HOW PET FRIENDLY ARE HOLIDAY PARKS?
In 2016 1.4 million dog owners took their holiday in the UK* so that their furry friend could also enjoy a break with them. Hoseasons reported that 73,000 pets went on holiday with them last year, accounting for approximately a quarter of self-catering holidays in the UK.
Luckily, it’s now much easier for dog owners to find pet friendly accommodation in the UK, especially on holiday lodge parks. As this trend grows, dog owners can expect to see more quality, pet friendly holiday accommodation.
It used to be that dog owners were provided with low quality accommodation, in case their dog chewed the furniture. These days dog owners want the same quality accommodation as everyone else and many parks have recognised that this is a valuable and growing market for them.
Many holiday booking operators have designed their websites and brochures to make it easy for dog owners to find pet friendly accommodation. Hoseasons, for example, have specific search criteria on their website so you can easily see what pet friendly accommodation is available in different holiday areas.
So, what can dog owners expect from their “pet friendly” holiday accommodation? Apart from the obvious adaptions such as hard-flooring instead of carpeting in holiday lodges, many park owners have taken that extra step to lure dog owners, including dog bedding, towels, bowls, biscuits, dog doors and even dog showers!
One holiday lodge park making the most of the growing demand for pet friendly holiday lodges is Acorn Farm Lodges in Devon. The park owners, Patrick and Nicky Chambers, are dog owners themselves and wanted to create a park where dogs are welcome. Their park sits between Dartmoor and Exmoor and is surrounded by miles of beautiful countryside in the stunning Torridge Valley. It’s a great location for dog lovers with a wealth of walking and hiking routes and plenty of local pubs where your furry friend is welcome!
There is a wealth of online information to help you find your next dog friendly holiday. The Dog Friendly Britain website has a large, searchable directory of holiday accommodation, pubs and restaurants that are dog friendly.
The Your Dog magazine has a Your Dog Holidays website with holidays, advice and regional guides to help you find the right type of holiday for you.
If you’re looking for holiday inspiration then the Essential Travels Top 10 Dog Friendly Destinations has some good ideas.
Finally, here are some top tips for enjoying a pet friendly holiday park.
- Make sure you contact your holiday park in advance to make sure they have all the facilities your dog needs. It’s best to do this before you book, just in case.
- Expect to pay a supplement when booking of around £25 to £35 per dog.
- Pack everything you may need for your pet including bedding, food, old towels for cleaning muddy paws, water bowl and don’t forget the doggy bags.
* Populus research for Post Office Travel Insurance (20-22 May 2016) among 2,072 UK adults aged 18 and over, of these, 1642 are planning to take a holiday this year and 79 per cent (1,296 people) will take that holiday in the UK. The Populus research found that eight per cent – the equivalent of 1.417 million people – of those holidaying in the UK will do so for the convenience of taking the family dog. Full info