2020 sees an uplift of 238% in road trips

Research has shown the spike in camping and caravan ownership has an interesting link to COVID.

Dylan Urquhart
August 29, 2020
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Camplify has today released a research report highlighting that 2020 is no doubt the year of the road trip. With COVID-19 restricting international travel, West Australians have hit the roads to travel domestically and within their own states, as Camplify reports a 238% increase in Winter camping holidays compared to June last year.

Camplify has seen a shift in people’s attitude towards travelling within their state and which destinations they want to visit. Travellers are looking for a change of scenery and are seeking locations where they do not come into close contact with too many people.

As one of the first states to lift restrictions, WA saw the largest increase in bookings in May compared to April. Bookings were up by over 1200% in May and this momentum continued into June with a further 31% increase. The majority of these bookings were for the June public holiday and July school holidays. However, many have begun planning ahead, locking in trips for September and the Summer holidays.

The majority of hirers chose to wait for the school holidays, by which point regional restrictions would have been lifted, and this led to a surge in bookings, almost double the volume of bookings starting in June. Like many other states, travellers in WA are starting to plan ahead and book vans for September, January and Easter. Unlike some of the other states however, hirers seem to be prioritising the September holidays as opposed to the summer, with almost twice as many bookings currently scheduled to start during September compared to December/January.

Whilst caravans continued their dominance as Australia’s favourite type of van, accounting for the majority of Camplify bookings throughout May and June, Campervans saw a massive increase of 148% from last year. With overseas holidays on-hold, many families are planning their first domestic camping trip, with the majority of first timers opting for a campervan or motorhome. This translated into a 120% increase in ‘Drive’ holidays in June compared to 2019. ‘Tow’ holidays also saw significant YOY growth, largely driven by the high proportion of caravan bookings.

The average age of people searching on the site has decreased significantly. Almost 30% of users now fall within the 25-34 category and there has been significant growth in the 21-24 category. (This is compared with the same period in 2019 where almost 50% of hirers were aged between 35-55).

Camplify Founder and CEO Justin Hales commented: “Camplify’s mission has always been to make vanlife accessible to all. With overseas travel now on-hold for the foreseeable future, making camping accessible to Australians has never been more important.”

“We have already seen huge demand for road trips across the country, with families looking for socially distanced holiday options, particularly within their home states. We know Aussies love a good holiday, and local caravan or campervan breaks offer a great way for people to safely venture out and reset amongst nature once again. With self-contained caravans and campervans socially distanced by design, we understand that this style of travel offers holidaymakers an extra feeling of safety and control. 2020 is definitely the year of the West Australian road trip.”

With the average RV owners on Camplify earning between $400 to $2,500 per week, the van sharing platform offers a great way for locals to boost their income by participating in the tourism industry.

“With over 711,000 registered RVs in Australia*, and many only used for 4-6 weeks of the year, van sharing is a great way for families who might have been hit hard during this period to make a little extra income, and build that nest egg back up again” recommended Hales.

To explore vans available to hire now or to find out more about joining the RV sharing economy, head to www.camplify.com.au

Dylan Urquhart

Local Perth enthusiast, impromptu tour guide, small bar discoverer.