"Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going."
- Paul Theroux


Views and Interviews

November 2022

Taking pets along on vacation

This month we’re starting a conversation on a topic that we’ve been trying to feature for a long, long time. It’s about being able to take your pets (largely dogs) along with you on vacation. And the moment you say “pets” and “vacations” in the same sentence, two things come to mind: (1) Is the resort pet friendly? (2) If it is not, can you find someone to look after your pets?

To find out more, we reached out to a group of professionals who are roughly between 30 and 40 years old – these are people who are active on the travel and vacation front. And as we have mentioned in our previous interviews, this demographic is useful to us – and relevant, in terms of vacation interests and feedback. (Where they go, what they do, and what they look for at a vacation resort.)

For this feature, we asked them about “pets and vacations” and here’s what some of them had to say.

Mallika Kumar – IT consultant

We have two cats that are so strongly grounded at home that they will not survive even for one day anywhere else - even the neighbor’s place which is practically next door. (And a familiar hunting ground for food, when they have fish on their menu for lunch, or dinner.)

I sometimes think it’s easier to take a dog on a vacation with you, than a cat. For one thing, I haven’t seen it done before; I also think it’s hard restraining a cat at a resort location. And if I do manage to take my cats along, I’ll find them on a tree in five minutes – and refusing to come down. Keeping them on a leash defeats the purpose of going on a vacation with your pets.

Veena Bhaskaran – interior designer

We have a friendly dog, who loves a change of scene as often as we can manage that. Long drives, walks in the park, and vacations in country-home settings – these are some of the things he loves to be part of. But taking him to a resort at our timeshare location is not an option, because our home resort does not allow pets as part of the family. So that’s a NO even before we get there.

I am looking at other timeshare resorts via the exchange options available, and I have come across one that does allow pets. But there’s more to it than simply taking your pet along; you’ve got to check on pet-handling guidelines and other restrictions that may be enforced in public spaces. You also need to check on meal options available, and what you can additionally take along. (Things like basic medication based on guidelines given by your vet.)

Gauri Srinivasan – investment advisor

We have three dogs at home, and if you’re saying a vacation becomes difficult with one pet, imagine our predicament with three. It’s a huge challenge for us, and very expensive if we were to consider a good kennel service option for one week.

Another problem with a kennel service is the infections your dogs can pick up out there – even if a place is managed well. Our timeshare resort is pet friendly but has a limit on the number of dogs you can bring along per room booking. And that invariably is one dog per booking.

Vinod Prabhu – banking professional

I have a cousin in Chennai who volunteered last year to come over and look after our dogs – right here at home. She’s a real dog lover and our dogs took to her almost instantly – I think they can instinctively tell when it’s someone who can connect on their frequency.

Having a family member taking over that responsibility at home (which is familiar ground) makes things easy and reassuring. Because we can keep in touch via phone calls and video calls – just to keep the conversations going with our pets.

Frankly, I am not comfortable with the thought of using a pet as a reason for not going on a vacation, though that could be one of the reasons. If you don’t have a cousin helping out, as mine did, find a friend (dog lover) who can look after your pet for a week. It’s going to be difficult, but you can try.

There you go – you’ve just heard what young professionals have to say about the prospect of taking a pet along on your vacation. Or the challenges linked to leaving a pet behind. They also talk about resorts not opening their doors to dogs (and other pets.)

We’ve also realized that pets and vacations can draw many comments, suggestions, and feedback – so we’re keeping this line open. For information on kennels, volunteer caregivers, and other services you might find useful.

Here’s some additional reading on the subject:

AAA and Best Western Study Reveals Top Accommodation Needs Among Pet Travelers
Pet Expert Offers Advice on Hotel Pet Etiquette
The Complete Guide to Traveling With Your Dog

Image credits:
All images used here are from www.pexels.com.

IMAGE-01-pexels-lior-binyamini-3886052. IMAGE-02-pexels-matteo-petralli-1828874. IMAGE-03-pexels-joseph-hutton-12769158 IMAGE-04-pexels-lior-binyamini-3857521. IMAGE-05-pexels-bruno-ticianelli-1042436.

Content Disclaimer: The views expressed in our interviews and stories do not necessarily reflect the official policies, practices and guidelines of the All India Resort Development Association, or its members. These views are based on personal experiences, private opinion, or open source information. (Images used here are either "paid-for" stock photos, images shared by the people we interview, or images under one of the open source licenses such as Creative Commons and others.)

Here’s a link to some recent interviews done by us on the AIRDA website

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