Despite economic concerns, Americans are eager to travel, reporting an increased interest in RV travel and the desire to discover new places with family and friends
AUSTIN, Texas and AKRON, Ohio, Nov. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, RVshare, the largest community for RV owners and renters, reveals findings from the 2023 Travel Trend Report, indicating another blockbuster year for travel, as 88 percent of survey respondents report they plan to travel as much or more in 2023 compared to last year.
According to the new research conducted by Wakefield Research, 99 percent of Americans are planning leisure travel in 2023, with 51 percent planning more than last year, despite fluctuating economic conditions. Interest in RV travel is also on the rise, as 61 percent report planning to take a road trip or vacation in an RV in 2023, a 13 percent increase from 2022. According to these findings, RV travel has not only increased in popularity amongst outdoor travel enthusiasts, but is seeing a strong increase in interest amidst the general population when it comes to travel planning. Half of survey respondents claimed an RV or motorhome is among their top accommodation preferences, citing benefits that other accommodation options may not provide – including a kitchen (61%), less pressure to arrive and depart at a specific time (60%), and the ability to add spur of the moment detours and stops (60%) to leisure trips.
Additionally, work flexibility continues to evolve. The Travel Trends Report indicates remote work flexibility has become a permanent factor affecting lifestyle and travel decisions for many Americans. Especially of the Millennial and Gen-X survey respondents, who nearly all reported being able to work remotely, and admitted to being interested in sneaking in a vacation without calling off work when their schedules allow. This shift continues to impact how and when people travel, as well as who they share it with.
“As the travel industry continues to rapidly evolve, we focused our research on uncovering deeper insights into travelers’ preferences, concerns and desires for the year ahead,” said RVshare’s CEO Jon Gray. “Our findings prove that RV travel is sharply trending forward as more Americans express not only a desire but a preference for this method of travel, particularly for spur of the moment discovery and group travel. Between the flexibility, convenience, and affordability RV travel offers in today’s economic conditions, we are thrilled to see RVing enter the top three accommodation preferences for the majority of Americans.”
Americans are Eager to Travel Despite Economic Concerns
Despite the economic uncertainty that the future holds, Wakefield’s research highlights that travelers are more eager to travel than ever before. In fact, 88 percent of Americans are planning to travel as much or more in 2023 compared to the prior year. While inflation concerns loom, survey results reveal that only 2 percent of travelers are likely to cancel their travel plans because of it. Instead, consumers will be taking precautions and measures to still travel while reducing costs.
57 percent would look to cook some of their own meals instead of dining out while traveling.
49 percent would travel during the offseason.
43 percent would partake in fewer fee-based activities while on vacation.
RV Travel Enters the Mainstream
As Americans look to book more leisure travel in 2023 compared to 2022, RV interest has continued to grow with 62 percent of travelers likely to consider renting an RV for a trip in the future. RV enthusiasts span age demographics as well, with millennials being the most interested age group as three-quarters of respondents aged 26-41 plan to take an RV trip in 2023.
Half of those surveyed report that an RV or motorhome are among their top three accommodations preferences.
Parents are among the most interested with 81 percent likely to consider renting an RV for a trip in the future.
Three-quarters (75 percent) of millennials, the most interested age group in RV travel, plan on taking a road trip or vacation in an RV in 2023 followed by Gen X (65 percent) and Gen Z (58 percent).
RV travel offers a level of comfort, flexibility, and savings – with fewer headaches – compared to other forms of travel, which many Americans find desirable. Nearly 3 in 5 (59 percent) highlight the ability to change their itineraries and schedules as a significant benefit to traveling by RV. Others focused on cost-related benefits, such as predictability in terms of travel costs and the elimination of fees for traveling with additional or extensive luggage. Other benefits of RV travel that survey respondents value highly include:
52 percent noted no fees for bringing extra luggage.
47 percent say it allows them to budget around predictable travel costs.
47 percent noted the benefit of avoiding loud and unruly passengers.
44 percent reported that they appreciate fewer delays while on vacation.
The Rise of Hush Trips
Remote employees are leaning into a newly-flexible work culture by taking work with them on the road. Nearly all remote-friendly employees surveyed admitted to the desire to sneak in a vacation without calling off work – when travel accommodations would allow. This kind of travel – coined “Hush Trips” – allows for employees to continue their work uninterrupted while on the go, without revealing or disclosing their location to bosses and coworkers.
Overall, 56 percent of all working adults say that they’re very or extremely likely to book a “hush trip” in 2023. Among that group, 36 percent of Gen X and 36 percent of millennials, of whom nearly all claim to have remote jobs, have already planned a hush trip in 2023.
Hassle-Free Delivery Entices RV Renters
A factor that can deter first-time RV renters, who account for one third of bookings on RVshare, is a lack of experience in having physically driven an RV before. To negate this concern, RVshare provides the option for RV delivery – a method of travel which continues to increase in popularity. According to RVshare’s own insights, RV rentals that include delivery continue to increase substantially year over year, up 48 percent since 2021, and up 150 percent since 2020. Nearly half of RV rentals from the platform were delivered in 2022.
The 2023 Travel Trend Report found:
79 percent of respondents say that the delivery option would make them more likely to consider an RV trip.
Especially helpful for those traveling with children, 71 percent of parents say they’re much more likely to consider an RV trip if the RV is delivered to their destination.
2023 Motivators for Leisure Travel
Following two years of upheaval and unpredictability in the travel space, the Travel Trend Report surveyed for the types of travel Americans are looking forward to most in the next year. The research finds that Americans are evenly split between plans to finally make “bucket list” trips a reality (50%) and plans to keep things simple after the travel frustrations of the past year (50%).
Trends also seem to be evolving beyond the types of trips made popular during the pandemic, as the survey found that while interest in relaxing and unwinding remains high at 59%, there is a clear 12 point decline over last year. Similarly, the importance of spending quality time with family experienced a 7 point drop to 50%, as did interest in enjoying nature and wildlife (47%). The importance of enjoying peace and quiet (49%) and catching up with friends (34%) are on par with last year. Additional findings include:
49 percent are planning annual trips with family or friends.
48 percent are planning laid-back trips focused on relaxation.
44 percent are planning local trips.
30 percent are planning international trips.
29 percent are planning big trips to bucket list destinations.
28 percent are planning cross-country road trips.
RV Use Expands Beyond Camping
As Americans’ interest in RV travel increases, Wakefield research reveals that travelers are seeking to experience RVs in new ways – beyond the typical road trip. According to RVshare insights, 20 percent of rentals are booked for event purposes like tailgating, auto and aviation shows, music festivals and more.
63 percent say they’re very or 100 percent likely to stay in an RV for multi day festivals, a 10 percent increase from 2022.
52 percent say the same for tailgating events, a 10 percent increase from 2022.
68 percent for trips to National Parks, a 6 percent jump from 2022.
And 55 percent would book an RV rental for hobby events.
The full 2023 Travel Trend Report is viewable here. For additional information about RVshare, visit rvshare.com.
RVshare is the largest online community for RV renters and owners with a diverse selection of vehicles for rent across the US, ranging from luxury motorhomes to cozy camper vans. On RVshare you’ll find vehicles that can accommodate any outdoor adventure, whether it’s a weekend of camping or a cross-country tour of national parks. Hit the road yourself or plan for a campsite delivery to experience the unbridled freedom of RV travel. With more than 3 million nights of sleeping under the stars booked, families and groups can experience a one-of-a-kind trip and create memories that will last a lifetime. For more information, visit rvshare.com, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @rvshare.
Survey conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 US adults ages 18+ who have taken a vacation in the past 24 months. 60% of survey respondents currently own an RV or have been on an RV vacation in the past. The survey was fielded between September 16th and September 25th, 2022.
RVshare 2022 Internal Data
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