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April 9, 2013

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I want to go on vacation!  Going on vacation with my dogs is a must (otherwise it wouldn’t be a vacation). But it can also be a hassle. Not every place we want to visit is pet friendly and that includes hotels. Finding pet friendly hotels online is much easier nowadays since more and more hotels are becoming pet friendly. But there’s a catch. Isn’t there always a catch?

Not all pet friendly hotels are truly pet friendly. Many have weight limits and charge extra fees for your pet’s stay. And they have strict rules that pets and pet owners must follow. So how do you find a good dog friendly hotel?

Search online for “pet friendly hotels”. There are lots of great website resources that can help you find hotels in the city you are traveling to. Then call the prospective hotels directly. Many hotel chains will advertise pet friendly but many hotel chains are franchises where individual owners can modify the pet policy as they wish. So always call the hotel directly, not the hotel chain 1-800 number, and ask the below listed questions:
* Is there is a weight limit or a limit on the number of pets?
* Are there are any additional fees for pets staying at the hotel? Are the fees per day? Are there any non-refundable deposit fees?
* Are there areas for the dog to go potty, such as grassy areas or even a special gated area for dogs?
* Are the pet friendly rooms are also used as smoking rooms? For economic reasons I won’t explain here, some hotels (especially the lower-end hotels) will use the pet friendly room and smoking room interchangeably.
* What is your policy for when I leave and leave my dog in my room? Is this allowed? If so, should he be crated?

Be a responsible pet owner and give future pet travelers a good name and practice some basic courtesies:
1. Be sure to declare your pets at check in. Don’t lie. Lying might help someone in the short run, but in the long run it makes hotel owners want to reconsider their pet friendly policies.
2. Ask for an area on the ground floor, especially if your pet is older and can’t go up and down the stairs well.
3. Ask if there are any restricted areas for pets. Most likely, pets will not be allowed in the dining areas or bar, or in the activity areas such as swimming pool and gym.
4. Be sure your dog is on a leash at all times and always keep control of your pet. The last thing you want is for another hotel resident to complain about your dog.
5. Pick up after your dog. This should be a courtesy exercised no matter where you go with your dog.
6. Crate your pets when you are not there. You don’t want to scare the housekeepers and you don’t want your pets to escape when the housekeepers come to clean. Please note that some hotels don’t want you to leave your pet alone in the room (or the car) at all.
7. If your dog is a barker, please let the hotel staff know in advance and ask if there is a room that is out of the way.
8. If your dog makes a mess or chews up hotel properly, let the hotel staff know immediately. Don’t wait until checkout.

If you are wondering who some of the pet friendly hotels are, here is a list of some of our favorites:
* Marriott makes it easy to find a dog friendly hotel. Visit Marriott‘s website.
* The Holiday Inn also has a number of pet friendly hotels. Check out Holiday Inn’s website.
* Motel 6 claims that all their hotels are pet friendly and they have a very clear pet policy outlined HERE.
* On one night stay overs, I generally look for a Red Roof Inn. I’ve found that some charge fees but others don’t. Again, it depends on the hotel owner.
* I have had good luck staying at Baymont Inn and Suites. Their website recommends you call the hotel directly for their pet policies.
* There are a lot more than this. Petside has a great article on the Top 5 and more.

Much of the work in planning your vacation will be on finding the right dog friendly hotel. But since your best friend will be going on vacation with you, it is all worth it! If you’ve had a good experience at a pet friendly hotel, please tell us about it. And have fun on your traveling endeavors! 🙂

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4 Responses to “Pet Travel Destination Tuesday – Pet Friendly Hotels”

  1. Lindsay:

    I’ve stayed in hotels with my pets, and they always put us in a smoking room or a room that used to be a smoking room. I think more and more nicer hotels will slowly allow pets to stay as pets are always becoming more and more like family. I know it’s hard for the hotel owners, though, because let’s face it, some pet owners are always going to be irresponsible. Those few people ruin the whole experience for everyone.

  2. SephiAndMaya:

    We almost always end up in a smoking room too. The one time we weren’t put in a smoking room was when we stayed at a Baymont Inn Suites.

    True, there will always be those that ruin it for everybody. But the more of us who follow the rules, the fewer and farther between those irresponsible ones will be. You and I and anyone else reading this will become the norm. 🙂

  3. Lindsay:

    Yes I agree!

  4. Ruby Johnson:

    This is so true. It’s best to know hotels that are truly pet friendly. Thanks for the links by the way. I’m excited to bring my pet without hassle next time.