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Survey: More Dogs Vacationing with Owners


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A new interactive road trip map from Orbitz ranks the seven most pet friendly trips to plan this summer.

Orbitz

More dogs are vacationing with their owners, according to an online survey conducted by Orbitz, a Chicago-based travel fare aggregator website. Vacationers’ top goals include taking a road trip (77 percent), visiting dog parks (20 percent) and taking selfies at tourist attractions (21 percent).

The Orbitz Summer Travel Survey, which included 2,000 U.S. travelers, revealed important considerations and destinations for pet owners, according to Orbitz. As such, Orbitz has launched an interactive road trip map ranking the seven most pet friendly trips to plan this summer. The 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.”

Travelers will go almost any distance to please their pets, according to the survey. The majority of pet owners said they most want to road trip cross-country with their dog (33 percent) and will spend up to $500 extra on food, lodging and activities together (40 percent). Schachner recommended that pet owners 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,” Schachner said. “Know what your pup can handle and plan accordingly.”

Travelers confessed in the survey 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 percent) or secure them in a crate (15 percent), 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,” Schachner said. “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 reported that hotel searches using their pet friendly filter have increased 40 percent year-over-year, and many properties advertise pet amenities like free dog dishes, treats and “yappy hours.”

Travelers expressed interest in joining a celebrity cross-country, the surveyed revealed. Those who they most would like to travel with were Miley Cyrus and her pet pig, Piggy (43 percent), followed by Andy Cohen and his rescue dog Wacha (20 percent). Political pets also fared well, according to the survey. Elizabeth Warren and her golden retriever, Bailey, and Michelle Obama and Bo, the former first family’s Portuguese water dog, topped the list for most popular write-ins.

The survey also revealed the following:

·       51 percent of travelers want to road trip with their pet in a SUV or van; 15 percent prefer a pickup for off-road adventures

·       12 percent would choose to road trip with their pets over friends, family, children or significant others

·       Travelers are torn between taking their pets on a road trip to the mountains (24 percent) or beach (23 percent)

·       Half of pet parents said the No. 1 thing they want to do with their pet on a road trip is drive with the windows down on the open road

·       The road trip movie most travelers would like to recreate with their pets is “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (43 percent), followed by “Little Miss Sunshine” (21 percent) and “Dumb and Dumber” (19 percent)

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