Over half of pet owners are planning to travel with their pets and roughly 2 million domestic animals board commercial flights each year. Pet travel is an important part of the travel industry and should not be taken lightly or ignored. With over a third of owners saying they simply won’t travel without their pets, making traveling with pets as accessible as possible would be beneficial for both travellers and businesses.
Owners often sacrifice the length and the frequency of their vacations as a result of having animals, and many hold pet-friendly accommodations and destinations in high regard. Increasing the options and ease with which owners can take their furry friends may encourage these travellers to take longer, as well as more frequent trips and holidays. Read on for more information, as we explore the facts and figures behind pet travel in recent years.
53% of travelers take holidays with their pets, so pet-friendly accommodation is a growing industry trend.
It’s estimated that 2 million domestic animals travel on commercial flights every year.
52% of surveyed owners said that they only stay at pet-friendly properties.
6% of pets in the US board a plane every year.
27% of people said that they want to see more dog-friendly hotels and holiday parks. 16% would also like to see this in pubs.
15% would like to see more dog-friendly beaches, while 14% want more dog-friendly restaurants.
A recent poll found that 27% of pet owners are planning one or two trips with their furry friends in the next year.
37% are planning 3 to 5 getaways, while 31% intend to travel with their pet six or more times across the year.
Over half of owners plan to travel this year with their animal companions.
37% of owners have opted against travelling to stay at home with their dog.
78% of owners and their four-legged friends are driving and flying together more now than ever before.
37% of families travel with their furry friends. This is a 19% increase over the last decade.
Over 50% of owners intend to take their pets away with them this year.
In 9 out of 10 households, dogs are considered part of the family.
31.3% plan to take overnight trips with their pets six or more times a year.
37% of families travel with their four-legged friends. This is a 19% increase over the last decade.
42% of owners aged 55-64 take their four-legged friends with them travelling. This makes Baby Boomers more likely to do this than younger generations.
If they have to leave their pets at home, 25% of Boomers make homemade treats for their dogs to enjoy when they are away.
75% leave behind an article of clothing with their scent on it!
25% of women will take their dog on vacation, whereas just 14% of men will do the same.
Before we dive into the other facts and figures, let’s look at what percentage of Americans own dogs. In the US, 36% of households own a dog, so right away it looks as though pet travel will be an important factor in traveling for many. So how many Americans travel with their pets each year? A survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) found that 37% of animal owners travel with their pets every year. This is up by 19% over the last decade! Research also shows that 42% of 55-64-year-old owners take their pets with them making Baby Boomers more likely to bring furry friends on their travels than younger generations. Overall, these stats show that many people own pets, and many travelers look to take their pets along with them. Companies in the travel industry would do well to take notice of this trend.
It’s estimated that 2 million pets board commercial flights in the US every year.
A study of dog owners in the UK showed that 85% would rather a staycation in the UK with their pets than a holiday abroad without them.
For those opting to take UK holidays with their dogs, the study found the South East to be the most pet-friendly area.
Behind the South East, the two next most friendly UK areas are the South West and the East of England. These areas have the most walks, vets, and dog-friendly pubs.
According to owners, 61% of dogs enjoy trips to the US. This is followed by Canada and the UK.
18.3% of owners showed interest in visiting a historic site or national park with their pets.
12.5% want a holiday where they can stay at a hotel in a pet-friendly city.
42.9% of pet owners want a destination with hiking opportunities and fresh air.
An estimated 2 million pets board planes every year just in the US, so it’s certainly worth exploring where travellers like to go with their pets. A TripAdvisor study cited by Four Legged Travels showed that 61% of dogs enjoy trips to the US. This is followed by Canada and the UK. By surveying UK dog owners, Holiday Park company Away Resorts found that 85% would prefer a staycation with their dogs than to leave them behind and go abroad. It looks as though owners are willing to make sacrifices to vacation with their furry friends. For those travelling in the UK, the most pet-friendly destinations are the South East, South West and East of England. This is based on pet-friendly pubs, the number of walks, and the number of vets, so you can be sure that you’ll find everything your four-legged friend needs in these places.
Just 4.6% of owners are not planning to take any overnight trips with their pets.
15.4% of owners enjoy dog-friendly beach holidays the most.
27.5% of owners plan to take one to two pet-friendly overnight trips.
36.7% are planning 3 to 5 overnight stays with their pets.
31.3% intend to go on overnight trips with their pets six or more times during the year.
Out of dog owners that travel for Christmas holidays, 5/6 dogs will go along too.
We know travelling with dogs and other pets is something that owners value, but how frequently do people take vacations with their pets? Go Pet Friendly’s survey found that a considerable 36.7% are planning three to five overnight trips with their pets, while 31.3% intend on six or more! On the other end of the scale, just 4.6% of owners state that they are not planning any overnight trips with their pets. It seems that most owners don’t want to leave their pets out if they can avoid it. This doesn’t change at Christmas either! Pet product company Kurgo found that five in six dogs join owners travelling during the Christmas holiday period.
37.5% of surveyed owners said they won’t travel without their pets.
20% have previously phoned home to “speak” to their pet while away.
4% of owners say they have gone as far as to send their pet a postcard while they’re away.
While away, almost a quarter of owners carry a picture of their cat or dog and almost as many will come back with a souvenir for their pet.
15% arrange special play dates with other dogs while they’re away.
The same number of owners also plan video calls with their pets when they’re away.
3% of owners have even left an over-sized photo of themselves for their dog when they’re away from home
Just 7.1% of those asked don’t have concerns about travelling without their pets.
14.2% say that their biggest concern is that their pets will miss them or won’t understand where they’ve gone.
20.8% of surveyed owners worry that the care received by their pets while they’re away won’t match the quality of care at home.
7.1% worried that their pet will get lost or sick while they are away.
13.3% said they would miss their pets too much or feel too guilty to properly enjoy their break.
Sadly, there are times when our dogs, cats and other animals must be left behind. It’s not always clear what to do with pets when you're away without them, and it seems owners try all sorts of things to help with these situations. 37.5% of owners don’t see this as an option at all, and simply won’t go on vacation without their pets, according to the Go Pet Friendly survey. One fifth said that they’ve previously phoned home while they are away, and 15% arrange video calls to check on their pets. 4% have previously gone as far as to send a postcard home for their pet! Some of the biggest concerns owners have when travelling without their pets are that they worry that the care they receive won’t match the quality of care they usually have, and secondly, owners worry that they will be missed and pets won’t understand why they are not there.
The most popular travelling pets are dogs, and they make up 58% of pets travelling worldwide.
Cats come in second place, making up 22% of all pet journeys yearly.
Pet birds rank as the third most popular, ahead of horses, and small mammals.
With dog’s making up 58% of the pets travelling worldwide, they’re the most commonly travelled-with pets. Cats are the second most popular and account for 22% of pet journeys while, somewhat surprisingly, pet birds take third place.
Sources: PBS Pet Travel
80% of leisure travellers with dogs think pet-friendly policies such as dog-friendly beaches and pubs, are important, whereas only 5.7% find them to be unimportant.
20% of those who go on vacation with pets admit to having smuggled their pet into a hotel room.
35% of owners take shorter vacations due to having pets.
A quarter of owners take fewer holidays overall as a result of having pets.
7% of pet owners admit to having dressed their pets as service animals when they are really just regular pets in order to vacation together.
80% of travellers with dogs find pet-friendly policies to be important, so non-pet-friendly destinations and accommodations may not be viable for pet owners. This means that people are at times limited when travelling with pets. According to a TripAdvisor report cited by Skift, 35% of owners take shorter vacations because they have pets, and 25% of owners take fewer holidays overall for the same reason. It seems that regardless of whether the pet is to join them or not, they can limit the choices and freedom of their owners. However, some owners will try everything they can to avoid these limitations. According to Travel Agent Central, 7% of owners have disguised their pets as service dogs for ease of travel, while Skift reports that a fifth of travellers has smuggled their pet into a hotel room!
A considerable 54.6% of surveyed people said their pet joins them in the car more than six times a month.
56% of respondents have driven with their dog inside the vehicle at least monthly over the last year.
For dog owners, the most common activity engaged in while driving is petting the dog (52%).
Only 0.8% of respondents said they never drive with their pets in the vehicle.
6.7% said their pets accompany their owners in vehicles with them under once a month.
12.5% said pets join their owners in a vehicle with them about once a month.
25.4% said they travel with a pet in the vehicle two to five times per month.
According to the Go Pet Friendly survey, a huge 54.6% of people said that their pet rides in the car with them more than 6 times a month, while the Kurgo survey found that 56% of respondents said pets ride in the car at least once a month. Less than 1% said that they never drive with their pet in the vehicle, travelling this way with pets doesn’t appear to be an issue for many people. Secure carriers, safety harnesses, and pet barriers allow for safe transport for pets in cars. This form of pet travel is likely very popular for staycations and holidays a shorter distance from home.