Seven in 10 Americans Planning to Travel with Their Pet This Year Say Their Pet Deserves a Getaway

Motel 6 partners with Patriot PAWS to share pet travel safety tips. 

DALLAS, August 18, 2021 – New research from Motel 6 reveals that as Americans are hitting the roads, they will be doing so with their pets, as the majority (54%) of cat and dog owners noted they plan to travel with their pet in the next year. The economy lodging brand where pets always stay free released new survey data of 1,000 U.S. individuals planning to travel with their pet in the next year.

The poll found that nearly seven in 10 (68%) say their pet deserves a getaway this year, but only 8% of respondents prepare for a trip with their four-legged friend by researching pet-friendly travel websites. To help travelers enjoy a much-needed break with their pet, Motel 6 has teamed up with Patriot PAWS, an organization dedicated to training and providing service dogs to disabled American veterans and others in need, to share tips on how to do so safely.

“Traveling with your pet is great for socialization and training, especially for younger animals,” says Dr. Rhonda Phillips, veterinarian and Patriot PAWS Board Member. “Just a few simple steps like thinking twice while packing, making pit stops along the way and doing some research before your trip can help take away some of the stress pet owners may have about traveling with their furry friends.”

Preparing For a Trip With a Pet
Dr. Phillips notes that preparation is key when traveling with a pet, and it’s important for pet owners to bring their pet’s food, water and toys when traveling as the familiarity helps ease any anxiety. In fact, two in five (41%) individuals planning to travel with their pet in the next year agree that their pet can’t travel without their favorite toy. Dr. Phillips also suggests speaking with a veterinarian before traveling if the pet is prone to anxiety or nausea during travel so they can provide any further tips specific to the four-legged friend.

Getting There
More than one-third of those planning to travel with their pet within the next year (39%) say the next trip they plan to take is a road trip. Dr. Phillips and Patriot PAWS advise that traveling with an assortment of entertainment such as catnip toys for cats, or tug and chew toys for dogs, will help keep the animal’s mind busy and from feeling bored or isolated during the trip. In fact, the majority of individuals planning to travel with their pet in the next year (52%) admit to talking to their pet while they drive, and over a third of respondents (31%) say they even have a special music playlist for their pet.

While road tripping, it is crucial for pets to have regular bathroom breaks and stretch their legs, just like humans. Dr. Phillips recommends stopping every two to four hours, depending on the age and size of the animal.

Arriving at Your Destination
While three-quarters (75%) of individuals planning to travel with their pet in the next year love traveling with their pet, 44% say that the biggest hurdle is finding pet-friendly lodging accommodations. Nearly two in three (65%) individuals planning to travel with their pet in the next year believe pet-friendly hotels should not charge extra for a pet.

Dr. Phillips recommends identifying hotels where pets stay for free, such as Motel 6, which never charges extra for four-legged guests. Find more information on Motel 6’s pet policy here.

“We believe pets and service animals are part of the family which is why they stay free at any of our locations across the U.S.,” said Rob Palleschi, CEO of Motel 6. “Pet parents are ready to hit the open road with their four-legged friends, and we welcome them wherever their journey takes them. As always, we’ll leave the light on. For pets and their owners.”

In partnership with Patriot PAWS, Motel 6 sponsors the training of service dogs to donate to disabled veterans as part of its ongoing commitment to give back to the veteran community. Learn more about Patriot PAWS here.

Motel 6 remains committed to following CDC guidelines and maintaining safe and clean hotels for its valued guests. Learn more about the brand’s Clean@6 program here.


About the Survey
The survey was commissioned by Motel 6 through SurveyMonkey, who conducted an online survey among n = 1,000 U.S individuals that own a pet cat or dog and plan on traveling with their pet in the next year aged 18-99 (nationally representative sample). The survey was conducted on June 19 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.925% percentage.

About Motel 6
Motel 6 is an economy lodging brand with company owned and franchised locations throughout the United States and Canada. Motel 6 has used the tagline, “We’ll leave the light on for you®” for more than 30 years, earning the chain the highest brand recognition in the economy lodging segment. Motel 6 offers standard amenities including free Wi-Fi Internet access, free local calls, no long-distance access charges and expanded cable channel line-up. Most locations offer guest laundry facilities. For more information, visit

About Patriot PAWS
The mission of Patriot PAWS is to train and provide service dogs of the highest quality at no cost to disabled American Veterans and others with mobile disabilities and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in order to help restore their physical and emotional independence. Founded by professional dog trainer, Lori Stevens, Patriot PAWS has placed more than 230 service dogs since 2006, when it was designated as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Patriot PAWS trains their dogs with the help of volunteer Puppy Raisers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and student Puppy Raisers at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. They also have an innovative, 13-year partnership with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice where inmate trainers live and work with the dogs in prison. For more about Patriot PAWS, please visit their website at