There are approximately 180 million age 55+ travelers in the U.S. Their mounting numbers paired with their massive financial muscle and availability of free time make them a very lucrative market for the U.S. travel industry. The average spending by mature travelers on their last adventure travel vacation was $1,300 compared to $950 for travelers between the ages of 35-54 and $660 for travelers between the ages 18-34.
Combine senior citizen’s travel habits with the fact that a growing number of seniors are choosing to become new parents – pet parents that is. The need to nurture does not stop when our children are grown. The nice thing about a pet is that they may grow older, but they will never grow up. With these new children as part of the family, seniors look to integrate them into their busy lives. With travel being such a big part of many seniors’ lives, many feel that they just can’t leave their pet behind. So with the kids out of the house, seniors are taking their new furry, feathered or finned “children” traveling with them more often. Whether it’s the annual pilgrimage to the winter home, a family trip or just a get-a-way, seniors and their pets are traveling together. “Rex is my big baby” states senior Bill Martin of his 5 year old yellow lab. “My wife and I travel quite a bit and whenever possible we take Rex with us. Rex loves to vacation as much as we do and our trip wouldn’t be as enjoyable without him!”
Traveling with your pet can be a wonderful experience if you plan ahead. Many seniors are turning to the Internet for help. That’s right! More and more seniors are getting connected. According to eMarketer, the average senior sends at least 4 emails a day and 46 percent of America’s seniors have been using the Internet for over 5 years. The number one reason seniors go to the web is to make travel plans. The challenge has been sorting through lodging listings and airline websites to find those that will welcome their pets.
New resources have emerged across the Internet specifically to help plan pet travel. There is a growing need for online pet travel information to help seniors find pet-friendly inns, bed and breakfasts, and hotels where your dog, cat, or other furry friend is welcome. Traveling with your pet can be a tricky proposition if you haven’t done it before. You need to plan out the trip and be sure that you have access to lodging and services along the way to keep your little friend happy and safe.