Lizzie Dragon
by Lizzie Dragon
Posted May 11, 2021

According to our research, yes! 6 in 10 Americans are jonesing for an adventure this summer, according to a recent survey.

Here’s what they’re doing, where they’re going, and how they plan to get there.

Try something new

Out of a panel of 2,000 U.S. residents, 59% say their goal is to try something new for the very first time during their vacation this year.

When asked to specify, respondents cited trying different foods, going bungee jumping, camping, and even “a cross country road trip to see my bestie.”

Almost a fifth of respondents (17%) cited a desire to go to see a new state or city, while more than a third of respondents (39%) said seeing friends and family is a must for their summer vacation. Meanwhile, two-thirds are more inclined to rent an RV or campervan now than before the pandemic started. 

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of online RV rental platform Outdoorsy, the survey also found that two-thirds of respondents have started their own summer bucket list.

Get outdoors

Popular plans for this summer included camping (47%), waterskiing (44%), wakeboarding (43%), surfing (41%), and other outdoor activities in sports. 

Camping and water sports aside, people also want to hike (41%), try their hand at skydiving (36%), and relax while fishing (35%).

Sixty percent are also putting together a shopping wish list, frequently citing a need for camping gear (46%), a tent (37%), and an RV or campervan (33%).

In fact, 62% would rather spend their vacation surrounded by nature this summer, which Outdoorsy co-founder and CMO Jen Young says is likely a reaction to the past year of social distancing and quarantine measures. 

As we head into the summer months, the desire and the demand to get out of the house is at an all-time high,” Young says. “We’re seeing more and more people seek out alternative ways to travel that allow them to stay away from crowds and be in a location where fresh air and open space are their closest companions. Choosing to rent an RV or campervan naturally opens the door and the ability to do that; it gives travelers the keys to controlling their environment.

Jen Young, Outdoorsy Co-Founder & CMO


Americans are planning to get outdoors a variety of ways. Top ten on the list are:

  1. Camping 47%
  2. Waterskiing 44%
  3. Wakeboarding 43%
  4. Surfing 41%
  5. Hiking 41%
  6. Skydiving 36%
  7. Fishing 35%
  8. Mountain climbing 34%
  9. Sunbathing 31%
  10. Going to a national park/monument 30%

Take a road trip

Three in five Americans said they felt at their absolute happiest when they’re on vacation. All the same, happiest means nothing without safety.

Driving (44%) topped the list of travel options that Americans consider to be the safest, followed by cruising (37%) and flying (33%).

In fact, 81% reported that because of the pandemic, they feel forced to find alternative travel destinations or an alternative form of travel compared to their usual routine.

For example, 63% would rather have a vacation stay closer to adventure, like camping on a beach, instead of staying in a hotel or AirBnB.

After a year of staying home, travelers are in search of something different this summer – from a relaxing getaway out in nature to a long road trip to take in as many sites as possible. The beauty of an RV trip is having a rig to fit every type of traveler and every type of vacation. So whether you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway or an epic journey across the country, Outdoorsy is ready to power your summer adventure.

Jen Young, Outdoorsy Co-Founder & CMO

Overall, 6 in 10 said they would spend significantly more money on their vacation if it meant they were 100% safe from COVID, the results suggest. 

In the meantime, Americans are doing everything they can to make sure they’re ready for their adventure; when asked what must-haves were necessary for their summer vacation, the No. 1 select answer was “being vaccinated” (40%).  


Apart from being vaccinated, some other must-haves were:

  1. Shorts 50%
  2. Camping gear 46%
  3. Sunscreen 45%
  4. Sunglasses 43%
  5. A tent 37%
  6. Pool noodles 37%
  7. An RV/camper van 33%
  8. Flip flops 32%
  9. Shoes 31%
  10. Rental car/rental vehicle 14%

Outdoorsy community insights

It’s no secret that the pandemic has changed a lot of things, including the way we travel. To gain further insight, we conducted a survey of 3198 folks in the Outdoorsy community.

When asked if they were planning an RV road trip this year, 91.4% said yes, with 51.3% hitting the road during the summer months (June, July, and August).

We also asked if they have opted to drive instead of fly to any destinations since the pandemic began, and 69.9% said yes — 32.4% have even driven 500+ miles instead of flying. Since then, many more are now inclined to take an RV trip in an effort to have a more safe, controlled vacation — 64.9% to be exact.

And when it comes to planning an RV trip, we wanted to know what the most difficult part is for renters. The top two responses were finding the perfect RV (26.2%) and finding and booking campgrounds (23.9%). Luckily, we can help!

Summer road trip, anyone?

Planning an RV road trip? Well, we’ve got the inside scoop on where to go and how to get there.

Hottest summer destinations

We’ve got the inside scoop on which destinations are hot hot hot this season.

1. Denver, Colorado

2. Seattle, Washington

3. Los Angeles, California

4. Phoenix, Arizona

5. Portland, Oregon

6. Anchorage, Alaska

7. Salt Lake City, Utah

8. San Diego, California

9. Minneapolis, Minnesota

10. San Francisco, California

11. Las Vegas, Nevada

Did one catch your eye? Better get planning!

RV trip planning resources

Here are some helpful resources to help you get planning and packing.

For more help with your summer planning, check out the Outdoorsy blog!

Lizzie Dragon


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