A cool guy with a hat and sunglasses squats down in front of his lime green vintage camper van.

The Summer Of Stationary Nomads

It’s been a strange couple of years for those who enjoy the nomadic life. Rising fuel costs have replaced travel restrictions to prevent many from traveling.

Adventure seekers may be rethinking the journeys they’ve spent several months planning. There’s a chance that they may have to hit pause on their upcoming epic trips.

So could this summer go down as the summer of stationary nomads? Let’s look and see!

What Are Nomads?

According to Merriam-Webster, nomads have “no fixed residence but move from place to place, usually seasonally and within a well-defined territory.” They also describe them as “an individual who roams about.” These two definitions perfectly capture the nomadic lifestyle.

The nomadic community is a diverse one that spans many demographics. While there are nomads of practically every age, race, and ethnicity, the love of travel and adventures unites them. Many embrace the lifestyle to see new landscapes and enjoy new experiences.

There’s not a single one-size-fits-all approach to how nomads travel. It’s common to see nomads traveling in conversion vans and RVs, but some travel primarily by airplane. Nomads typically enjoy deciding when and where they’ll be traveling, which can be incredibly freeing.

Read more about why this year may be the worst year for RVing.

What Do Digital Nomads Do?

Digital nomads are people who work from the road. There has been a tremendous increase in companies offering remote work.

This gives nomads the flexibility to take their work on their adventures. They’re typically only limited by their internet connection.

Many digital nomads take their internet needs into their own hands and have robust internet setups. However, some digital nomads rely on public wifi at coffee shops and other establishments to stay connected.

Depending on the work, some nomads set their schedules. They may log a certain number of hours each week or specific times. However, they often keep their creative juices flowing by changing the view of their nomadic office window.

A cool guy with a hat and sunglasses squats down in front of his lime green vintage camper van.

What Will Stop Nomads From Traveling This Summer?

Two of the main obstacles that stand in the way of nomads traveling this summer are crowds and rising fuel prices. State and national parks have experienced record-breaking attendance numbers in recent years. Some parks are even instituting reservation systems to enter parks or their most popular attractions.

The increased crowds mean limited amounts of campsites and places to stay near the various attractions. If you can find a place to stay, you’ll need to pack your patience, especially when navigating increased traffic. Inconsiderate or rude groups on hiking trails and other attractions can ruin the experience.

Travels with Delaney has some ideas on how to RV in the midst of rising fuel prices.

Another obstacle in the way of nomads traveling is the rising price of fuel. No matter what type of fuel you’re putting in your vehicle, you’ve likely noticed it costs more to fill your tank.

Nomads that drive can log thousands of miles each month, making the fuel a considerable expense. Price increases in fuel typically increase travel costs, whether by plane, train, or automobile.

Read more about why this year may be the worst year for RVing.

Are Fuel Prices On the Rise?

The popular website and mobile app GasBuddy gathers data for fuel prices from around the country. While there has been a slight decline recently at the pump, the national average for gas is $1.37 more than it was this time last year.

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine creates instability in the market, making it nearly impossible for experts to predict where we should expect gas prices to be this summer. However, prices at the pump typically take much longer to drop than increase.

Are Airline Prices Going Up Or Down?

For nomads looking to take to the skies this summer, it’s not looking good. Delta president Glen Hauenstein shared that rising fuel prices are causing Delta to “need to recapture somewhere between $15 and $20 each way on a ticket.” Consumers should expect to pay $30 to $40 more this summer on a roundtrip ticket than in previous years.

Adit Damodaran, an economist at Hopper, stated, “It’s normal for airfares to rise 7% to 8% from January to March, but Domestic airfares are up 36% since the start of the year.”

The travel industry has taken a hit in the past couple of years. Massive increases in fuel costs are one of the last things this industry and consumers want to see this summer.

Where Will Nomads Go for the Summer?

Nomads across the country are changing their summer plans. Many aren’t canceling their plans altogether but are adjusting to reduce their driving miles. When possible, many will extend their stays in locations they want to explore. Instead of staying a few days, they’re opting to spend a week or more. 

Locations with easy access to public lands for boondocking will likely be popular for nomads this summer. Many will be looking to save as much money as possible on camping fees to put that money toward their increased fuel expenses.

Is It Worth Traveling This Summer?

The warmer weather and break in the school schedule can make summer an ideal time to travel. While travel this summer will cost more money, don’t let it stop you from adventuring.

It may not be the best time to take a cross-country trip, but you can find a local state park or nearby national park to make some memories. Compile a list of places within a reasonable driving distance and pick locations you can check out this summer. 

What places would you put on your list to visit this summer?

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