We’ve all heard that traveling makes us happier. But did you know that one of the happiest parts of your vacation is the planning process? Apparently, it’s science.
But what if your best friend is covered in fur and barks (or meows)? Who can enjoy planning a thrilling adventure, dream vacation, or family reunion if you have to leave your pets at home?
We think that fur babies need vacations, too. Luckily, more and more hotels and businesses are choosing to welcome four-legged friends. It only takes a little extra planning, but—as we learned—that’s great since planning is one of the best parts of the trip anyway! Keep on to learn what you should know when traveling with your pets.
Side note for those out there who suffer from pet-related allergies: To ensure that your hotel stay doesn’t result in an allergy attack, we recommend that you call ahead and ask that your chosen hotel place you in a non-pet-friendly room or floor. If your allergy is severe, we recommend doing the opposite of what this article suggests and avoiding pet-friendly hotels all together. Before you book, call ahead and double check that your hotel does not allow pets at all.
Choose Your Destination
If you’re not planning your trip to a specific location (like your second cousin’s theme wedding across the country), why not pick a vacation spot known for being pet friendly? While reading a blog post written by the folks at Yelp for National Dog Day (August 26th), we found the top 10 friendliest dog cities in America.
Yelp counted page views on their site from categories including dog parks, dog-friendly businesses, and other pet-related services in each city, then scored them accordingly. The top 10 results were:
- Arlington, Virginia
- Tampa, Florida
- West Hollywood, California
- Dallas, Texas
- Portland, Oregon
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Seattle, Washington
- Jersey City, New Jersey
- Phoenix, Arizona
In each of these cities, you’ll find businesses like bars, restaurants, and shops that don’t turn up their noses when your pooch walks in the door with you. Dog parks, pet groomers, and pet supply shops are also easily accessible and ready to help you find the perfect spot for a vacation selfie.
With your destination decision made, head on over to roomkey.com to secure your pet-friendly home away from home. Our search filters allow you to sort by hotels that are pet friendly, which takes the guessing out of your search.
Find the Perfect Pet-Friendly Hotel
While not every hotel is waiting with doggie treats in hand, Hotel News Now suggests that 51% of hotels accept pets. Despite this large number of pet-friendly hotels, navigating the path to making the right booking decision can feel like trying to find Waldo.
Luckily for you, it doesn’t have to be that way because we’ve already done the research. Some hotel chains are known to be more animal loving and pet friendly than others. With help from pet-positive travelers like the American Kennel Club, Smarter Travel, tripswithpets.com, and PetTravel.com, we’ve gathered a list of the top hotels to snag reservations at when rooming with your furry family members.
At each of the Kimpton Hotels across the U.S., the open-arms policy goes for all, whether furry, feathery, or scaly. Their offered amenities prove their dedication—cozy pet beds, concierge lists of local pet-friendly places, and nightly pet-inclusive wine reception—all with no extra charge for pet reservations. When you snag a room at this Kimpton Hotel in Seattle, Washington, you’ll rest easy knowing your pet is not only allowed but is a welcomed guest.
Many hotels among the Hyatt family are fur-baby friendly like the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa Gainey Ranch. In this location and many others throughout the country, the Hyatt staff welcomes you and your pets with cozy and plush beds so you both catch all the beauty rest you need.
Are you traveling with multiple pets? If so, check out the Quality Inns along your route. Most of their hotels (as well as about 2,500 other Choice Hotels) like this one near Minneapolis, Minnesota, roll out the welcome mat at a reasonable price. Each city has its own rules and regulations, so double-check with each location before securing your plans.
With more than three dozen hotels (like this one in downtown Dallas, Texas,) Hotel Indigo describes themselves as “enthusiastically pet friendly.” Associated costs for adding your four-legged family to the reservation generally run around $25-75, but it’s worth it since your special guests get VIP treatment with welcome treats and cozy beds.
The Ritz Carlton
Only some of the Ritz Carlton locations are pet friendly, but the ones that are can offer specialty packages, including pet hikes, treats, and toys. Beware though, with grandeur like this, your pet may never want to go home! Include your pup in your life of luxury at the Ritz Carlton, Washington, D.C., location.
Of the 121 Aloft locations in North America, most of them are pet friendly, including this property in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Dogs 40 pounds and under stay for free and can take advantage of Aloft’s signature Arf Program that gives your pet a complimentary bowl, bed, treats, and toys. Make sure to call ahead for information on the pet policy at each specific hotel as they may vary by location.
With hundreds of locations across the country and almost all of them welcoming pets, you’re sure to find one near your bucket list location. Check out this animal-loving location near Bush Gardens in Tampa, Florida. You can book a room for you and up to two animals for no extra charge.
With an average pet fee of only $10 and expected nightly rates that are extremely affordable, choosing a Super 8 hotel is a budget-friendly option. Snuggle up with your pet just outside of Portland, Oregon, at the Gresham Super 8, just 45 minutes from Mt. Hood skiing and recreation.
Policies You Should Know
There’s no way around it: every hotel has a different pet policy. Knowing in advance whether the one you’ve chosen fits your pet’s lifestyle is of the utmost importance as it can make or break your trip. Even within the same hotel chain, different hotels have different pet policies. Once you have your top choice or two picked out, call and talk with a representative on the phone. Make sure you and your pet know what to expect when you arrive for your vacation.
Our top travel tip when bringing your pets is to get your destination hotel’s pet policies in writing before you walk out your front door. This way, you won’t miss anything, and if Buster exceeds their size and weight limit, you won’t find out as you walk through the door of the hotel.
Here are some additional policy questions you may need to ask before your visit:
- Does the hotel have restrictions for size and weight?
- What kinds of pets are welcome on the property?
- Are there any breed restrictions?
- How many pets are allowed per room?
- Are all rooms pet friendly?
- What are the kennel and leash rules while on the property?
- Which areas of the property are my pets allowed to enjoy with me?
- Can my pets stay in the room without me? Are there additional restrictions for this?
- Are pet-friendly rooms also smoking-friendly rooms? Is it possible to book a non-smoking, pet-friendly room?
- What is the additional cost for pet reservations at this location? Is it refundable? Is it a one-time fee or a daily fee?
- Are there rules for which furniture and linens my pets can touch?
- May I use the bathtub in the room for pet grooming?
- Do my pets need proof of vaccinations/health papers from a veterinarian?
- If my pets make noise, can I be kicked out of the hotel?
- Should I reserve a room on the ground floor to avoid upsetting downstairs neighbors?
- Should my pet and I avoid rooms near elevators and ice machines due to noise?
Once all the details are squared away, the rest is smooth sailing. When it comes to what to pack for your pup, use a list like this one from Dog Jaunt. It categorizes the list by what you need to pack before you leave, what should go in a carry-on, and how you can pack to save space.
The Best Vacation Ever
Our job is to help you book that “BEST TRIP EVER” every time. We’ve got your back when it comes to packing up the pups (or the kittens, birds, and geckos).
Our mission? To assist you in finding the perfect hotel room so you feel confident in your choice. Don’t waste time searching for rooms on sites that won’t show you all the options or that bully you into booking before you’re ready. Leave the tricks to your four-legged travel companions—at Roomkey, our mantra is: No tricks. Just travel.
Start searching with Roomkey, where you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for every time.