Canine Cottages, a prominent dog-friendly holiday cottage company, shares insights into the evolving landscape of UK travel preferences for dog owners in 2024.
Drawing on internal booking data and a comprehensive survey of 2,500 dog owners, the company highlights key trends shaping the world of dog-friendly travel.
1. DINKWAD vs Multi-generational Holidays
In 2023, 43% of dog-friendly bookings featured two adults and at least one dog, indicating the rise of DINKWADS (dual income, no kids with a dog). Surprisingly, the survey reveals that 40 percent of dog owners plan to include their canine companions in multigenerational family holidays in 2024. This suggests a dual trend – the popularity of DINKWADS alongside dogs becoming integral members of family milestones and celebrations.
2. Westward Ho! Takes the Lead as the Ultimate Dog-Friendly Destination
Westward Ho! in Devon secures the top spot as the ultimate dog-friendly destination for 2024. Backed by internal booking data, this coastal gem near Bideford offers a Blue Flag beach, expansive spaces for dogs to roam, access to Northam Burrows Country Park, and proximity to renowned walking trails. Keswick in the Lake District and Padstow in Cornwall closely follow, reflecting the diverse choices in dog-friendly adventures.
3. Cottage Cooking Preferred Over Dining Out
A notable 81% of pet owners consider cooking in the cottage an essential activity during dog-friendly holidays. With 37 percent facing challenges in finding dog-friendly eateries, the preference for self-catering options is evident. The importance of well-equipped kitchen spaces in dog-friendly accommodations is highlighted. Other preferred holiday activities include walking in towns and villages (92 percent) and rural locations (87 percent).
4. Seasonal Peaks: February and October Half Term Attract Dog-Friendly Bookings
Seasonal patterns reveal spikes in dog-friendly bookings during February and October half terms. Festive getaways, particularly during Christmas, also witness heightened interest. Conversely, the spring school half-term and summer experience lower activity, possibly due to seasonal dog restrictions on beaches.
5. Canine-Conscious Extras: Premium Services in Demand
An impressive 76 percent of pet owners express a willingness to pay an average of £176.85 more for a seven-night cottage break if it includes canine-conscious extras like dog sitting, walking, or grooming. This reflects a growing demand for premium services, catering to the needs of pets and their owners, enhancing the overall holiday experience.
Continued Growth and Enthusiasm
Canine Cottages reports a remarkable 36% increase in bookings in 2023, showcasing the sustained growth in dog-friendly travel. A significant 75% of surveyed owners express their intent to take their dogs on holiday in the coming year, reinforcing the enduring popularity of dog-friendly travel experiences.
Sarah Pring, Digital PR Manager at Canine Cottages, comments on the findings, saying, “We are so pleased to have launched our first dog-friendly travel trends report. There are some really interesting findings, particularly around some of the most popular travel locations for 2024. It’s great that so many destinations are dog friendly now, especially with the rise in dog ownership, and we’re pleased to see that so many people are planning to take their dog on holiday next year.”