2020 was the year of the campervan – but could 2021 be even busier, as people now see them as ‘the safe way to travel’?

It’s been a somewhat mixed season this year, with Covid wiping out the early season, but as soon as the UK public was given the green light for leisure travel to resume on 4th July, caravan and camper van hire companies saw demand for hires rise like never before.

Popular camper hire company Quirky Campers experience of 2020 was typical.  The company specialises in hiring unusual or ‘quirky’ vans, and as such each van has it’s own name and unique personality, giving campers a very individual hire experience.

In the 10 years that the company have been hiring out campervans, they report a consistent increase in demand for campervan holidays but this year, the company have seen hires more than double compared to last year, with demand completely exceeding supply for much of the year, meaning they were turning away customers from the beginning of August due to having maxed out on occupancy.  Many campsite owners also reported record seasonal bookings for camping pitches, with campers of all types keen to explore the UK after foreign trips were cancelled.

Campervans were especially popular, because they are considered one of the safest forms of travel during Covid-19; the contact required at ‘check in’ is minimal, you can self-cater all your meals and many campervans provide toilets and showers, there is no need to use public facilities. Add to this the fact that no ‘quarantining’ is required and this type of holiday provides ultimate flexibility, if your intended destination changes its regulations you can simply choose to travel somewhere else.

“One happy camper summed it up:

“Our Campervan provided us with a safe but exciting holiday experience this year and allowed us to be able to continue a level of normality in an unpredictable world.”

Judging by bookings, is seems those who had never experienced a campervan holiday before made 2020 their year to get out and travel the UK by road:

First Time Campervan Hirer Michele’s experience is typical:

“We really enjoyed our trip in Anneliese. It was our first campervan holiday, definitely due to Covid. We loved the flexibility, to move on if we did not like a place, or stay longer if we did.

“We met great like minded people. We coined the phrase “the pyjama run” which meant waking around 7am hopping in the cab without getting dressed, and driving to a great spot (with a great view) on or near the beach for breakfast. We enjoyed it so much that we have since bought our own campervan!”

Camper Van holidays are likely to continue in popularity, at least according to projections, with the staycation trend set to continue – so anyone planning to hire a camper in 2021 is advised to book early, as popular dates are likely to sell out fast.  While it’s great to see hire companies thriving, it’s good for the UK too, with holidaymakers investing money into the local economies rather than far off destinations.  Even better is that most camper vans are well insulated and heated, making them great for winter breaks.  This supports an all year round tourism industry which helps communities thrive and allows the UK’s beautiful hotspots to be recognised and appreciated.

Lindsay Berresford, Marketing Director, Quirky Campers, says:

“We have always believed that campervans provide the perfect combination of comfort and adventure and this has been true this year more than ever.

“We know how important the lockdowns have been to save lives, but they have left many of us with an intense desire to experience a sense of freedom when we can, while continuing to be responsible. We’re so proud of the way that our campervan owners have adapted; intensifying their cleaning regimes and offering contactless transfers.”

2021 promises another year of camping freedom for UK travellers