The great American road trip has officially taken on dogs. According to a recent online travel survey, 77% of vacationers are planning to take their pets on a road trip this summer. And some of us will even sneak pets into hotels. Shhh!
The survey results from 2,000 U.S. travelers revealed important considerations and destinations for pet owners – 20% will visit dog parks and 21% will take selfies at tourist attractions, according to a recent survey by Orbitz. And to get there, the folks over at Orbitz.com created a new pet road trip map.
Seven pet-friendly routes were ranked based on photo-worthy road trip attractions, outdoor activities, pet-friendly lodging and bars and restaurants in geographically diverse regions of the U.S. Points of interest are marked every 100 miles or less and are available for download in Google Maps.
“There’s a road trip for every kind of dog and dog owner,” said Dan Schachner, Animal Planet host, announcer and annual “rufferee” of the Puppy Bowl. “Routes with off-leash parks, hiking trails and open play areas are great for active dogs. More passive dogs might enjoy an urban adventure with dog-friendly hotels and minimal walking.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Orbitz survey revealed that travelers will go almost any distance to please their pets. The majority of pet owners said they most want to road trip cross-country with their four-legged friends (33%) and will spend up to $500 extra on food, lodging and activities together (40%). Schachner advises pet owners to try a few short trips first before embarking on an epic adventure together.
“Taking a pet with you on a road trip is a great way to bond and establish a deeper connection, but it’s important to consider your dog’s age, breed and personality. Know what your pup can handle and plan accordingly.”
Travelers confessed that when it comes to their pets, they’re not always great at following the rules of the road. Most drivers let their pets ride in the back seat (58%) or secure them in a crate (15%), but one-in-four travelers said their dog calls dibs on the front seat or even rides in their lap.
“It’s tempting to let our pets sit up front with us, but the safest place for a dog is always in a crate with a seat belt or harness,” said Schachner. “If renting a car, be sure to lay protective covering down to avoid any extra cleaning costs from excessive pet hair, soiling, or damage. This way, your pet is comfortable and happy and so is your wallet.”
One-in-three travelers also said they would sneak their pet into their hotel room. However, more pet owners are searching for pet-friendly lodging and hotels. In fact, Orbitz reports that hotel searches using their pet-friendly filter have increased 40% year-over-year2, and many properties advertise pet-menities like free dog dishes, treats, and “yappy hours.”