The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the travel and leisure sector, but there’s one type of travel that’s boomed— RV travel. As airports closed runways, hotels closed doors, and governments closed borders, vacationers packed into RVs and explored the great American outdoors.
In July 2020, a few months after the pandemic spiraled, RV sales hit a record high as Americans took “staycations” instead of fancy foreign holidays.
There have been challenges. Over the last year or so, campsites have opened and closed and opened again, while state-specific shelter-in-place orders have made it tricky to drive too far from home. But as international tourism opens up again, the RV trend looks here to stay.
Why are More People RVing?
RV travel used to get a bad rap. Why spend hours on the open road when you can fly to a far-flung destination in a quarter of the time? Perhaps people misinterpreted the lure of RVing, where the journey is just as important as the destination.
For many Americans, RVing started as a post-COVID necessity. But now it’s the preferred transportation method. That’s because travelers see things they can’t see in a big city.
Depending on where they are in the country, RVers drive past lush green hills, dusty desert landscapes, and lots of cows and sheep. They cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway, Cape Cod Scenic Drive, or one of the iconic routes that traverse the country. They stop at off-the-beaten-track locations or experience the splendor of America’s national parks. It’s no wonder 40 million Americans regularly use an RV to travel.
RVing may not suit someone who likes the comforts of Business Class, but traveling in one of these vehicles is far more relaxing than it used to be.
New accessories like portable air conditioners, mini-fridges, and showerheads make life on the road easier. Another lifesaver? Investing in a custom luxury mattress for a snooze in the back of the vehicle.
What’s the Future of RV Travel?
For many Americans, there’s no rush to jump back on a plane just yet. Research shows that 20 percent of people are more interested in RVing than any other travel option, especially those aged 18-34. So RV travel could be a trend long after the pandemic ends.
RV travel gives Americans a benefit that’s not possible with air travel: An opportunity to explore. With increased interest in this travel option, booming RV sales, and new travel accessories like custom luxury mattresses, more travelers will take the road the next time they go on vacation.