Revealed: the best destinations in Great Britain and around the world to take your pet on holiday
Whether it’s a road trip staycation or a jet-setting adventure, researching and planning your holiday beforehand is one of the best ways to ensure a smooth and stress-free vacation. This advice rings even truer when it comes to holidaying with your pets in tow.
Holidaymaker demand for pet-friendly destinations has soared in recent years; in 2021, Airbnb reported a 65% increase in searches for pet-friendly holiday lets on the site. With this in mind, we wanted to find out: where are the best places to holiday with your pets?
By analysing more than 70,000 reviews of destinations specifically from pet-owning holidaymakers, we can reveal which locations are rated most highly to take a furry friend away on a break. Each destination is ranked on having the highest percentage of reviews that measure between 7 and 10 out of 10 in Great Britain and around the world.
The most pet-friendly holiday destinations in England
According to pet owner reviews, Herefordshire is the best place in England to go on holiday with your pet. Our analysis found that 87.7% of pet-related reviews of holiday destinations in the West Midlands county were accompanied by either 7, 8, 9, or 10-star ratings.
Northumberland comes in second place in our ranking, with 85.5% of pet owner reviews for holiday destinations there counting as highly rated.
The most pet-friendly holiday destinations in Wales
In Wales, Monmouthshire ranks as the best destination for holidaymakers with pets. 83.2% of the pet-related reviews we found for holiday destinations in the county were highly rated.
Powys (82.2%), Blaenau Gwent (81.1%), and Merthyr Tydfil (80.6%) also appear highly in our ranking.
The most pet-friendly holiday destinations in Scotland
We discovered that Perth and Kinross is the best location in Scotland for holidaying with pets. 85.3% of the pet-related reviews we found for holiday destinations in the county were highly rated at either 7, 8, 9, or 10 stars.
Also appearing in our top 10 ranking are Fife (84.3%), Dumfries and Galloway (82.7%), and Edinburgh (80.7%).
The most pet-friendly holiday destinations in the world
If you’re looking for a pet-friendly holiday a bit further afield, it might be worth checking out Turkey as a destination for you and your furry friend. Our search of pet-related reviews of destinations in each OECD country revealed that 94.3% of reviews for locations in Turkey were highly rated at either 7, 8, 9 or 10 stars – more than any other country in our analysis.
Austria ranks in second place (89.4%), with New Zealand (86.9%), Ireland (85.7%), and Slovenia (85.6%) also placing highly.
The GB holiday destinations rated the highest by pet owners for…
Whether you’re looking for high-quality restaurants, a dazzling view, or a family-friendly environment, searching online for hotels with specific amenities and local attractions has never been easier. But where in the country do pet owners in particular rate certain features of holiday destinations?
We discovered that 93.2% of pet owner-reviews that mentioned restaurants near holiday destinations in the Highland area of Scotland were highly rated. That’s the highest proportion of top-rated reviews of any hotel feature in our analysis.
When we searched pet-owner reviews that mention quietness, we found holiday destinations in Hampshire scored the highest proportion (88.6%) of top-rated reviews.
Meanwhile, picturesque Cumbria in the North West of England scored the highest percentage of top-rated reviews (83.3%) for the quality of views, as voted for by holidaymakers with pets.
Where are pet owners most likely to take their dog on holiday?
Sometimes, there’s no better motivation for exploring a new area than taking your dog out for a walk. By finding holiday destination reviews that specifically mention dogs, we discovered the locations in Great Britain where dog owners are the most likely to take their dogs with them on holiday.
Cumbria, home to plenty of rolling hills and pretty lakes that are perfect for dog walking, takes the top spot in our ranking, with 53.6 out of every 1,000 reviews of holiday destinations there mentioning dogs.
Top tips on how to travel with your pet
Before you set off on holiday with your furry friend, check out our top tips to make travelling a much smoother experience for humans and animals alike.
1. Do your research before you travel
If you’re thinking about taking your pet on holiday, it’s really important that you do some key research beforehand. Before you book a hotel, make sure that it’s definitely pet-friendly.
If you’re travelling abroad, you’ll need to look at any entry requirements for the country you’re visiting. Requirements vary by country: for example, some require rabies vaccinations or tapeworm treatment. Legally, all dogs in the UK should be microchipped, so if you’re taking your dog on holiday you should also keep their microchip certificate on hand.
Researching the documents you’ll need to have on hand when you travel, like a pet passport or health certificates, will make crossing borders and getting through customs much smoother. Quarantine times for pets can be very lengthy if you’re travelling internationally and your pet doesn’t meet entry requirements, so research this thoroughly beforehand.
If you’re flying by plane, be sure to check the airline’s policy about travelling with animals and their history of handling pets.
2. Prioritise your pet’s wellbeing and safety
Your pet’s health and wellbeing is really important, so before you make any travel plans, consider whether your pet would be a good candidate for travelling. Consider your pet’s temperament and how well they cope with travelling, prolonged periods away from home, new people, places, and experiences, and how well they are trained. Look into alternative options like leaving your pet at a boarding centre or finding a house sitter if you feel that your pet would find accompanying you on holiday stressful.
If you do choose to take your pet with you, pet insurance should cover your pet in case a trip to the vets is needed while you’re on holiday. If your pet is prone to motion sickness and travel anxiety, it may be worth discussing with your vet any possible medicines that will ensure your pet has a more comfortable journey.
If your pet has existing health issues, a vet can discuss this with you and prescribe enough medication to last your entire holiday. A vet will also be able to advise of any recommended vaccinations and treatments to protect against potential health risks endemic to your destination.
3. Pack appropriately for your pet
Before you head off, put together a pet travel kit containing all the things your pet will need on holiday. You’ll want to include enough food and treats for the duration of your trip, your pet’s favourite toys, comfortable bedding, leads and harnesses, waste bags, and first aid supplies. If you’re travelling abroad, you’ll also need to pack relevant documentation (like health certificates and pet passports) for them.
Make sure your pet has fresh water available at all times, too; if you’re travelling in the car, a ‘no spill’ water bowl or bottle might be a worthwhile investment.
4. Prepare a suitable travel carrier
If you need to use a travel carrier for your pet, give them some time to get used to the carrier before you hit the road. The travel carrier needs to be well-ventilated and spacious enough for your pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably.
Make sure that you place the travel carrier somewhere out of direct sunlight and away from cold draughts, and that it’s secured by a seat belt. It’s a good idea to place your pet’s favourite toy and a comforting blanket inside the carrier as well.
5. Give your pet ample rest stops
There’s nothing worse than being on a long road trip and needing to use the loo. If you’re driving a long way, make sure you stop frequently to give your pet time to stretch their legs and go to the toilet. If you find a safe place en route, play some energetic games with your pet so that they can burn off some energy before getting back on the road. If you’re flying abroad, make sure your pet has time to go to the toilet before it’s their time to board.
6. Try to keep a regular routine
It will be much easier for your pet to adjust to travelling if you keep their routine as close as possible to what they’re used to. Try to feed them and take them out for toilet breaks and walks at the same times you would do at home. Make sure that fresh water is always available to them, which is especially important if you’re holidaying in a hot climate or you're doing lots of energetic activities.
7. Watch for signs of stress
While some pets may find travelling a breeze, others may find the experience stressful. Be sure to watch out for signs of stress or motion sickness in your pet so you can make them more comfortable. If you’re on a road trip with a dog, watch out for excessive panting, yawning, dribbling, vomiting, or restlessness.
If you suspect your dog is anxious, take frequent breaks on your trip. Getting your dog used to short car journeys first (with the help of positive reinforcement) can make it easier for them when it comes to going on a longer road trip. Specially designed travel sprays can also be effective at helping your dog feel calmer in the car.
If your pet is prone to travel sickness, make sure to feed them a light meal before you set off on your journey. Consult your vet before travelling to see if there is any medication that might be able to help your furry friend feel better.
Our final analysis consists of more than 73,000 reviews by pet owners who have travelled with their pet to 140 different locations (counties in Great Britain and OECD countries).
All data is sourced from booking.com during March 2022, and measured on the percentage of 7, 8, 9, or 10-star reviews given by pet owners per location.
Our analysis of highly rated holiday destinations in Great Britain based on amenities and attractions does not include locations with fewer than 30 holiday venues. Reviews for each amenity and attraction were found by searching for keywords (e.g. “restaurants”) in reviews by pet owners and ranking destinations on the percentage of 7, 8, 9, or 10-star reviews that contain those keywords.