VAIL, Colo. — Harvest Hosts, a membership program giving RVers access to unique camping options, today reveals its latest survey showing that RVers are traveling later into the season, despite being more comfortable with the idea of flying in comparison with this summer. However, travelers are remaining cautious and considering “trip stacking” with road travel as an optimal backup for any plans involving flights, especially holiday-related travel. Overall, the findings show strong interest in road travel throughout 2021 and continued growth looking ahead to 2022. RVers are making investments in their rigs and building their holiday wish lists to elevate their next road trip.
“RVing has taken off, experiencing record interest over the last two years. The allure of the open road has struck a chord with American travelers, and enthusiasm for RVing is continuing to grow year over year,” says Joel Holland, CEO of Harvest Hosts. “Despite the rising gas prices, people are increasing the number of road trips they’re taking each year, and more RVers than ever are now planning to keep their RVs out later into the season or even year-round.”
Extending the RVing Season – It is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
In the last year, RVers discovered the RVing season does not need to be limited to just a few warm months. Many took more trips in the last year, and rather than retiring their RV when cold weather hits, they’re prolonging the season or even keeping it going all year long.
- Forty percent of respondents took more than five road trips in an RV during 2021. RVing is typically a more spontaneous mode of travel, but as road travel grows in popularity and campground spaces become more competitive, 23% of RVers are opting to plan out their trips 1-3 months in advance.
- The campground shortage this past summer impacted 41% of respondents. However, 48% of Harvest Hosts members reported they were not impacted by the shortage – as Harvest Hosts provides additional options for RVers other than traditional campgrounds.
- More than half of respondents (63%) are planning to travel in their RVs later into the season than usual. Around one-fourth (26%) are now looking to keep their RVs out year-round, enjoying the adventure of the RV life all year long.
- Part of the allure of RVing and a strong incentive to keep it as a travel option year-round is the safety and convenience given the fluctuating travel restrictions and guidelines. While many travelers faced last-minute cancelations in the last year, nearly two-thirds of RVers (63%) did not need to cancel any of their road trips in the last six months.
RVers Wishing for Lower Gas Prices for the Holidays – Slip a Fuel Card Under the Tree
RVers are spending more time on the road than ever, and this holiday season, they’re not eyeing a new sweater. With gas prices soaring to a seven-year high on Tuesday, almost a quarter (24%) say that gas prices have impacted their travel plans in the last few months. Many are wishing for lower gas prices, or the next best thing – a gas gift card to help soften the blow.
In addition, road travelers are looking to modify their RVs and elevate their next road trip adventure. According to the road trip enthusiasts surveyed, here are the other top items RVers are wishing for this year:
- BBQ / Blackstone Grill
- Dash Cam
- Fire Pit / Solo Stove
- Solar Panels
Flying vs. Driving – Oh What Fun it is to Ride in an RV
Travelers are becoming more comfortable with the idea of flying again, especially as COVID-19 vaccine distribution increases and travel restrictions are easing globally. Many are still planning ahead and taking precautions, often making arrangements for a backup trip in the event their original plans fall through.
- When asked about feeling safe flying, more than half of respondents (56%) said they now felt safe. In comparison, only 19% of respondents felt comfortable flying when asked about the topic in a summer travel survey.
- Even as comfort in air travel returns, travelers remain cautious when making plans. For any trips that require flying, 40% of respondents admitted they are considering having a road trip planned as a backup.
- Looking ahead to 2022, the majority of respondents (95%) will continue to travel via RV in the coming year and 40% plan to fly at some point. For those planning to RV, the current top travel destinations heading into the new year are focused on warm-weather climates. As RVers head south for the winter after a summer and fall of exploring the rest of the country, the top states they’re planning to visit heading into 2022 include:
Overall, the survey shows a resurgence in travel and continued desire to explore road travel options in the coming year. During the pandemic, people discovered a passion for road travel and all that the open road has to offer — seasoned RVers taking longer trips and planning much later into the traditional RVing season. Now, even as air travel regains its footing, many travelers are still opting for road trips. The road ahead for RVing is looking bright.
For more info, visit https://harvesthosts.com/.
About Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is a membership club for RVers offering unique overnight stays at over 5,700 locations all over North America – including more than 2,800 farms, wineries, breweries, distilleries, golf courses, museums, and other scenic small businesses in addition to 2,850 Boondockers Welcome community host locations. The company’s mission is to help millions of people live happier lives through road travel, while supporting wonderful small businesses along the way. To learn more, visit: www.harvesthosts.com