Whether you’re on vacation or moving long-distance, there are definitely reasons to find and stay at a pet-friendly hotel.
Having crossed the country twice I’ve got some insight to share with you about finding lodging for you and your dog. Both of our trips (from Virginia to Arizona and back again) included senior dogs.
Pet-Friendly Hotel Tip #1 – Ask
Ask for recommendations. It sounds so simple, and still we forget that our best resources are often our friends, especially on social media.
Before our first cross-country trip I happened to have had several friends move long-distance with their own dogs. A quick message set me up with some good insight on what to look for and what to avoid as well as some great insight on what to pack in the car to make sure we were set for long days in the car.
Pet-Friendly Travel Tip #2 – Online
Don’t reinvent the wheel! A quick on-line search will reveal hundreds (or more) of lists and resources for pet-friendly lodging. Some are, obviously, better than others.
If you’ve asked your friends and social media connections for insight already, you’re ahead of the game. Their wisdom will help you determine which list and review sites are worth your time and which you should avoid.
Personally I found BringFido.com to be a pretty good jumping off point.
If you’re also looking for things to do and see and places to eat while you’re traveling, TripAdvisor can’t be beat!
Pet-Friendly Lodging Tip #3 – Reviews
Sites like Bringfido and TripAdvisor are only as good as the reviews you find there. Sometimes you’ll hit a location that has no reviews or reviews that seem staged and you’ll be stumped, you can – like I did in Odessa, TX, take a leap of faith. Sometimes it works out and other times it doesn’t, however, be sure to keep good notes and commit to writing a useful review so others have a point of reference when making their trip.
Pet-Friendly Lodging Tip #4 – On the Fly
During both cross-country adventures I had a specific starting place and a specific end place, however the middle was up in the air. Each night I’d look at the map and determine the general vicinity of the next night’s stop – based on estimated mileage.
While on potty and walking breaks I’d use my phone to research hotel options near the interstate at my intended night’s destination.
Within an hour or two of the final stop I’d call the hotel I selected to make a reservation. BringFido has rates that are sometimes slightly lower than quoted by the front desk at the hotel property. In some cases they would honor the BringFido rate and other times I was told to secure the rate I’d have to book using the online site, which I never did. Call me paranoid, but having worked in the hotel industry for many years I know that glitches can happen with online bookings on the day of a stay. The last thing I wanted was to arrive and be told that there wasn’t a room available for me and my dog!
Pet-Friendly Travel Tip #5 – Be Nice
Being nice is the number one way I’ve made it this far in my life, much less across the Country – twice!
My dog is naturally nice and no matter how tired or sore or hungry she is, she manages to wag her tail and make people want to shower her with love and positive attention.
As a role model, she’s amazing.
No matter where I bring my dog I try to live by that example – and treat people along the way just like she does. Saying “I appreciate you” to the lady at the gas station who figures out how to get your pump to work, or to the front desk attendant who takes time to tell you the best places to walk your dog and get a bite to eat is small effort that goes a long way.
My mantra, especially when I’m tired and crabby after a long day of driving is “The Universe is always conspiring in my favor.” (that’s a little ditty I picked up from Abraham-Hicks by the way). *
Here’s to you and your next trip with your dog.
Do you have any great hacks that I should add? I’d love to hear them in the comments.
*This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. If you follow that link and make a purchase I’ll get a few cents but it won’t cost you anything extra. That’s what I call a win-win.Follow me here: