Plan a Spring Trip with the Family Pet

With many hotels and attractions welcoming pets, there's no reason to leave the family dog at home.

When planning a spring road trip, more people than ever are deciding to take their pets along for the ride.

Pets are beloved members of the family, and it doesn’t seem right to leave them out of all the fun. To that end, the way pet owners plan for and travel with their pets has evolved. Likewise, a growing number of businesses are now catering to four-legged travelers to win the hearts (and loyalty) of pets and their people.

Pets are top dog
Travelers are putting their pets first when thinking about where to go and stay, and what to do. Gone are the days when a family dog just came along for the ride. Pet parents now want their pets to enjoy the full travel experience, and they are focusing on destinations that allow their pets to fit in to their travel adventures. There are many pet-friendly places to visit, along with plentiful pet-friendly lodging options.

Pet parents are choosing destinations with activities for themselves and their pets to enjoy. For those who love to get outdoors and be one with nature, travelers can choose rustic cabins with natural surroundings, or campgrounds near the woods for hiking and exploring. If they have a dog that loves to dig in the sand and frolic in the waves, families can book a beachfront condo or lakefront vacation rental so the whole family can enjoy the water and all the excitement that comes with it.

Additionally, more travelers are choosing privately-located vacation rentals and resorts when including their pets on their trips. This allows everyone, even the four-legged family members, to kick-back and relax in more secluded settings.

Buckle up
It’s second nature for most people to buckle their seatbelts in their vehicles, and to make sure their passengers are buckled up as well. But what about their pets?

Pets have often been allowed to travel unsecured, which actually poses a danger to themselves and others in the vehicle. The good news is an increasing number of pet parents are securing their animals when traveling. There are a number of popular safety devices including pet seat belts, travel kennels, vehicle pet barriers, and even pet car seats.

Pet amenities 
Many pet-friendly accommodations now offer expanded services, pet concierges, and on-site options for people and their pets. They realize that making pooches happy goes a long way in making their owners happy, too.

Offering unique and exclusive pet amenities is another way that pet-friendly lodgings are making themselves specialized for people and their pets. These pet perks can range from presenting pet welcome baskets at check-in, to offering special on-site play areas, and even providing room service just for pets!

Pet-centric activities
Many businesses are jumping at the chance to roll out the red carpet for people and their pets. This quickly expanding activity list includes boating and sightseeing, going on whale watching tours, visiting wineries, mining for gems, stopping by pet-friendly breweries and restaurants, and popping in at local dog bakeries for some homemade treats.

Adventure travel
Pet parents are skipping the ordinary and jumping to the extraordinary when it comes to adventures with their pets. This type of trip includes highly active and adventurous things to do, such as hiking to a mountain summit, participating in a 5K race, or getting down and dirty in a mud run. However, pet parents are also choosing more low-key adventures, such as exploring caverns and caves, walking through towns on ghost tours, kayaking and paddle boarding, or just visiting historic sites. Ultimately, more pet parents are bringing their pets along for this wide assortment of new adventures.

TripsWithPets, located in Wake Forest, has been helping its clients find and book pet-friendly accommodations since 2003. For more information, visit

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