The trend for taking pets on holiday is growing as over a quarter of pet owners in Europe admit they will only choose travel locations if they can bring their four-legged friends along too. New research by the holiday rental marketplace HomeAway also reveals:
- 1 in 5 European pet owners believe it is easier than ever to take pets on holiday
- 42% feel pets are an integral part of the family and should come on holiday
- More than half of dog owners (54%) have taken their dogs, and a quarter of cat owners (26%) have taken their cats on holiday
- But nearly half of all pet owners (48%) say a lack of pet friendly accommodation is the main barrier to taken dogs and cats on holiday
A survey by HomeAway, the online marketplace for holiday rental home, reveals that 1 in 4 dog and cat owners (26%) in Europe will base their holiday locations on whether it allows them to bring their pets.
The poll of 3,002 pet owners across UK, Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and Germany also revealed that while there remain a number of barriers to taking pets on holiday, 1 in 5 say it's easier than ever been before, which is good news as 42% consider pets to be an integral part of the family.
Yet the research also reveals a number of barriers to bringing pets on holiday, with finding pet-friendly accommodation being the leading barrier for almost half of all cat and dog owners (48%), with logistical problems such as quarantine (33%), and prohibitive costs of animal travel (25%) also scoring highly.
Erica Chang, Senior Regional Director, from HomeAway, said: “It’s clear that more and more people see their pets as part of the family and as such want to bring them along on holidays. As the trend becomes more common, it’s important for there to be a growing range of pet-friendly holiday accommodation options available. We are proud that over 250,000 HomeAway properties are suitable for pets and we are constantly looking to expand this because our properties are designed to bring the whole family together on holiday to create lasting memories.”
Across the whole of Europe, the main reason for taking pets on holiday is a strong sense of guilt at leaving them behind, particularly amongst dog owners. 17% of European owners say that they can’t enjoy a holiday without their pet in tow, while 18-24 year olds is the demographic that feels most guilt over leaving their pet behind (37%). This group is the most likely to cancel a holiday if they can’t bring their pet. 22% of over 65s also feel that they can’t enjoy a trip without their pet.
The survey also reveals that dogs are the most frequent holidaymakers, as a more than half (54%) of dog owners have taken their canine friends on holiday in the past. On average, over a quarter (26%) of cat owners take their cats abroad, but it seems that French felines have the most holiday trips, with almost a third (29%) of French cat owners saying they have taken them on holiday.
The most dedicated pet owners in Europe can be found in Spain and Portugal. The Portuguese consider pets part of the family most vividly (59%), closely followed by Spain (56%). Perhaps surprisingly, the UK, known as a nation of pet lovers, lags behind the rest of Europe with just 21% saying they consider their pets as part of the family. 32% of Spanish pet owners also say their choice of holiday destination is guided by whether or not they are able to take their pets. Again, this isn’t of such concern for those in the UK, as just 13% agreed with this statement.
The survey also outlined the three most important attributes for a pet friendly home: an enclosed garden, large open spaces and access to parkland.
HomeAway is an online marketplace that connects families, friends and groups of all sizes with people who have holiday homes to rent.With over a million listings across 190 countries, HomeAway has a property for any need. For more information on HomeAway, go to http://www.homeaway.co.uk
Picture courtesy of DOOG. DOOG products are distrubuted in the UK by AmPet Products.