Anyone who owns a pet will tell you that their little critter is a part of the family. So for many people family travel obviously means that their pet is traveling with them. My little Corgi goes wild every time he hears the keys jangle. He runs to the kitchen door and wags his non-existent tale and looks at me like “I’m ready I’m ready Lets GO”. He has traveled with us on cross country road trips and loves to travel almost as much as the rest of the family.
Traveling with a pet can bring its own set of challenges. It’s fun to bring your pet along but it is also important to think about their safety too when traveling in a car. You can purchase a special seat belt for your pet. This works great for smaller cars where there may not be room to load up their travel kennel. We were traveling with two dogs on one trip and we were lucky to be going in a Suburban because the back cargo area was just the right size for two hard plastic travel kennels. We ended up getting into an accident on that trip and the back window blew out. If the dogs had been loose in the car they would have had glass shattered all over them or worse.
Many of our trips with our poochies have included an overnight stay in motels. This last week I sat down with my friend Alex Hart who manages a number of motels for GuestHouse Inn and asked him if he had any tips for travelers when it comes to traveling with their pets.
The first thing you should remember is to call the hotel directly where possible because each hotel will have different rules regarding pets, including:
- Type of pet: Ask which types of pet you can bring. I once had a guest bring his miniature horse into the room and I had to politely tell him that we didn’t accept horses!
- Number of pets you can bring: Sometimes hotels limit the number of pets you can bring, how much they can weigh, and how much will be charged for deposits and fees which can vary.
- Can your hotel even accept pets: Don’t be offended if a hotel is not pet friendly. Some hotels cannot accept your pets because of things like city ordinances.
What to Expect from the Hotel
First off make sure you announce your pet at check in, in case notes weren’t made in the computer. Most hotels will charge a higher fee for non-disclosed pets, plus some hotels will give you a treat and pick up bags when they know in advance that you are traveling with your pet.
Most hotels that are pet friendly still have a few rules and recommendations for making your pets’ stay more comfortable.
- When you and your pet are in the public spaces they should be in a carrier or on a leash at all times. You love your pet but other guests in the hotel may have allergies or have some fears about live animals.
- Your pets should never be in a room alone without you!
- Pets don’t belong in the breakfast area or restaurant, in the pool, or the gym areas.
- It’s time to pack, what should you bring? You’ll need food, dishes, toys, leashes, carriers, blankets, clothing if applicable, and don’t forget pick up bags.
- Most hotels don’t mind that you bring your pet friend with you, but please when going for walks pick up after them.
With these few tips you and your pets should have the best vacation ever!
Alex Hart is manager at the Guesthouse Inn in North Idaho and President of the Board for the Historic Silver Valley Chamber of Commerce. He loves helping people make their vacation in N. Idaho a memorable and pleasant experience.
Mary Heston is aka World Travelingmom is Social Media Team Strategist for Travelingmom. Tom and Mary have lived in 6 different states and 2 countries. They have four amazing kids and two dogs who share their love of adventure. Mary has over 15 years of online blogging / social media experience.