Without wanting to start proceedings on too much of a gloomy note, the cost of living in the UK is seemingly spiralling out of control and without much sign of respite on the horizon, it would appear that scrimping and saving is about to become a national pastime. Ironically, of course, the idea of booking a holiday to get away from it all has never been so attractive.
In the past this may have meant shelling out for a kennels or a pet sitter before jetting off to a far-flung tropical paradise. However, booking a UK-based holiday with your pet needn’t look or feel like a defeat… there are an ever-expanding range of options to choose from in as many different landscapes and locales as the British Isles has to offer. And if no-one else thanks you, your dog will certainly be over the moon. Here are some of our tips and suggestions for booking your perfect low-cost, dog-friendly holiday for your next vacation.
Where To Find Cheap Dog Friendly Holidays
It’s never been easier to pinpoint your ideal getaway than it is now: booking sites and travel agents are both just a click away online, not to mention the fact that most of the locations they recommend will have their own personal, dedicated websites. Actually, the latter can work very much in your favour, as they will allow you to deal directly with the people who own the holiday accommodation and perhaps seek out the very best deal.
To save yourself even more money, always remember to be specific when searching websites – narrow down your requirements (accommodation, budget, number of pets, etc.) using the site’s filters. Most importantly of all when trying to book a cheap getaway, be as flexible as you can. Last-minute deals and end-of-season sales can save you armfuls of your hard-earned cash, as can booking off-peak. In fact, holidaying outside of peak time can prove to be a major boon for dog owners, as anyone who has ever tried to take their dog to the beach at the height of summer will be able to tell you.
Popular Cheap Dog Friendly Accommodation
The key to booking a cheap pet-friendly holiday in the UK is as much about time of year and type of accommodation as it is about location, location, location. While you may like the pampered softness of a five-star hotel deep within the Wiltshire countryside, both your dog and your bank manager are just as likely to be happy in a static caravan on the Pembrokeshire coast. That said, the growing market for pet-friendly holidays means that you should still be able to find somewhere to stay that will be both suitable for everyone’s requirements and still result in impressive savings.
Cheap Dog Friendly Hotels
Hotels represent the luxury end of the cheap dog-friendly UK getaway. Your washing, cooking and cleaning all taken care of, you and your hairy friend will be free to spend nothing but quality time together. Remember the importance of being as open and honest as possible with the hotel before your arrive: the term “pet-friendly” represents a fairly broad spectrum and “one dog” could mean a teacup-sized Chihuahua or a pony-sized Great Dane. The fewer surprises there are for dog friendly hotels should mean an easier and cheaper holiday for you.
Remember, too, that just because you seem to have found the ideal hotel on a booking website, there’s nothing to stop you from contacting the hotel yourself to talk through your requirements and see if you can get a better deal.
Cheap Dog Friendly Cottages
Cottage holidays are ever-increasing in popularity among dog owners. Many of the cottages are private lets, meaning that you will be able to deal directly with the owner of the property and tailor your deal to your own specific needs. When you’re there, the cottage holiday represents a home away from home for you and your dog, meaning you can keep up their preferred routines while also exploring some new locations to walk and play. Most importantly of all, when your holiday is over be sure to sign the guestbook and leave online feedback… these can be a crucial help for future holidaymakers, just as they could have been for you.
Cheap Dog Friendly Weekend Breaks
Weekend breaks are an extremely popular type of holiday nowadays, but there’s no real reason that they need to be exclusive to humans. This is the real plate-spinners’ option for a cheap dog-friendly holiday, a balancing act of finding the right location, the right accommodation and the best way to get there. However, there’s nothing in a weekend city break that a well-behaved dog wouldn’t also be able to enjoy, so getting it right will be worth all the extra effort. And that is the key – making the effort to research and plan your trip beforehand will help eliminate hidden or unexpected costs from ruining your carefully budgeted plan.
Cheap Dog Friendly Caravan Holidays
The classic British caravan has something of an unglamorous reputation, but it is not one that is shared by UK Pet Guide! For someone looking for a cheap UK holiday with their pet, they can be an absolute godsend. They are frequently located around coastal areas, which are beloved of most dogs, while their relatively low status is normally reflected in their relatively low price. Caravan holidays are the perfect holidays for people who like to get out and about with their dogs.
It is, however, worth bearing in mind that because many caravan sites in the UK are geared towards seaside holidays, it is probably worth booking outside of peak times. British holiday resorts at the height of the summer months tend not to be the most pet-friendly places. We’ve compiled a list of some of our recommended dog friendly caravan and holiday parks to give you a little help.
Top Tips for a Dog Friendly Holiday on a Budget
- Be honest and be specific: always remember to filter all of your online searches to tailor your results as closely to what you need as possible. Remember that “pet-friendly” is a broad spectrum and to be completely open and transparent about how many animals you intend to bring with you and what their requirements are.
- Ask and you may receive: if you can’t find what you are looking for, always remember to ask. You may not get the answer you wanted, but you will at least get a definitive answer. Dealing directly with hotels, caravan parks or private agents can also be a good way to make savings or to sweeten a deal. If you have one small, non-shedding, well-behaved dog and you offer a little extra for post-stay cleaning to the owner of a holiday cottage, you could find they are pet-friendly after all.
- Shop around: there are a bewildering array of holiday websites these days so it can be hard to know where to start. petspyjamas and caninecottages are both tailored towards finding pet-friendly holidays and are a great place to start. Bear in mind that some of the better-known websites, such as booking.com or expedia offer price matching with rival sites and therefore can be extremely useful if you are trying to keep within a budget.
- Flexibility is key: if you’re hoping to take your borzoi for a two week break on the English Riviera in August, chances are you’re going to be paying a premium for it. Off peak and midweek may not exude the same glamour but you are guaranteed to enjoy the savings!
- Check and leave reviews: Trying to book pet-friendly holidays can be challenging enough without doing it blindfolded, so make sure to check the online reviews for any of the accommodation choices that you uncover. Word of mouth can save you both disappointment AND money, and you can help add to the conversation at the end of your own holiday by leaving a review of your own.