To take your fur babies along or not to take them along is the dilemma most pet parents face when going on a vacation. However, after spending plenty of time with the pets during the lockdown period, many are now opting for pet-inclusive holidays. And the hospitality industry is seeing an upward trend in the number of guests bringing their pets along.
“There is a large, untapped market for pet-friendly getaways. The second most used search filter on our website, after ‘swimming pool’, is ‘pet-friendly’. This trend stems from the realisation that like us, it is unhealthy for our pets to be bound by the four walls of a home for long,” says Ankita Sheth, co-founder of a luxury holiday home chain, Vista Rooms.
Sheth highlights that pet parents don’t have many options for a place where their pets can roam in the open, while on holiday. She says, “Most hotels have restrictions on which areas are accessible for pets. Hence, we’ve seen families choosing villas over hotels, to get some open space, access to the entire house and flexibility to prepare meals for their pets just like they would at their home. We love hosting pets and making it a paw-fect holiday.”
Many travel companies are taking the leap and introducing new features on their booking portals to make it easier to find such accommodations. “Last year saw many people joining the ‘pet parents club’. In order to meet the demand and make it easier for parents to plan their travel, we have introduced a ‘pet-friendly’ filter,” says, Ritu Mehrotra, regional manager (South Asia) of Booking.com.
While holidaying with pets can be a fulfilling, it also brings along a lot of responsibilities. But Delhiites are all up for it. Lajpat Nagar resident, Akshita Taneja, a bank employee, recently planned a road trip to Shimla with her doggo. She says, “We hadn’t taken my dog for long drives before but it was a much-needed break. Taking short breaks in between the journey helped.” Another city resident, Aarush Sahni, a digital marketer, who’s
planning a trip with his pet, is finding help on travel groups on Facebook. He says, “I am excited and nervous. We’ll be packing his treats, favourite toys and have checked with the hotel about the areas that will be accessible to us.”
How to plan a road trip with pets
• Don’t plan to cover the journey in one go. Take small, regular breaks in between.
• Don’t feed the pet right before the trip and in a moving vehicle.
• Carry a travel kit for pet – Include leash, toys, treats, blankets etc.
• Make sure the pet is not hopping inside the vehicle during the journey.
• Don’t leave the pet unattended for safety concerns; add contact details to the collar.