Evidence shows that pet owners are spending more on products and services for their furry family members, and that purchasing power is also having an impact on the travel industry. More accommodations are catering to pet travelers, and cities are touting their pet friendly activities in hopes of drawing more visitors. So, are pet lovers really interested in traveling with their pets? We asked our readers about their vacation plans for 2018, and this is what they had to say:
We laid the foundation by determining what pets share our readers’ homes and learned that 5.1% have one or more birds, reptiles, or small mammals, 13.5% have one or more cats, 25.9% have one or more small dogs (less than 20 pounds), 26.2% have one or more medium dogs (21 – 50 pounds), 19.7% have one or more big dogs (51 – 80 pounds), and 9.6% have one or more very large dogs (more than 80 pounds).
To better understand the destinations, activities, and accommodations and might appeal to our readers, it’s helpful to understand if they’re traveling with children. We found that an overwhelming 95.4% are not.
To get a feel for how much pets are getting around, we asked how often they accompany our readers in the vehicle – whether it be around the block or across the country. The answers were exciting! Just 0.8% of respondents said they never take their pet in a vehicle, 6.7% said their pets go along less than once a month, 12.5% said about once a month, 25.4% said two to five times per month, and a whopping 54.6% said their pet goes for a ride more than six times a month!
We’re firm believers that safely comes first, so we were happy to see that 13.8% of pets are enclosed in a secured carrier or crate in the car, 33.3% use a safety harness or seat belt, and 7.9% rely on a pet barrier. What’s distressing is that 45.0% of respondents said their pets are unrestrained in the car!
Digging a little deeper, we discovered that the most common reason people sited for not buckling up their pet is that they hadn’t thought of it. Hopefully, they’ve pondered it a bit and concluded that the most important part of pet travel is making sure you all come home together safely.
Understanding where our readers like to spend their vacation time will help us determine where we should focus our “paws-on-the-ground” research. We were interested to find out that 15.4% prefer going to a dog friendly beach, 18.3% want to check out a national park or historic site, 12.5% opt for a hotel in a pet friendly city, 42.9% look for a destination with fresh air and lots of hiking, and 10.8% choose other types of vacations.
Learning how many overnight trips respondents are planing this year gives us a good idea of how excited people are to travel with their pets. The results of the survey showed that just 4.6% are not planning any overnights with their pets, 27.5% are planning at one or two trips, 36.7% are planning three to five getaways, and 31.3% plan to travel with their pet six or more times this year!
As we anticipated, the majority of respondents, 63.8%, travel by car or pick-up, 28.3% travel by motorhome or RV, 6.3% fly, and 1.7% choose a different mode of transportation.
With all the alternatives out there, it’s interesting to know that 35.4% opt for campgrounds or RV parks, 47.9% of respondents stay at pet friendly hotels, 11.3% choose vacation rentals, 3.3% bunk with friends or family, and 2.1% arrange other accommodations.
Leaving our pets behind can be difficult, and only 7.1% of respondents said they had no concerns when traveling without their pets. For 14.2%, their biggest worry is their pets will miss them or not understand why they left, 20.8% said they’re concerned that the care their pets receive won’t be the same quality they’d provide, 7.1% worried their pet would get sick or lost, 13.3% believed they’d miss their pets too much or feel too guilty to enjoy their trip, and 37.5% decided that won’t travel without their pets.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to fill out the survey. We wish you all fantastic, pet friendly travels!