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Road Trips and Time Spent Outdoors Tied to Higher Happiness Levels, According to New Survey Results

As North Americans search for safe and affordable travel alternatives this summer, new research shows hitting the road in an RV may be the way to go — especially for families on a quest for a semblance of sanity in what has otherwise been a summer of unprecedented stress and lingering uncertainty as we head into the school year. Road Trips

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According to findings from Outdoorsy’s first in a series of Road to Wellness national surveys, conducted on July 7 in order to obtain real-time perspective on outdoor travel sentiment, nearly 100% of North Americans (94%) reported they are happier and healthier when spending time outdoors.

“We had always believed that time spent outdoors has a positive effect on an individual’s wellbeing, but with this survey we learned more about the wellness benefits attributed to time spent outdoors with family,” said Jen Young, Outdoorsy’s Co-founder and CMO.

Outdoorsy’s Road to Wellness survey, which included 1,400 North Americans, found that:

  • The open road is a welcome relief: 71% of respondents who had to cancel their summer travel plans are now considering alternative vacation options, such as a road trip, as a result of COVID-19
  • Air travel is still a hassle: 65% of parents said they consider it easier to drive with children than to fly, with 75% of respondents noting they would describe their last road trip as a “much needed escape” and would plan to take one again soon
  • Quarantine companions are key: 70% of respondents noted they would rather go on a road trip with family or a significant other than go alone
  • Remote workers have caught the travel bug: WFH workers are 2.5 times more likely to say they would take more road trips if they had access to an RV, with 72% of respondents reporting they are planning to take more road trips as a result of widespread work-from-home policies due to COVID-19
  • Parents find kids are more appreciative on road trips: Of the parents surveyed, 93% said they feel more bonded with their children when on a road trip, with 75% adding that their kids say “thank you” more often when on vacation
  • Vanlife sees no age: Among the demographics surveyed, Millennials are 2.13 times more likely than any other generation to spend their COVID-related stimulus funds on a road trip this year and Boomers are 1.8 times more likely to opt out of plane travel this summer due to COVID-19

For those with the flexibility to work from the road, a change of scenery doesn’t have to tap into vacation days. Results from the survey found two factors that typically prevent North Americans from hitting the road — not having enough time off work (36%) and high gas prices (43%) — are now an advantage for the majority of individuals working from home, especially with gas prices at historic lows.

“The survey found an overwhelmingly positive sentiment to family road travel and anecdotal reports found that family ties were strengthened in direct correlation to the amount of time a family spends together in nature,” Young said. “We are seeing more and more people enjoy the silver linings from this unique and challenging time as they head for the open road to reconnect with themselves, their families, and the benefits of the outdoors.”

Overall, 88% of survey respondents say they want to incorporate the outdoors into their daily routine more often. Road Trips

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