Ok, ok – you caught us. This topic is definitely one where we are a little bit biased. After all, Take Your Pet was founded because of our own experiences as pet-owners. We sought out opportunities to make memories, plan a holiday, relax and enjoy the finer things in life with ALL members of our family – fur-babies included.
And we craved a resource that could help us navigate all those extra conditions you have to think about when planning to include your pets in your holidays, coffee dates, morning surfs and road trips. From there, Take Your Pet was born and the rest is purrrrrr-story (sorry, couldn’t resist).
We know that including your pets in all these areas of life takes careful planning and commitment…but that it is always SO worth it. When we paused to reflect on exactly why we love what we do, the answer was pretty simple – it’s because we get to help people share special moments with the people AND animals that matter to them.
To some, it may sound corny, but to those pet-owning readers out there (aka 99.9% of our community!), it rings true. Because you just know that there’s not some clear-cut distinction between human and fur-family, and that life is simply better when everyone’s together.
Here’s our top five reasons you should consider taking your pets on holidays with you.
1. Don’t worry, be happy:
One simple but striking incentive for taking your pet with you is eliminating the worry, pressure and expense of leaving them behind. We’ve all had those times where we try to disguise the fact that we are clearly packing, from a increasingly anxious pup who knows they’re getting left behind. Is there anything more guilt-tripping than that too-much-to-take head tilt from your all-knowing animal?
It can be painfully hard to leave a pet behind, and the anxiety doesn’t necessarily stop when you step out the door. While we fully endorse the use of pet-sitters, kennels and catteries, we also know the feeling of trying to kick back and enjoy your long-awaited holiday….but being hit with pangs of puppy-sickness, or wondering whether they’re thriving or merely surviving in our absence.
And emotions aside, the organisation that comes with leaving your pet at home or with others isn’t without its financial and logistical challenges. While holidaying with pets takes pre-planning too, it often means that you escape some pretty hefty charges that can come up when leaving your pet in care. When your four-legged friend comes with, a whole lot of guilt, worry and financial stress can be alleviated.
2. Getting active:
While holidays are sometimes a reclining pool chair and little else, a lot of us are taking trips to new places and terrains that often deserve more exploration than we sometimes give them. But when you take a pet along with you? Prepare to explore every inch of your temporary home.
Not only does taking your pets out for some orientation greatly improve their chances of settling into the holiday calmly, you reap the added benefit of getting your bearings, staying active and more than likely sneaking in some exercise that balances out those vacation vices. It gets you out of your comfort zone, exploring and even meeting other people more easily – because who doesn’t think your pet is a conversation starter, right?
3. Relaxation station:
Ever heading off to a far-flung location, so ready for a break – and yet on arrival it can be hard to switch off? One of the advantages of taking your pet along for the ride, is that they are quite literally the master of relaxation. Think of it as your constant reminder to unplug, unwind and lie in the sun (with protection please) to your heart’s delight.
Another useful benefit comes into play when you’re holidaying with children too (hats off to you, superheroes!). Sometimes kids will take a while to adjust to their new surroundings, particularly when it comes to sleep, which can really put some pressure on you in the early days of being away. However, having their pet with them offers an element of home that will provide comfort and support, speeding up the settling-in process considerably.
4. It’s a pet’s world:
Now, excuse us while we really show off here, but here’s the thing. While pet travel has its challenges, it’s easier than ever to craft a four-legged friendly holiday. With more pet friendly accommodation options than ever, as well as pet-friendly beaches, bars, cafes and parks, it really is possible to plan an itinerary that can keep everyone happy.
More than just satisfying their needs, these pet-specific holiday activities can provide your animal with so much stimulation, excitement and adventure – while you stand back with your camera, filling up your iPhone memory for the inevitable holiday slideshow awaiting your friends upon your return.
With some preparation beforehand, you can ensure that you don’t miss out on all the joys of holiday life, by selecting places to visit, services to utilise and accommodation to stay at that are all pet-friendly and welcoming of human/fur family hybrids. In fact, we know just the tool you could use to uncover all the best pet-friendly holiday options out there….(hint: you’re already on it right now)
5. Backpacker’s best friend:
What to do when your significant other just wants to stay by the pool and you’re raring for a hike? Kiddy whinges getting you down? Rest assured that if you need a break at any stage of your ‘break’, your pet’s going to have your back. Never one to complain and always up for anything, you can share some amazing memories with your four-legged friend. And when it comes down to it, this is the clincher.
You share so much of your life with your pets, and feel much richer for it. Holidays are times where we can really step back, recharge and make beautiful memories – so why wouldn’t you want to share that with them too?! If it’s within your means and you’re up for a little planning, we think you won’t regret kicking back and living large with your whole family, fur-included.
PS: Despite all the good stuff mentioned above, we are absolute advocates of knowing what suits you and your pet. While a vacay with a four-legged pal can be a treat for many, it simply doesn’t work for everyone, for reasons that range from their age and life-stage to the pet-related proviso that comes with certain holiday itineraries and expectations.
So above all, we say – do what works for you. If you’re heading off an adventure upon which Fido can’t accompany you, then you might want to check out a post we’ve put together on planning for a pet-sitting or kennel/cattery experience. Read it here.