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ReportsLeveraging Insights from Outdoorsy's Generations in the Wild 2024 Report: How RV Park and Campground Owners Can Enhance Guest Experiences

Leveraging Insights from Outdoorsy's Generations in the Wild 2024 Report: How RV Park and Campground Owners Can Enhance Guest Experiences

May 21, 2024

Many RV parks and campgrounds are not serving just one demongraphic. RVing and camping interest reaches across generational divides, and understanding the preferences and behaviors of different generational groups is crucial for RV park and campground owners.

Outdoorsy Generations in the Wild Report 2024 cover image

Outdoorsy, a leading online RV rental and outdoor travel marketplace, has released a report titled "Generations in the Wild: The 2024 U.S. Family RV Travel Report" which explores the unique characteristics and travel behaviors of four distinct generations of road trippers, RVers, and campers.

This report, conducted by Cairn Consulting Group, aims to provide valuable information to help the outdoor travel industry better serve its diverse clientele.

Company and Report Background

Outdoorsy, founded with the mission to restore people's relationship with the outdoors, has revolutionized access to outdoor travel since its inception in 2015. By connecting RV owners with travelers through its innovative rental marketplace, Outdoorsy has facilitated over seven million travel days across North America. The "Generations in the Wild" report is Outdoorsy’s first independent research endeavor, aiming to uncover the motivations, aspirations, and benefits of RV travel across different generations. The study, which surveyed 3,200 families and 400 teens, offers a comprehensive view of how each generation engages with outdoor travel, providing RV park and campground owners with actionable insights to enhance their offerings.

Key Findings for Gen Z Travelers

Gen Z (born 1997-2012) represents a group of young, tech-savvy travelers who are interested in frequent, budget-conscious trips. For RV park and campground owners, understanding the following key points about Gen Z can help in attracting and retaining these young adventurers:

  1. Affordability and Proximity: Gen Z travelers tend to travel frequently, with 65% planning at least five trips annually. They prefer to stay close to home, with trips averaging 100 miles less than those of older generations. Nearly half (47%) opt for free RV sites due to budget constraints.
  2. Tech Integration: Strong Wi-Fi connectivity is crucial for Gen Z, who often work remotely during their trips. Ensuring robust internet access and digital booking options can significantly enhance their experience.
  3. Family Focus: Most Gen Z RV parents (80%) have young children under 10, and they favor traditional motorhomes for their spaciousness and convenience.

Key Findings for Millennial Travelers

Millennials (born 1981-1996) are characterized by their love for unique experiences and a balanced approach to technology. Key insights for catering to Millennial travelers include:

  1. Disconnect to Reconnect: Seven out of ten Millennial families use RV trips as an opportunity to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature and family. Popular activities include scenic drives (87%), hiking (85%), and swimming (84%).
  2. Family-Centric Activities: Millennials value family time, with 90% highlighting RV trips as a vital way to bond. Evening traditions such as family meals, campfire chats (88%), and night sky viewing (85%) are particularly cherished.
  3. Pet-Friendly Options: Many Millennials travel with pets, making pet-friendly facilities a significant draw for this demographic.

Key Findings for Gen X Travelers

Gen X (born 1965-1980) seeks a slower pace and more immersive travel experiences. For RV park and campground owners, appealing to Gen X travelers involves:

  1. Work-Life Balance: Gen X travelers are adept at maintaining a strong work-life balance, with 47% never bringing work on trips. This makes them ideal guests for longer, more relaxed stays.
  2. High Satisfaction: This group reports the highest levels of satisfaction with their RV trips, with 89% feeling more connected with their families as a result.
  3. Preferred Activities: Gen X enjoys slow-cation activities like scenic drives (90%), picnics (86%), and night sky viewing (85%).

Key Findings for Baby Boomer Travelers

Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are returning to outdoor travel in their retirement years. Key insights for serving Baby Boomers include:

  1. Family Inclusion: Three-fourths (74%) of Baby Boomers plan to include their adult children in their RV trips, and 31% will bring at least one grandchild. This highlights the importance of multi-generational facilities.
  2. Longer Trips: Baby Boomers prefer longer trips, averaging 400 miles, and are less likely to stay at private campgrounds, with 67% opting for public lands.
  3. High-Quality Facilities: This generation values high-quality amenities and well-maintained grounds, making them more likely to appreciate premium sites and full hookups.

Other Key Findings

The report also highlights several cross-generational trends that are important for RV park and campground owners:

  1. Seasonal Preferences: Understanding peak travel times for different generations can aid in resource planning and marketing strategies.
  2. Sustainability Practices: Eco-friendly practices are increasingly important to travelers of all ages, indicating a shift towards more sustainable travel preferences.
  3. Technology Integration: There is a growing expectation for seamless digital experiences, from booking to on-site services, across all generations.

By understanding and addressing the distinct preferences and needs of each generation, RV park and campground owners can create more personalized and satisfying experiences for their guests. Leveraging these insights from Outdoorsy's Generations in the Wild report can lead to higher customer satisfaction, repeat visits, and positive word-of-mouth, ultimately driving the success of their businesses in an evolving travel landscape.

Outdoorsy Generations in the Wild cover page

You can read the entire report here

Outdoorsy is a peer-to-peer rental company. Learn more about how to host RV renters by listening to this Campground Confidential podcast episode

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