The Surprising New Trend in American Travel is a Very Old One: Camping

Mar 23, 2017

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Millennials get a lot of flak for their seeming obsession with selfies, smartphones and third wave coffee. But they’ve also got a serious love of nostalgia and are largely responsible for the comeback of old-school trends like vinyl, bourbon and, apparently, camping.

As Travel Pulse reports, a recent Kampgrounds of America (KOA) survey has concluded that more Americans are going camping than ever before. And no, we’re not talking about “glamping” in style in Antarctica or “champing” in an historic church in England. We’re talking about good, old-fashioned, roasting-marshmallows-over-the-campfire camping.

According to the KOA study, approximately 37 million American households went camping last year — with nearly a third of those campers making it a regular activity by spending a night under the stars on at least three occasions. Half of the campers surveyed said that they anticipate doing even more camping in 2017 — savvy travelers should plan trips to coincide with one of the days where America’s national parks (many of which include areas for camping) offer free admission, or consider venturing farther north where Canada’s allowing free entry to all its national parks through Dec. 31, 2017, when you sign up for a Discovery Pass.

So what does all of this have to do with millennials? Well, they make up a big part of the group that loves to travel to the great outdoors — and they also tend to travel in packs. Of all the groups surveyed, millennials are most fond of camping in groups of 10 or more and 51 percent said they plan to camp more this year, which could provide a great boon to the industry. Also of note: the study found that 95% of campers (of all ages) bring along technology, with more than half of them saying access to Wi-Fi plays a part in where they choose to set up camp. It’s a trend that’s likely to continue, as 90% of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 said they planned to camp as adults. And while those same teens do update their social media statuses while camping, half of them said that the ability to disconnect from technology was one of their favorite reasons for going camping. Change our status to: Surprised.

H/T: Travel Pulse

Featured image courtesy of Education Images/UIG via Getty Images.

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