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Craving freedom and connection? Here are 6 Aussie travel trends for 2022

Aussies are planning to travel-big, far and wide in Australia in 2022 and a new study by Camplify shows that feeling free, reconnecting with people and nature, and spending time exploring is high on the to-do list.

Aussies are planning to travel-big, far and wide in Australia in 2022 and a new study by Camplify shows that feeling free, reconnecting with people and nature, and spending time exploring is high on the to-do list.

Recent research by one of Australia’s leading van-sharing platforms reveals that Australians intend to travel for longer periods far and wide across Australia in 2022.

Most will self-drive and many (86%) aspire to be on the road for multiple weeks or months.

Their key motivations for road trip travel are to feel free, reconnect with people and nature, and spend time in Australia’s most iconic, far away places.

Camplify has identified six key trends shaping how people will travel in 2022, with road trips a key component and a surge of younger people redefining camping as we know it.

1. Aussies plan to travel further, see more, do more and stay longer in 2022

Diving with Whalesharks on Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth WA
Diving with Whalesharks on Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth WA

Aussies will embrace road trip getaways throughout 2022, with their ‘must-dos’ including visits to iconic destinations and quintessentially Australian experiences.

As such, travel aspirations are as big and diverse as Australia itself, with many requiring more than a day of travel to reach, and more than a day to fully explore.

According to Camplify’s research, 54% of respondents said they would like to travel in a van for around two months or more in 2022, allowing enough time to see more of Australia and explore bucket list destinations.

Priority road trip activities include:

  • Visiting and watching the sunset at Uluru 55%
  • Driving down the Great Ocean Road 45%
  • Exploring outback Australia 38%
  • Hiking Cradle Mountain 27%
  • Swimming with whale sharks in Exmouth 26%

2. Non-static, self-drive holidays offer people freedom they’ve been craving

Outback NSW
Mutawintji National Park tour guide Keanu Bates showing visitors Aboriginal rock art at Mutawintji Historic Site

Revealing why people want to road trip travel in Australia in 2022, Camplify’s research showed the priority motivations include the freedom of having no set plan (63%), spending quality time with family (43%) and friends (20%) and getting to know ‘the real’ Australia (15%), meeting new people (31%), eating local (39%) and spending time in local communities/supporting local businesses (20%).

Travellers are also interested in getting away and respecting Australia’s indigenous heritage, natural places and wildlife (33%) and learning more about Australia’s culture and history (29%), as well as immersing themselves in outdoor activities include swimming (24%) and hiking (26%).

3. Van life transitions to van lifestyle

Camplify Travel Trends

Did you know van stays now represent around 20% of tourism nights in Australia?

In 2022 around 25% of people intend to experience ‘van life’ (for the first time). Being outdoors isn’t just a holiday anymore, it’s become a lifestyle choice for many as people shake off old travel habits and try new things.

Camplify found that Aussies are looking to incorporate a luxe lifestyle into their travel. Many are opting for RVs that include on-board bathrooms, making van stays ‘apartments on wheels’.

As attitudes shift towards the flexibility of home-based work, many people are looking to blend remote working with travel or to work from anywhere.

According to Camplify research, 74% of Australians are keen to work from a van. Furthermore, 59% of those interested in the possibility believe it would benefit their mental health as well as offer them the chance to explore areas of Australia if their travel was constrained to annual leave days.

4. Pets go on tour too in 2022

Camplify Travel Trends

This year’s holidays will include the entire family, whereby dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, fish and guinea pigs will be invited too.

Camplify saw a 131% increase in booking inquiries for travel with pets in 2021, and 44% of vans listed on Camplify are now ’pet-friendly’, an increase from 39% a year ago.

There are over 29 million pets in Australia 2 and the country has one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world.

Approximately 61% of households in Australia own pets, with dogs being the most common (40%), followed by cats (27%).

Road tripping with your fur baby? That has the be the definition of living your best life, surely.

Young people are challenging stereotypes and in doing so, bringing positive economic impact to rural and suburban Australia

Camplify Travel Trends

The caravan and camping experience is being redefined by ‘play nomads’ as more young people own, list and hire vans on Camplify than ever before.

A growing trend of younger owners and hirers is re-energising and redefining caravan and camping as we know it.

Challenging traditional grey-nomad van-ownership stereotypes, 39% of Camplify van owners are side-hustle savvy Millennials (ie, between 25-40 years old).

Recent data indicates 20-30-year-olds are the fastest-growing caravan and camping owner segment.

During 2021, Camplify saw an increase in younger generation hirers, including 161% growth in Generation Z hirers (ie, people currently between 21-24 years old) and 75% growth in Millennial hirers (ie, people currently between 25-40 years old).

Beyond travel-related tourism spend by hirers, Camplify van-share side hustles are contributing to local economies across Australia.

Most Camplify van owners are located outside of cities (77%), spread throughout regional and rural Australia, stimulating the local economy.

Travel at arms length: People live and holiday differently now

Camplify Travel Trends

Welcome to JanuAIRy. Outdoor travel enables people to travel with confidence, despite COVID-19 challenges and will be a key feature for 2022 holidays.

Socially distanced travel? Tick. With RVs providing a mostly or totally self-contained option for travellers, van-hire continues to be a popular domestic travel choice as people consider their personal safety and wellbeing while they travel against a backdrop of a growing appetite for freedom, outdoor adventures and a desire to reconnect with nature and explore more of Australia.

As Australians begin to embrace the ‘new normal’, travel remains an important part of the Aussie lifestyle, and outdoor options are elevated.

Click here for more information about Camplify.