Pet-Friendly Hotels: Bringing Your Pets on Vacation
Booking a trip and preparing for your vacation takes some extra steps and precautions when traveling with an animal companion. If you’re a pet owner, spontaneous trips will always be a little less likely, simply because you have to figure out how it’s going to work out for your animal.
You definitely don’t want to be sneaking your pooch past the front desk or concierge or get saddled with tons of additional fees. If you’ve got a pet at home and you’re planning on traveling, it’s either who’s gonna look after them while I’m gone, or how can we work it out so they can tag along?
It goes without saying; the latter option makes for a cuter, furrier, and cuddlier trip. Of course, you want to bring your buddy along with you! But that means that you have to find the right accommodations and make the necessary preparations to ensure your vacation is stress-free and full of furry fun.
Join us as we dish on the best pet-friendly hotels.
Where Do You Find a Hotel’s Pet Policy?
Most of the time, you can find a hotel’s pet policy listed wherever you happen to be booking your stay. If you’re set on bringing Lulu the Cat with you on vacation, you should be able to filter out options that don’t accommodate your animal.
Consult the hotel’s website to find out more details about the kind of pets they allow and any restrictions they may impose. Some seemingly pet-friendly rooms may be stricter than one would assume; some might have weight limits or high mandatory cleaning fees.
Always Call Ahead To Double-Check
Even if you’ve read through the pet policy on the hotel website, the booking agency website, and a review of the hotel — it’s never a bad idea to double-check. Hotels change their policies from time to time, and you don’t want to show up with Fluffy only to find out that Fluffy is not welcome (How could anyone deny sweet Fluffy?).
Call ahead and speak to someone who works there to verify that pets are welcome. Then you can leave for your vacation with peace of mind and the certainty that you and your furry friend will both receive a warm welcome. It’ll save you from unnecessary stress and prevent you from finding yourself in a strange place with no place to lay your head.
Check for Pet Restrictions
Once you’ve double confirmed that pets are allowed, take note of any restrictions in their pet policy as well. Most hotels aren’t going to accommodate your pet snake or donkey. Some will allow dogs only or permit dogs as long as they’re under a certain size.
However, there is at least one hotel that will accept any animal that can fit through the door. In fact, it’s their official policy:
Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in Atlanta
The Kimpton Sylvan Hotel in Atlanta, GA, is famous for its open-door policy. This friendly property welcomes animals of all kinds, so long as they can fit through the door. The boutique hotel is designed with pets in mind, featuring large spaces that transition seamlessly between indoors and outdoors.
If you stay there, you might make friends with an ostrich at the rooftop bar, a penguin by the pool, or a llama in the lobby. The rooms at the Kimpton Hotels come stocked with perks like pet beds, food, and water bowls, treats, and other supplies that animal handlers might need. Better yet, there are no extra fees.
Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in New York
Heading to New York? The Soho Grand Hotel has pet-specific floors and its own private dog park. Plus, this dog-friendly hotel doesn’t require any extra fees.
NYC’s Kimpton Muse Hotel is just a bone’s throw from Bryant Park. Take advantage of their personalized dog walking services while you head to Times Square and Broadway to see a show.
What Is a Pet Fee?
Pet fees vary drastically. If you get lucky, there may not be one. There could be a per-night fee, which is okay if you’re just staying for a night or two. Or there may be a flat fee/ This fee can seem awfully steep if you only stay for one night, but becomes more affordable the longer you stay.
Since pet fees vary so much, and because you don’t want a surprise bill, be fully aware of all the additional costs and fees that come along with staying at a hotel with your pet.
Is Your Pet Prepared for Travel?
You and your pet need to do a few crucial things to be fully prepared for travel. First off, make sure that your pet is healthy and ready for the big trip. Travel does put extra stress on animals, so it’s good to get a pet check-up before you leave if they haven’t seen the vet in a while.
Make sure your pet is up to date with their vaccinations. Bring proof of vaccinations with you. Some hotels may require you to present documentation. It’s also just good to have on hand in the event that an accident occurs.
Also, be sure that they have an effective form of identification! They won’t be carded at any bars or clubs you might visit while on vacation, but the last thing you want is for your little guy to get lost in a strange place with no form of ID. Microchips are an effective solution, as are tracking collars.
A Cozy Carrier
Prepare a space for your pet to travel in safely and comfortably. If you’re traveling any way other than by car, a pet carrier is necessary. Ensure they get to spend some time getting used to it before heading out for the actual trip.
Carriers might also double as a place for them to sleep inside the hotel if they’re used to sleeping in something small like a crate or dog house.
How To Pack for a Pet Vacation
Even though they don’t technically require a suitcase packed with outfits to last the duration of the trip, you still have a decent amount of packing to do for them. Your pet is most likely not going to be much help when it comes to packing up their things. It’s also because you want to be fully prepared for any situation you may find yourselves in.
Here are the things to pack for your pet before leaving on vacation:
- Their favorite food and treats.
- Food and water bowls.
- Any medication they take or might need.
- Leash / Collar (pets are not usually welcome in fitness centers)
- Potty Supplies
- Pet/dog bed
- Cleaning supplies in case of an accident.
- Adorable doggy pool float.
- Grooming gear
- Vet contact information
How To Travel by Car and by Plane With Your Pet
Once you’re all packed and ready to go, it’s time to set off on your vacation! Traveling with a pet can be tricky, or it can be a breeze. Some pets like it, and some don’t. It’s important to make all the preparations to ensure the journey goes as smoothly as possible.
Traveling by Car With a Pet
Hopping in the car and going for a ride might be something that your animal is already familiar with. Or it could be a really big deal for them if they haven’t spent much time in the car before.
Keeping them in a pet carrier is your safest bet, even for car travel. You don’t want them roaming freely in the car and potentially causing a distraction or interference for the driver. For the same reason, keeping them in the back seat is probably better than riding shotgun.
Whenever you stop, let them out to stretch their legs, pee on a fire hydrant, and get a tasty treat for being such a good traveler. A few minute walk around some green spaces can also help the driver (you) feel better too. Remember to never leave your pet in the car by themselves.
Traveling by Plane With a Pet
Traveling by plane is a much bigger ordeal than driving is, whether you’re human or animal— but especially for animals. Consider carefully whether flying with your pet is an absolute necessity.
If you decide that your pet isn’t ready for air travel, you can still give them a dog-friendly airplane experience with this private jet dog float from FunBoy.
If you decide that you’re up for it, take all the precautions for pet air travel and ensure everyone gets to the destination happy and healthy.
Enjoy Your Pet Getaway
Once you arrive and check in to the hotel, the fun begins! Check the area for things you can enjoy with your pet. Parks, pet-friendly restaurants, chilling in the pool with matching floats — it’s gonna be the best vacation ever.
Make sure you take plenty of cute photos together of all the exciting adventures you take. If it’s your first time vacationing at a hotel together, there are sure to be a few fun discoveries to make— what are they going to think about the elevator?
So, what are you waiting for? You and your animal friend deserve an amazing vacation. Safe travels!