7 Paw-fect Destinations to Spend International Friendship Day
International Friendship Day (30th July) marks a day to celebrate your loved ones and what makes your friendship special. For some, that best friend might be their four-legged companion, particularly with surges in dog and cat adoption during the pandemic. Now as travel restrictions are slowly being lifted, more people are thinking about future vacation plans, and they’re taking their pets into account as it becomes safe to travel again. In fact, a quarter (20%) of global travellers* say they plan to make a decision about where to stay at their travel destination based on how pet-friendly the property is. With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, including our furry friends, and to celebrate International Friendship Day, Booking.com has delved into its more than 28 million listings in over 152,000 destinations around the world to present seven paw-fect stays in some of the most recommended pet friendly destinations**.
For four-legged friends who love the feel of sand between their paws and the splash of sea spray on their noses, Huntington Beach is a pooch paradise according to Booking.com travellers. Stretching along the Pacific Coast Highway is Huntington Dog Beach, where pups can play amongst the sun, sea and sand with other beach-loving dogs.
Where to stay: Less than two miles from the Huntington Dog Beach, the Paséa Hotel & Spa is the perfect resort for a premium experience for you and your pooch. While humans will love the spa, pool and terrace facilities, it’s the doggy travellers who are set to really revel in a stay here. The accommodation’s pet friendly travel program includes in-room bed, food and water bowls, a dog treat welcome amenity, and access to the Paw-sea Pup Play Park - a huge foot outdoor pup play area which even boasts a mural wall for capturing coveted holiday snaps of your favourite furry companion.
One of the top recommended destinations for pet-friendly travel based on reviews from global travellers on Booking.com is the German seaside resort town St Peter-Ording. Located in the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park, visitors can take walks with their four-legged friends through the salt marshes and admire the coastal setting or get acquainted with the wildlife that call the park home, such as the seals or porpoises.
Where to stay: Situated behind the sand dunes, the stylish Hotel Zweite Heimat enjoys a prime location in St Peter-Ording. It offers a wellness area, a restaurant and modern accommodation with beach views. It’s well equipped for four-legged guests too, with a dog package, including a bowl and a dog blanket available on arrival and outside a dog washing facility is ready to clean off any sandy paws after a scenic stroll.
Nestled amongst the mountains of the Basque Country, San Sebastián’s reputation is that of a foodie hotspot. The coastal resort town with a love of food, also has a love of pets. Ideal for the more than half of global travellers (61%) looking for an off-season getaway, the shores of San Sebastian beach welcome dogs outside of the peak months June-September. And for foodies visiting the Pintxos bars that have earnt San Sebastian its mouth-watering reputation, many offer outdoor seating with some even welcoming dogs inside. Visitors wanting to explore San Sebastián can also take the Monte Igueldo Funicular with their four-legged friend too, with a funicular railway taking passengers up and down the side of a steep cliff face.
Where to stay: Far Out Inn welcomes guests and their pet-companions to a homestay inside a historic villa that overlooks the main beach of San Sebastián. The beautifully decorated rooms offer equally attractive views of the gardens and nearby shore. The helpful concierge can help you seek out the local walks your pet companion will love or even the local Pintxos bars that are pet-friendly.
Set in the Province of Mantua, Monzambano is one of the top endorsed destinations by Booking.com travellers in Italy for its pet-friendly qualities. The lush greenery is perfect for those looking for a new stomping ground for daily walks. This Italian commune is also home to stilt houses that make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Where to stay: The beautiful farm-stay of Agriturismo Olistico Atman is the perfect home from home, welcoming pets to stay amongst 30,000 square meters of luscious greenery. Visitors can explore on foot (or paws) as well as borrowing bikes to explore along the river Mincio.
Those searching for pet-friendly stays in France should look no further than Martillac. Easily accessible from nearby Bordeaux, this beautiful wine region is home to a number of vineyards and wineries amongst the lush landscape. Those traveling with their canine chums can enjoy a well-earned tipple after long scenic walks through the greenery.
Where to stay: With extensive grounds that are perfect for walks, Les Sources de Caudalie is a grand accommodation choice for travelling with your pet. Ideal for wine-lovers too, this hotel connects with its surroundings with a philosophy “to use the natural richness of the vine and grapes. “Even Les Sources de Caudalie’s spa offers wine and grape-based treatments.
For travellers and their pet companions seeking out island life on their next trip when it's safe to travel, Krk in Croatia is one of the top destinations endorsed on Booking.com for walking with pets. With such beautiful backdrops to your walks it's easy to see why. This stunning town shares its name with the island itself, which is one of the oldest in the Adriatic Sea. The Redagara dog beach is just 50m from the main beach, perfect for man and his best friend to take a paddle!
Where to stay: Pets and travellers alike will love the amenities available as part of a stay at Krk Premium Camping Resort by Valamar. This holiday park is just a short stroll from the Redagara Dog Beach and boasts a spa, a children’s water playground, a heated outdoor pool and various sports facilities.
For those travellers looking forward to traveling with their pet, as it becomes safe to do so, Booking.com is sharing Getaway Deals for travellers to use when booking their summer 2021 getaways. Discounts start at 15 percent and are valid for stays until 30 September 2021. In addition, Booking.com is bringing the great value of its Genius program to even more customers by giving all account holders access to the program’s Level 1 benefits, with no minimum number of previous bookings to qualify, including access to exclusive 10% discounts at hundreds of thousands of participating properties around the world. All travellers have to do is download the Booking.com app, log in and look for the Genius logo to identify associated benefits, discounts and perks.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 47,728 respondents across 28 markets (1,997 from USA, 1,987 from Canada, 1,999 from Mexico, 2,003 from Colombia, 1,996 from Brazil, 2,002 from Argentina, 1,994 from Australia, 985 from New Zealand, 1,993 from Spain, 1,993 from Italy, 1,993 from France, 1,984 from UK, 1,989 from Germany, 1,977 from Netherlands, 983 from Denmark, 986 from Sweden, 998 from Croatia, 1,997 from Russia, 999 from Israel, 1,997 from India, 1,992 from China, 991 from Hong Kong, 1,991 from Thailand, 1,977 from Singapore, 998 from Taiwan, 953 from Vietnam, 1,990 from South Korea, 1,987 from Japan). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have travelled at least once in the past 12 months and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in November 2020.
**Based on endorsements for “pet-friendly” and “walking with pets” on Booking.com as part of post-stay reviews