Lazy, entitled and glued to their phones.
These are the sorts of phrases typically applied to today’s milennials.
However, new data shows that millennials are fighting such stereotypes by embracing the great outdoors.
A recent report from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association shows that RV shipments are at an all-time high because of the younger crowd. Although we might think of the millennial generation as the last group responsible for the surge of camping vacations and trips, the numbers don’t lie. RV shipments were up 11.7% in the first quarter, with many millennials purchasing small towable trailers en masse.
For starters, consider how the RV industry itself is changing. Many new RVs are friendly to those who are tech savvy, including bells and whistles to support electronics and WiFi. Meanwhile, companies such as Outdoorsy.co have created a full-blown business by offering a rental-specific platform to all walks of life including milennials. In short, price isn’t as much of an issue and RVs are definitely catered to a more tech savvy crowd.
Yet perhaps that doesn’t tell the entire story as to why the outdoors are so appealing to young people.
Millennials Want to See the World
Plain and simple, travel is a major priority of younger generations. Romanticizing the idea of seeing the world and going far beyond their own backyards, millennials are hungry for adventure in any way, shape or form. In fact, the younger generation accounts for 20% of all international travelers who draw inspiration from not sticking around the same spot forever.
The Outdoors are Effectively Free
Beyond the concept of being “free,” there’s no denying that camping trips represent one of the cheapest ways to travel. Rather than having to pay an arm and a leg for lodging, many campgrounds cost a fraction of the price of a traditional hotel. Meanwhile, those traveling via RV have the option to bring their own food and comforts from home, meaning that they can effectively feed and entertain themselves without blowing out their budgets.
They’re Trying to Stay Active
At the same time, camping vacations are inherently more intensive than a lounging around a hotel room all day. Millennials are well of the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle and therefore will go to great lengths to avoid it. Activities such as hiking and exploring nature not only allow younger people to get moving, but also represent great content for their social media profiles. No matter how you slice it, anything that gets young people out and about is probably a positive.
They Want to Break the Stigma
Simply put, millennials are well aware of the stigma surrounding their lifestyles and stereotypes about their generation at large. While bucking these stereotypes might simply be a side effect of spending more time outdoors, the fact remains that millennials strive to be seen as more than just lazy moochers who can’t fend for themselves. Opting for the outdoors versus the comfort of a hotel room definitely flips the script on such stereotypes.
We’ll see whether or not the rising popularity of RVs continues, but either way it’s refreshing to see the younger generation making headlines for all the right reasons rather than being pigeonholed as lazy. Millennials might just have a few more surprises left in them after all.