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The idea of leaving everything behind and packing your life away into a campervan for a year may seem like a daunting task for many. But after months in lockdown and a plethora of international restrictions making worldwide travel more challenging this year, spending 12 months living the “van life” could seem like a welcome prospect. Between July to September, Indie Campers experienced a 66 percent increase in requests from people interested in working from a campervan as digital nomads, compared to 2019.
Over the summer period from June to August, Indie Campers also saw a 225 percent increase in campervan stays of more than four weeks.
There’s also a 40 percent increase in people saying they’re travelling by themselves with a campervan.
Indie Campers also believes this could suggest that more people are working from home while travelling via campervan.
In previous years, Indie Campers has recorded most of their customers being between the ages of 25 and 35 years old with most people travelling in couples or with friends.
This year has seen a shift in demographic with more customers travelling as a family.
The trend potentially reflects how the coronavirus pandemic has seen numerous governments across Europe ask residents to only socialise within their own households.
An increase in more people wishing to rent a campervan for over four weeks alongside more people working from home led Indie Campers to launch their subscription plan for long term rentals across Europe.
With more people interested in living in a campervan long term and living the “van life”, the subscription plan offers the chance to experience just that without a person having to buy their own van or motorhome.
The company’s marketing representatives Pernille Hembre and Melita Dsouza spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about why the “van life” has seen a surge in popularity.
Ms Hembre explained that this summer was a turning point whereby customers began changing their habits.
“Shortly after the summer holidays, we saw that people in general were going on longer vacations, we saw a lot of requests from digital nomads wanting to travel with us long term,” she said.
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“We also saw a lot more people travelling alone which suggests they’re working and travelling.
“And we really saw this as an opportunity, with more and more people working from home – at least for the foreseeable future.”
Ms Hembre explained that holidaymakers haven’t been able to travel as much as they wanted to this year which has also led to increased demand.
Ms Dsouza said that there has been a surge in interest in “van life” but that many don’t want to invest straight away in a campervan.
“The interest in van life has increased and a lot of people are contemplating buying a campervan,” she explained.
She continued: “Instead of buying – it’s a massive investment to buy a motorhome – people like us who are aspiring and want to work from anywhere, they can get into the subscription model and take a van for at least two months and see if they like it and then make an investment.
“I think we’re the first to bring this model in the UK as well. The idea is to give them an opportunity to experience the van life for a few months to a year.”
Some people have also become more aware of the impact travel has on the environment, especially air travel.
Ms Dsouza said she believes this could also be why more people are turning to campervans and motorhomes.
“A lot of people are more aware of the environment, about slow travel and taking less flights,” she explained.
She added: “I think people are getting more and more aware of these things compared with last year.
“I think that also makes a difference to our business and where we are at today.”
When it comes to road trips, Indie Campers can recommend trips across the UK and Europe.
Express.co.uk asked both Ms Pernille and Ms Dsouza what their dream road trips would be despite the coronavirus pandemic.
“For me in the UK, I love the southern regions from the Jurassic coast all the way to Cornwall,” began Ms Hembre.
“But I would also love to do the Lake District and maybe spend some weeks in the middle of nowhere in the Highlands.”
For Ms Dsouza, Scandinavia was more appealing especially at this time of year.
She said: “Iceland maybe. I think travelling in a motorhome in Iceland is so much more affordable which would be super interesting – and seeing the Northern Lights.”
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