Despite the coronavirus lockdown, millions of Americans plan on traveling this summer. However, many are deciding against booking flights or taking public modes of transportation. Travel experts predict this will be the year of the resurgence of the old-fashioned road trip.
Dr. Lynn Minnaert, a clinical associate professor at New York University’s Tisch Center of Hospitality spoke on the year’s travel trends. “It is predicted that car travel will be the preferred transportation mode,” Minnaert said.
According to a recent RVIA study, more than 46 million Americans say they plan on hitting the open road in an RV. This is nearly double that of 2019. Also, the two largest publicly-traded RV companies, Winnebago and Thor, saw shares jump 244% and 230% respectively, up from March lows, CNBC reports.
With travel restrictions and health guidelines, travel presents its challenges. Check out below what millions of Americans are doing to get out of the house but stay safe at the same time.
Many travelers are avoiding big hotels and looking for vacation homes. For example, sites like Airbnb recorded considerably more nights booked for U.S. listings this past spring than in years past.
Other sites like VRBO and Booking Holdings saw substantial increases in vacation rental reservations. Many of these locations are in remote areas, not in big cities. “Every place where you see water in there or mountains or national parks, the homes around it are what’s starting to get booked up,” VRBO president Jeff Hurst stated.
To practice social distancing, many vacationers are going on camping trips this summer. “Camping is also expected to become more popular, as well as quieter, less-visited destinations,” Dr. Minnaert says.
Along with RV sales increases, bookings on camping reservation site Campspot rose 10% since May. RV’s accounted for 70% of bookings followed by cabins at 21% and tents at 6%. Camping popularity is up, it will still look quite different than in years past.
While many travelers may not plan on staying at a high-end hotel, that doesn’t mean they want to forego luxury altogether. The demand for luxury road-tripping is “wide open” according to Lisa Simeone, principal at Simeone Deary Design Group.
Simeone explains there are a number of amenities high-end locations are offering. Some of those high-end options include “in-cabin fridges that are stocked ahead of time with only items you selected and pre-ordered from a curated list, and an app that connects you to partnered locals that offer results-driven health and wellness or indulgent spa services, and the perfect transportation services help you get there.”
More Safety Suggestions
Regardless of your route and destination, it’s important to comply with health and safety guidelines. “Continue maintaining your distance from others,” Oksana Pyzik, senior teaching fellow at University College London’s School of Pharmacy, says. “If you or anyone in your family start to feel sick, cancel your travel plans and stay home.”
Here’s a list of more important travel safety tips, compiled by CNBC travel experts:
- Use your own vehicle when possible.
- Bring disinfectant wipes and use them on heavily-touched surfaces.
- Pack a mask and wear it in public.
- Stay relatively close to home. Travel restrictions may change.
- For campers, consider “glamping.”
- Prepare your own meals when you can.
- Practice social distancing.
- Reduce stops en route by packing your own snacks and drinks.