Planning travel or vacations can be tricky for people with pets, especially if they aren’t comfortable leaving them behind, which recent CivicScience data show is one-third of all pet owners in America.1 Close to 50% of pet owners say owning a pet has prevented them from traveling by airplane, which eliminates dozens of international travel destinations for Americans. 

The most common pet care choice for pet owners who travel is to leave pets with family or friends. This year, among pet owners planning to travel within the next three months, nearly 1-in-2 say their animal(s) will be staying with a personal connection. Boarding animals is much less common, but 21% of traveling pet owners say they will hire someone to care for their animal at home. Eighteen percent of traveling pet owners say their animals will be accompanying them on their journey.

Join the Conversation: What do you typically do with your pets when you travel?

There are plenty of pet owners who say they enjoy traveling but are uncomfortable leaving their pets. CivicScience data shows pet owners who are not comfortable leaving their animals when they travel have visited many more American states than owners who are comfortable with the temporary separation. Interstate travel typically just requires a car, so it’s possible that people who like traveling but don’t want to leave their pets find domestic car trips for travel and sightseeing.

Millennial Pet Owners

Millennials are the generation most comfortable with leaving their pets behind while they travel, and also the most likely to say they will board their pets – the least favorable choice for most pet owners. Despite the ease parting with pets for 25- to 34-year-olds, this pet-owning age group is the most held back from air travel. While they are comfortable boarding their animal(s) and parting for a time, it’s possible that the cost of pet care while away accounts for this group’s decreased air travel.

Summer Destinations

Traveling pet owners who are headed to the mountains this summer are the most likely traveling group to say they will bring their pets along. While boarding an animal is the least common method of pet care, pet owners headed to the desert have the largest percentage of those who will choose to board their animal. This segment is also the least likely to leave their pets with family or friends when they head off to arid lands and cacti.

Take Our Poll: How often do you bring your pet with you when you travel?

Very few pet owners in America will board their pets when they travel, except for Millennials who are the most comfortable with time away from their pet, and are most likely to choose to board them. The most common pet care choice is a stay with family or friends, but the travel destination could factor in.

And, while air travel is generally uncommon for half of American pet owners, CivicScience data show Delta Airlines customers are much more likely than American and Southwest air travelers to say they will travel with their pets in the coming months.

Interested in seeing more insights like these? CivicScience has an ongoing pulse on the latest consumer trends with the InsightStore™, our database of more than 500K available questions and 4 million daily responses. Connect with us to learn more.

  1. n=1,547 responses from May 13, 2024 to May 17, 2024 ↩︎