by Catherine Currin
You’ve got a new pup, but want to take a weekend getaway; you’re off to visit family or friends and don’t want to leave your furry friend at home. Trips with Pets has got you covered. The website allows you to curate a personalized trip: from the plane, train, or car to pet-friendly hotels, breweries, wine tours, and seasonal activities like fruit-picking, it turns out there’s plenty to do with your pet in tow. “I am passionate about two things: animals and travel,” says founder Kim Salerno. “I want to make it easy for people with pets to travel with them.”
The Wake Forest-based business began in Salerno’s basement in 2003, when she was living in Maine. Salerno is devoted to animal rescue causes, and her three dogs at home usually lead the charge in her personal travel planning. She designed the website to serve other animal-lovers like herself; 15 years later, the site has grown through partnerships with travel brands like Expedia and hosts the largest directory of pet-friendly breweries, according to Salerno.
Salerno and her animal family moved to the Triangle five years ago, and she says the area is perfect for trips with pets. Between the hiking trails locally and in the mountains, Salerno is frequently outside with Tucker, Charlie, and Brownie. Her next pet-friendly endeavor is paddle boarding with her lab, Tucker, on the N.C. coast. “Any chance I can get Tucker to the water, I take it. But our favorite thing to do with all 3 dogs is a vacation rental in the mountains.”
Meanwhile, the site continues to grow. Salerno says the millennial generation is spending more on pets than any generation preceding them, placing adventurous travel at the top of the priority list. “Their vacation is with their pets, they aren’t just bringing them along because it’s convenient.”