Rukmini and Vijay Chandrashekar have put together a pet-friendly holiday platform, CollarFolk, for folks who want to travel with their four-legged friends. The amount of thought and effort these two have put into CollarFolks’ pet-friendly experiences makes it clear they are serious dog lovers. They have catered to a wide community of pet people, giving platform users the ability to opt for trekking, watersports, home-stay holidays and in-city experiences.
CollarFolks’ journey started back in 2014 when Kiki, Rukmini and Vijay’s golden retriever, was adopted into their family. Rukmini explains, “it felt like our family was complete with her (Kiki)… but when we were going on a holiday or even going for a cup of coffee it was a hassle.” It was then Rukmini and Vijay started their research. To their surprise a lot of locations, many in rural areas, like the mountains, had pet-friendly policies, the caveat, says Rukmini, “was that these places didn’t advertise that they were pet-friendly.”
From then on the duo started to compile a diverse selection of pet-friendly locales, so fellow dog lovers could liberate themselves from the array of hurdles pet owners jump everyday. Rukmini and Vijay, also, understand not everyone is a veteran pet vacationer, Rukmini comments, “ about 85 percent of the people we get haven’t travelled with their dogs before. So they normally opt for daily or weekend trips, like, going to Alibaug, and then they come back more confident and perhaps go to Rishikesh,” she adds, “it’s a gradual process.” Here’s a few of CollarFolk destinations that have brought people closer to their canine counterparts.
If you and your pup like getting splashed, CollarFolk organises speed boat cruises at Mandwa Beach and sailing in Mumbai harbour. And if you prefer to just glide over water, CollarFolk hooks up houseboats along Kerala’s backwaters, and canoeing across Uttarakhand’s Sattal Lake.
Through CollarFolk, hiking enthusiasts can take their dogs along trails in Uttarakhand’s Chopta and Mussoorie, Duke’s Nose in Lonavala, and the hilltops of Kodaikanal. And for in-city experiences they not only provide a variety of accommodation choices, but supply options for pet-friendly taxis and tips for dog friendly cafes. Also, if you just want to get away for a few days with your furry friend, you can try out CollarFolks’ curated home-stays, pet-friendly resorts, and eco-lodge getaways.
The future looks bright for these puppy loving pioneers, as they added Mumbai to their platform a few months ago, and have already gotten inquiries from people in neighboring areas, like, Pune and Gujarat. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more and more folks enjoying the great outdoors with their pooches.
Images Courtesy of CollarFolk
Words By: Julian Manning