Pet travel takes over the roads

We’ve seen a serious influx in pet ownership since Covid-19, during which nearly one in five U.S. households acquired a cat or dog. A new wave of pet owners, combined with an unprecedented interest in car travel, has led the travel and hospitality industry to embrace pets in ways they never have before. According to a recent Hilton survey, 55% of Americans who are pet owners are likely to travel with their pet this summer. Younger pet owners, in particular, are more likely to bring their pets along, indicating that Gen Z and millennials will transform not only the pet industry but the travel landscape, too. Today, we’re digging into three new partnerships and initiatives that make it easier to hit the road with your furry co-pilot.


Kimpton was one of the first hotel chains to accept pets across all locations, touting an unofficial pet policy that’s uniquely open-minded. ("If a guest’s pet fits through the door, Kimpton welcomes them in.") They even employ Directors of Pet Relations at several of their locations. This year, they’ve doubled down on their pet-friendliness by partnering with Wag, an app that provides pet walking and sitting services nationwide. Guests at any Kimpton are eligible for one of 1,000 free 20-minute walks or drop-ins for their pets, plus a free month of Wag! Premium. To further pamper your pooch, the two brands have also collaborated on a limited-edition dog bathrobe inspired by Kimpton’s own robes.


Over the last year, Hilton, a hotel chain historically not so pet-friendly, has been amping up its animal offerings due to demand. As of this summer, 85% of all Hilton properties in the U.S. are now pet-friendly. To better service pet owners, they’re partnering with Mars Petcare, the world's largest pet care company, to bring on-demand virtual support from the Mars Pet Expert Team to 4,600 hotels across the Hilton portfolio. Hilton also struck up a deal with Banfield Pet Hospital, which runs more than 1,000 veterinary hospitals in the U.S., should any pet predicaments arise on the road.


Now you have a place to stay with your pet – but how are you going to get around once you’re there? Last year, Uber launched a new in-app feature called Uber Pet that will place riders with drivers that are pet-friendly, a relief for pet owners who found themselves routinely turned away from regular Ubers. Now, a new company called SpotOn, which just debuted in NJ and NYC, is doing one better by effectively offering a taxi service to pets. Need to get your pet from Point A to Point B? SpotOn will take them, with or without their human. Even better, SpotOn is partnering with local shelters to give free rides to pets in need.