Cape Town - When you have pets that require an abundance of love and attention, planning a holiday is not as exciting as you may hope it will be.
If you're the parents of fur-babies then you're familiar with the work involved in ensuring necessary care for your precious pets while you're on vacation. And even while you're trying to relax on holiday, you find yourself making use of whatever WiFi is available to check up on your furry friends back home.
To eradicate the stress of travelling without your pets, many holidaymakers are now taking their fur-babies along on their journeys.
From short road trips to camping adventures far from home, these travellers have even created personalised social media accounts for their furry travel companions - and the popularity of these four-legged travellers is growing to the point where their social media following far exceeds that of their owners!
We fell in love with Azuki from Japan - an adorable Instagram-hedgehog whose owners brighten up the days of his 162 000 followers with cute pictures and videos of his camping adventures.
In one of his photo shoots, leading camping gear manufacturer Coleman decided to make some hedgehog-sized camping gear so that he can enjoy the outdoors in style.
Azuki joins hundreds of other #petsofinstagram that have become travel and lifestyle influencers. Yes, that's right, influencers! Because we can't help but be enthralled by these animals' online charm and charisma that leads to us scrolling through their profiles, clicking on 'like' and sharing their posts for all our friends to see.
The online support from the world over has resulted in some of these fur-balls receiving over a million followers and campaign deals with brands that pay them quite generously ... all while they continue to touch our souls and add smiles to our faces.
These travel influencers are encouraging us take our cats, dogs, bunnies and birds out on adventures with us too. As in the case with Henry the dog and Baloo the cat who go on camping trips across the US with their human parents.
Their warmth and love for each other, coupled with their natural ability to serve as the perfect models for insta-worthy posts against some breathtaking backdrops in American camping spots, makes us want to pack our camping gear together with out beloved furry friends for a similar adventure.
Check out the cosy campers:
Cynthia, Henry and Baloo's mom, says that it “means so much to us that so many people care about our little family”.
“You all make this life possible for us. We are so grateful,” says Cynthia on Instagram, who plans on having a farm with horses, cows, alpacas, pigs, goats and a variety of pets.
She also says that “Henry is always there encouraging me to live the life I want to live because life's too short not to”. Well, he and Baloo are also encouraging thousands of Instagram users to make the most of travel shenanigans with pets.
Since flying with a pet can be costly - coupled with many T's and C's and other risks for your pet - why not plan your next road trip or local camping escape with your four-legged baby?
Other pets who have a more active travel itinerary than most humans and have taken Instagram by storm, include Loki the Wolfdog, whose "human-half" says "Let's inspire each other to get outside with our pups."
There's also Steve Yocum who travels the US with his "two best buds".
And if that's not enough, there's an Instagram account dedicated to inspiring the world to go camping with dogs.
Do you travel with your pet? Share your pet travel adventures with us by tagging us on Instagram @Traveller24_SA.