Americans are crazy about their pets. In fact, it's estimated that the pet industry in the U.S. reached $99 billion in 2020. That's a lot of cat treats and doggy sweaters! If you're a pet owner yourself, you certainly understand the desire to provide your devoted companion with the best life possible.
While healthy food, clean water, and a safe place to sleep are the necessities, your pet likely needs socialization and a variety of activities to keep boredom and bad habits at bay. As pandemic-related travel restrictions continue to ease, you might consider taking your pet along on your next vacation. Take a look at some of the best ideas for an inter-species getaway.
Consider the Journey
One of the first considerations when thinking about vacationing with your pet is your method of travel. A long transatlantic flight can be extremely stressful for animals, so you should weigh whether the fun activities at your destination will offset that trauma. If not, it's probably best to board your pets at a reputable kennel or hire a reliable pet sitter to care for them in the familiar comfort of your home.
If you're dreaming about and researching Mediterranean cruises, good for you! You'd be hard-pressed to find a more romantic and stress-free way to explore the beauty and culture of places like Greece and Italy. But, since most cruise lines prohibit or restrict animals onboard to service animals only, you may need to leave Peanut safely behind while you enjoy your grand adventure. You can always make up for it by bringing back a special pet souvenir.
Get Up and Away
Asheville, North Carolina, is a pet lover's paradise, especially if yours happens to be canine. Many hotels and restaurants in this artsy town located in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains are dog-friendly, as is the famed Biltmore House and Estate, with its 250 acres of grounds. If the humans decide to tour the inside of the palatial home, dogs can safely rest up in nearby self-service kennels.
Discover the Great Outdoors
If you and your pet are craving more of an outdoorsy getaway, consider Maine's Acadia National Park. There is an abundance of hiking, climbing, camping, kayaking, fishing, and birdwatching available for humans and others alike. In the nearby town of Bar Harbor, you'll find Little Long Pond, an off-leash paradise with meadows, trails, and a pond for romping and exploring.
Act Like City Slickers
You might be surprised to learn that pets can enjoy big-city life just as much as a country jaunt. On summer Sundays in Chicago, dogs and their owners can board a specially-equipped boat and cruise the lake, learning about all of the city's pet-friendly highlights.
Farther south, in the country music capital of Nashville, there are pet-friendly hotels and restaurants galore with patios for taking in some live music. The city also manages more than half a dozen dog parks where canines and their humans can freely kick up their heels.
Become Beach Bums
If sand between the toes, or paws, is more your idea of a vacation, there are plenty of oceanside destinations where you and your pet can soak in the sun. On the west coast, San Diego offers beautiful off-leash beaches and amazing hotel amenities, while Carmel-by-the-Sea is renowned for its charming cottages and red carpet treatment for pets.
On the Atlantic coast, you can't go wrong with legendary Key West. Along with pet-friendly accommodations and beaches, you and your canine friend can charter a boat and catch dolphins frolicking in the beautiful waters. Plus, there's a nightly sunset tradition enjoyed by people and pets alike.
With a little bit of planning and preparation, traveling with your pet can be a fun and memorable experience. Think about the activities you both enjoy, find the destination that offers the perfect amenities, and set off for a grand adventure together. Not only will you provide your pet with stimulating new experiences, but you'll also deepen the loving bond between you and your best friend.
About the Author:
Mia Morales is a loving wife and mother of twins from Colorado. She is a self-described “DIY addict”, and loves to decorate her house and office with her creations. As a mother, Mia is really passionate about health, nutrition, and what she puts in her body. When she’s not writing, you can find her playing with her little dog and kids. Who says moms aren’t superheroes?