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As the dark winter nights entice Brits to book their next holiday, new research from American Express reveals that just over a quarter (27 per cent) of UK dog owners plan to take their pooch with them on holiday this year, spending on average £114 per pet.
Across the UK, this equates to a total of £227,538,186 spent on dog vacations during 2018.
Of those dogs packing their suitcases this year, over a third (36 per cent) will be going on a traditional family holiday, 31 per cent are off on a walking or hiking trip, and a sun-loving 27 per cent are heading for the beach.
Top holiday spots for Rover and Fifi include mountainous Scotland (18 per cent), the sunny South West of England (17 per cent) and the Yorkshire & Humberside countryside (14 per cent).
Over half (53 per cent) of owners taking their pooch on holiday say that their pet is part of the family and shouldn’t be left out of the fun. However, others prefer to leave their dogs in the care of kennels, with a dog-sitter or responsible friend/ family member. According to the research, the top costs for Brits taking their dog on holiday include food (£18), followed by lodging (£17) and transportation costs (£12).
Other costs incurred taking a dog on holiday include purchasing car accessories such as crates and harnesses (£11), holiday toys (£9), medication (£8) and travel accessories such as portable water bowls and towels (£8).
Although dogs are the most popular pets to take on holiday, hot on their paws are rabbits (24 per cent), while indoor fish and guinea pigs (both 63 per cent) and cats (61 per cent) are most likely to be left behind.
Maggie Boyle, director at American Express says, 'The UK is a nation of animal lovers, so it’s great to see so many Brits choosing to take their pets with them when they go on holiday. However costs can soon add up. By making smart travel purchases, like using a card that earns rewards or cashback, owners won’t have to worry about buying that extra treat for their pet while enjoying their getaway.'
1) Consider your dog’s needs. Choosing the right place to stay for you should be important, however your decision should also be governed by how suitable it is for your dog’s needs. Always ring ahead of any booking to confirm their pets’ policy, check the number of dogs they allow, and whether they have any specific restrictions of size and breed.
2) Pack early. Research from American Express recently finds that 71 per cent of people forget essential items when going on holiday. Try to get organised early so you can take your time double checking you’ve packed everything you need, right down to your poodle’s passport.
3) Have a backup plan. Think about how you will be getting to your destination, and how anything like a flat tyre or delayed flight might affect your pet on your journey. And in case your luggage gets lost, it may be worthwhile packing some extra food or a backup dog lead in a different bag.
4) Visit the vet. If Fido is lucky enough to be brought along on the family holiday, it’s a good idea to ensure he has a quick health check before he goes. Also remember to make sure you have everything you need to keep him comfortable on the journey, like a jacket for colder climates or mosquito repellent for warmer getaways.
5) Get major pooch points. Earn points with your pooch – and your wallet – by putting pet purchases on a credit card that earns rewards points or cashback. The American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card® offers one Membership Rewards® point on nearly every £1 spent, along with travel benefits for your next trip such as airport lounge passes and hotel room upgrades.