Would you pass up a vacation if you couldn't bring your pet?
Standing up for pets: 61% opt out of pet-less vacations, 40% take pay cuts for WFH jobs
I listened to my great uncle go on and on about how much I would love a cruise — and not just the Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic VoyageⓇ with black folks aplenty. He talked about how relaxing and fun they are. My grandfather used to have a map of all seven continents on his back porch. He’d put a thumb tack in every place he’d been. He had so many thumb tacks in this map that it looked like a swarm of bees got ahold of it. Quite a few of his trips were cruises too. I was unimpressed.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy traveling. I’ve had stories to tell about airline excitement, plane rides, Amtrak trips and small boat trips out of the United States. Cruises just never enticed me. I didn’t want to be stuck in one place around a bunch of tourists for several days or weeks. When I travel, I actively avoid tourists and solely hang out with locals. I’ve been on one too many trips with strangers from Chicago who wanted to bore me to death while talking about Chicago the entire time we were nowhere near the Windy City. Hard pass. It’s the exact reason I attended two out-of-state colleges and why I had 50 pen pals once upon a time. I like to see how the “outside” world lives.
Then I saw “The Real Cost of Cruises | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” and how much crime happens on cruises. If I wanted to deal with all that, I’d just take my chances in my (beloved) hometown. I doubled down on my disinterest in water vacations.
But reading about travel franchises and luxury cruises (for work) started making me reevaluate my distaste for cruises. In fact, this editing job made me seriously look up a few options to see what was within my budget. I jotted down a few names and trips, and when would be the best time of the year for me to get serious about a cruise ticket. Then the unthinkable happened — something that wasn’t a priority to me until Juneteenth 2021. I realized just how anti-pet cruises are and that most cruises require the dog to be crated for the entire trip, even if you’re paying $800 to $1,000 for a weeklong cruise. Once again, hard pass. I don’t want my dog stuck in a cruise kennel for seven days. Now I’m definitely not going, and I have no interest in leaving my dog behind.
I could always find a family member to dogsit while I enjoyed the ocean and the breeze, but I actually like having my dog around. I’m not glued to her hip and do go places without her (to her utter dismay and yelping in front of the picture windows), but I would rather choose a dog-friendly vacation. I fully understood why this OnePoll survey (on behalf of Stella & Chewy’s) resulted in 61% of 2,000 Americans saying they would pass up vacations (and date nights) if they couldn’t bring their pets. In another OnePoll survey (on behalf of PetMeds), 40% would take a pay cut so they could be around their pets and work from home. Although The Breakfast Club host DJ Envy wonders if majority of those surveyed were white, last time I checked a mirror, I was still a black woman.
In all fairness though, I do see Charlamagne tha God’s point about “not taking a pay cut to be home with my pets.” If I wasn’t already a five-year freelancer, I may have not latched onto the idea of making less money either. Then again, I solely discuss remote jobs or freelance work-from-home jobs with clients, knowing full well I could make more money by dragging myself into an office. It’s not happening. Yet again, still black!
There is a misconception that pet owners are “lonely,” don’t have family nor are dating (or married). The truth (for me anyway) is most pet owners I know are married. My parents, three-time dog owners, just celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago. Even more interesting is all the cat lovers I know are men — black men.