest in RVing.”
The survey found 76 percent of respondents are planning to travel more this year than in 2020. Regarding international travel, 81 percent of participants said they do not plan to leave the U.S. this year.
There are 11 million RV owners in the U.S., Harvest Hosts stated, but 46 million people are planning to RV this year alone. Fifty-three percent of participants said they plan to travel exclusively by RV, with 61 percent planning to drive more than 500 miles and 34 percent planning to travel within 100 to 500 miles.
“Increased road travel has provided more opportunity for Americans to visit states and areas they might not have otherwise,” Harvest Hosts stated.
RVers reported the most popular states to visit were California, Florida, Arizona, Texas and Oregon.
“The impact of the travel industry during COVID-19 quickly became apparent,” the company stated. “In turn, fallout from the decline in travel as a result of the pandemic was felt by local businesses who rely on travel and tourism for a majority of their revenue.”
The company added as people travel in RVs, they can support businesses safely without breaking the bank. Through Harvest Hosts, nearly $25 million was spent at local companies across the U.S. in 2020, the survey stated.
Regarding changes to work-life balance, the survey found remote work is becoming more popular. Thirty-one percent of respondents plan to travel more because remote work is an option, and 23 percent reported they are working remotely full-time. Of that percentage, 62 percent said they are considering RV travel more because they have the freedom to work anywhere.
Harvest Hosts is a membership program that allows RVers to access overnight stays