Kampgrounds of America Inc.’s (KOA) October Research Report found that 51 percent of campers booked at least one trip for 2024 compared to 13 percent of leisure travelers who have pre-booked their 2024 travel plans.

KOA said campers’ satisfaction when they camp could be the reason, with 58 percent stating that their 2023 trips exceeded expectations.

“Our data not only shows how dedicated campers are to this mode of travel, but how it’s providing them a rewarding travel experience,” said Whitney Scott, senior vice president of strategy at KOA. “We’re seeing high intent for both the rest of the year and 2024 as campers continue to choose camping over a myriad of travel options. Camping isn’t just an activity. It’s a priority.”

Winter camping’s appeal has grown 23 points since October 2022, with 40 percent of campers saying they would “definitely camp” this winter. Another 25 percent said they “will probably” take a winter camping trip.

The top recreational activities winter campers plan to engage in include fishing (58 percent), hiking (56 percent) and hunting (38 percent).

Campers’ interest in planning late-season trips is also shown by the 36 percent who said they are still delaying most of their traveling until the last quarter of 2023. In all, 63 percent of campers said they plan to take some or all of their trips after September. Regarding the 2023 holidays, 75 percent of campers plan for Thanksgiving travel, with 33 percent wanting to spend it camping. Half are also considering camping in December.

“Campers are eager to get out and explore new seasons,” Scott shared. “We’re also observing similar enthusiasm for travel during next April’s total eclipse. Unlike other travelers, campers are making solid plans to make the most of all months of the year, particularly those with natural events.”

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will be visible across the Americas, with 7 in 10 campers planning to view the eclipse will do so while camping. To date, 18 percent of campers shared that they have booked their eclipse travel plans, while 3 percent of leisure travelers have booked their travel plans to see the event. An additional 31 percent of campers said they plan to travel to witness the eclipse.

Photo courtesy MSR