Summer is great for the whole family.  But should Spot or Fluffy stay or go? Here’s everything you should know when it comes to car travel, hotels, packing and great inspirational spots if you need it.  (Air travel will be its own topic of a future article.)

Pet Friendly Hotels

What does that actually mean “pet friendly hotels”?  There are other things you should ask, check and prepare.

Does the hotel/airline require health certificates or vaccine records?  Even though I noted air travel will be another article, it is worth noting that they will require one of the above.  When traveling across state lines, it is a requirement to have a health certificate for your pet.  Additionally, hotels, campsites or other accommodations may also require them.

What are the rules for leaving your pet alone in accommodations?  When renting a hotel room, cabin or other place that is serviced by a housekeeping and/or engineering team, there will be restrictions concerning your pet.  Usually it requires the pet to be kenneled or out of the room to be serviced.  This information will not likely be available on the website, so just call and check.

Where are you allowed to walk your pet?  You would think that if they are pet friendly, there would be a safe, well lighted area for walking.  That is not alway the case.  In fact, in some places there may not be any grass.  Sounds crazy, but I had two little ones and not only was there no grass, it was off a really loud, busy road, which freaked them out.

Are there any supplies available?  Some places are really good about ‘pet friendly’, while others use it as a tagline to attract more customers. Just check so you know what you need to bring, or not.

Ask if they provide a list of resources?  As crazy as it sounds, if you think all of these ‘pet friendly’ spots are prepared with information about other services, you would be incorrect.  Things like vets, dog parks, dog-friendly restaurants or events, etc.  Again, give yourself a chance to prepare your own list in advance if needed.  Later in this article, a couple of apps will be presented to help as well.

Pet restrictions? Unless you are using a specific pet website, this information is not provided in easy to find places.  Restrictions could be number of pets, size, in addition to breed.  CALL on this one.  Document who you spoke with and when.

Size of the room?  This is just a cofort thing.  If there is a whole family plus 1-2 pets, space could be uncomfortable.  Allow yourself to select a larger size room if needed.

Room type?  In some cases, there are a limited number of rooms available for pets; they may be restricted to a particular type; they might be in smoking rooms only; and/or in specific areas or floors.

Fees?  This can get very tricky so make sure you understand the exact fees; are they PER STAY or PER NIGHT; are they per pet; an do they include taxes, if applicable.  There will be a waiver upon check-in which may also include damage fees.  If you can, get the waivers in advance so you have time to read them, or at the very least read them when checking in.  No surprises.

Dog Suitcase

Yes, they have their own luggage.  Take a closer look and you’ll understand the difference.



Pet Travel Supplies

And to make things easy, following is a checklist to use when packing that bag.  Helpful hint:  Print out this page, cut out the list and laminate to keep in the dog suitcase on future trips or overnights.

Pet Resource Center

As promised, following are a few resources to help you travel with your pet.

Online Travel Agency – This refers to sites like  When you query your destination, be sure to check the “pet friendly’ box in the left navigation column to find those places where Spot or Fluffy is welcome.  (As a favor, please use the link above when booking your reservations.) – This site is pretty awesome.  It has a road trip planner so you can easily find pet friendly hotels along your route.  Their listings also note what type of pets are accepted, size restrictions, fees, and date of when last updated. It also includes vacation rentals. – Also a very cool site.  In addition to hotel listings, this site includes pet friendly restaurants, bars, activities, beaches and even concerts and events.  There is a free app available too.

Dog Log – Download this FREE app to store health records, reminders, and appointments.

Tractive – This FREE app goes with a GPS collar for your pet.  You do pay for the collar but then you can track your pet anywhere.

Top 10 Vacation Destinations

Following are some great pet friendly destinations because of their ability to provide pet friendly hotels, beaches and other activities and amenities.

  • Wilmington, NC
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Ft. Myers, FL
  • Ashville, NC
  • South Lake Tahoe, NV
  • Austin, TX
  • Key West, FL
  • Huntington Beach, CA
  • Block Island, RI
  • Flagstaff, AZ
  • Winter Park, CO

Pets are part of the family. Take them with you and include them in your memories.  Share your thoughts, feedback on products you’ve found beneficial and/or destinations your pet has enjoyed.

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