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Blog | Pet-Friendly Vacation Homes

Blog | Pet-Friendly Vacation Homes


What if you could bring more guests into your vacation home by changing one thing? Would you do it?

Fact: the number of people taking their pets with them on vacation is increasing. And why wouldn’t it be? Pets are part of the family!

There is an entire industry devoted to pet travel. Check out companies like BringFido, PetAir, and PetVR. And do you see PetVR’s slogan? “Next vacation, bring the whole family!”

Even HomeAway has invested in a $1 million marketing campaign that focuses on bringing your pet along on vacation. It has two videos and is called “The Whole Vacation.” Not only will you and your kids have more fun, these ads communicate, but so will your dog!  

Is HomeAway overreaching by marketing this audience? I don’t think so.

Check out this recent poll: 29.1 million adults in the US reported traveling with a pet in the past three years (Travel Industry Association of America). That’s a pretty large number of vacationers.

Another study (this one from AAA and Best Western) indicates that 51% of pet owners are taking their animals along when they travel. Fifty-one percent!

But where do these pet owners stay while they’re on vacation?

  • 32% stay with family or friends
  • 29% stay in a hotel or motel

Only 10% of pet owners stay in a cabin, condo, or vacation home.

Friends, if we truly want to compete in the vacation industry, we need to step up our game and consider offering pet-friendly accommodations.

Granted, this isn’t for everyone. Some homes just weren’t designed to have pets in them.

But what about yours? Could you make some simple changes and begin welcoming animals into your vacation rental?

Take a look at your flooring and furniture. Are they pet-friendly? Do you have a spot in your vacation home where you could set up a pet station, with places for water and food bowls, perhaps a few toys?

And let’s not assume we’re just talking about dogs. Families also look for ways to bring their cats, birds, and other pets with them. Do we make it easy for them to do so?

People who wish to take their pets with them on vacation have said that one of the most difficult parts is finding a hotel that will allow them to bring their pet with them.

Why not step into that gap and offer these pet-loving families another option? Not just a hotel room, but an entire house with a yard where dogs can run around?

Maybe we don’t just say, “Yes, we are pet-friendly” when potential guests ask us in their inquiries. Maybe we actually pursue these pet owners in our marketing campaigns and personally invite them to bring their pets to our vacation rental. “Do you have a pet? Would you like to bring him along? We have special accommodations just for him.”

If being a pet-friendly vacation home isn’t for you, is there another niche out there you could capture to bring in more bookings? Could you tailor your home to another travelers? If you have any ideas, we’d love to hear them. Comment below!

What do you think? Could you market your rental as a pet-friendly place? Let us know what you think in the comments below.