2020: The year of the road trip

Camplify this week released a report highlighting 2020 as the year of the local road trip.

With COVID-19 restricting international travel, Australians have hit the roads to travel domestically and within their own states.

Camplify reports a 125 per cent increase in winter camping holidays compared to last year.

The report outlines key travel trends among Australians during May and June 2020 compared to May June 2019, as state borders began to reopen, and lockdowns started to lift.

The travel industry may be feeling the pain of COVID-19, but confidence has begun to increase and is continuing to do so – rapidly.

By the end of June, bookings had increased by 1125 per cent compared to two months prior, when lockdown restrictions were first implemented.

It seems Aussies are eager to get back out and travel.

Having missed the Easter Holidays due to COVID-19 shutdowns, Aussies were eager to hit the road once restrictions were lifted. This resulted in a 115 per cent increase in demand for winter camping bookings in June compared to 2019.

The vast majority of these were organised for the July school holidays.

As one of the first states to make announcements about lifting restrictions, WA saw a surge of early bookings in May.

This led to a 1200 per cent increase in bookings compared to April.

SA and NSW also saw increases of 711 per cent and 543 per cent in bookings respectively in May.

When local travel restrictions were lifted in Queensland, bookings increased by 140 per cent in June, accounting for almost a third of Camplify bookings across Australia.

Caravans continued their dominance as Australia’s favourite type of van, accounting for the majority of Camplify bookings throughout May and June, but campervans saw a massive increase of 148 per cent from last year.

With overseas holidays on hold, many Aussies are planning their first ever domestic camping trips. The majority of first timers are opting for a campervan or motorhome.

There has been a 120 per cent increase in driving holidays in June compared to 2019, while ‘tow’ holidays also saw significant year-on-year growth, largely driven by the high proportion of caravan bookings.

The average age of people searching on the site has decreased significantly. Almost 30 per cent of users now fall within the 2534 category and there has been significant growth in the 2124 category.

This is compared with the same period in 2019 where almost 50 per cent of hirers were aged between 3555.

“Camplify’s mission has always been to make van life accessible to all,” said founder and chief Justin Hales.

“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 Australian road trip due to its flexible nature.”

Do you plan to hit the road soon? Or have you already hit the highways? Where did you, or do you plan to go?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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