Lonely Planet Writer

The reason more millennials are choosing camping vacations in the US

When it comes to camping as a vacation option, under 30s in North America are helping to make the activity an area of growth.

A couple camping and sitting under an awning.
Camping is growing in popularity thanks to millennials and young families. Image: Dan Armstrong/KOA

This is one of the stand-out findings of the KOA 2019 North American Camping Report, which examined the behaviours and attitudes of campers. KOA, which stands for Kampgrounds of America, found that there has been an addition of an estimated seven million new camper households in the US since 2014, and the percentage who camp three or more times annually has increased by 72%. The survey found a shift away from seniors and towards younger people embracing the activity, as 77% of campers in 2018 were millennials or Gen Xers.

A family glamping in teepee tents.
There has been an addition of an estimated seven million new camper households in the US since 2014. Image: Dan Armstrong/KOA

While options for camping have become far more luxurious these days compared with previous years, 59% of campers use a tent, 24% live it up in an RV of some type, and 16% camp in cabins. Half of all campers attributed their interest in camping to their “love of the outdoors,” and both millennials and Gen Xers say that they are more likely to identify themselves as lifelong campers, compared to those who did in previous years.

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Camping in Colorado. Image by Grant Ordelheide/Getty Images

Half of millennials indicated that life events, such as having children and increased income, enables them to camp more often, and families with children under the age of 18 were found to be the most devoted group of campers. When it came to exploring, 54% of those surveyed said that they prefer to travel to a destination that is located within 100 miles of their homes. A further 20% were keen on going further afield and said that they preferred trips of more than 200 miles.

An RV located in a leafy area.
A quarter of US campers camp in an RV. Image: AnjoKanFotografie/KOA

To read the full KOA 2019 North American Camping Report. please see here.