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Low Fares and Tips on Pet Travel

by margaret 2. August 2011 06:16

Anyone who has a pet knows that they’re just as much a part of the family as anyone else! So it should come as no surprise that traveling with pets has become not just a trend, but quite the business. In fact, so many Americans are now traveling with their pets that pet only airline Pet Airways was created, and many hotels, including the Starwood Hotels, accommodate pets by offering everything from a custom pet bed to a birthday cake for your dog (a bit much?). While cheap flights can usually be found to accommodate pet travel, we talked to a pet travel expert for tips on making pet travel easy on the road.

 

Pet Friendly Cities

When choosing a spot to go for a weekend vacation, it usually depends on how far away it is, if you can get a good car rental deal, cheap hotel or cheap airfare tickets. But when going on vacation with your four-legged friend, there’s a bit more involved. What hotel would accept your pet? Are you able to leave them there if you want to go out for dinner? Is there a cleaning fee for the car rental? And of course for large dog owners, what’s the furthest point you can drive, as flying with large dogs for a quick weekend trip is usually not an option. 

So we’ll start with the first tip, where to go. There are a lot of dog friendly cities in the US, but one that strikes us as being very dog friendly is our capital, Washington D.C. When we asked Amy Burkert of GoPetFriendly.com, she couldn’t agree more, “From the Lincoln Memorial, to the Washington Monument, to the Capital Building - you can see them all with your pet.” With a good amount of things to see from the outside, you certainly can’t go wrong with bringing your pet on a trip to the capital to check out all the historic monuments (they’ll of course have to skip out on the museums unfortunately!). However, Burkert felt that one of the most pet friendly cities was actually to the south in Austin, TX. Her review of Austin includes many pet friendly restaurants and a list of pet friendly hotels, but nothing stood out more than the dog friendly beach located on Lady Bird Lake Trail. Of course, being a dog owner in New York City, we’ve found it to be quite the dog friendly place, full of dog parks in almost every neighborhood, and plenty of outdoor seating in the summer with restaurants allowing you to bring your dog along for brunch.

 

Pet Friendly Accommodations

Hotels all over the world will allow you to bring your pet; you just have to find the right ones with the right amenities. As Burkert told us, “One of the biggest challenges is determining a hotel's pet policy... can you leave the pet unattended, is there a weight restriction, will you have to stay in a smoking room because you're traveling with a pet?” As she has found over her years of traveling with pets, The Kimpton and Loews hotels are the best for their pet friendliness, though you never know what you’ll find if you look around. The Starwood line of hotels have also been known to have great amenities for pets, even, as previously mentioned, seriously catering to their every need from a toy at check-in to a special treat at turndown.

GoPetFriendly has a great list of pet friendly hotels all over the US, and of course, you can always book your hotel at a cheap rate through FareBuzz.com.

 

On the Road

Of course it’s easy to get cheap airfare tickets for you and your Chihuahua, but what do you do when you want to travel with your Rottweiler? Not exactly a dog you can fit below the seat in front of you! That’s generally where road trips come in. Road tripping across America is something Burkert knows well. Burkert and blog co-founder Rod Burkert travel full-time with their two dogs, Buster and Ty, in their Winnebago. As the owners of a dog who isn’t the most excited about getting in the car, we asked her what tips she could give to people who are going on a road trip with their pet for the first time, or may not necessarily go on road trips that frequently. Of course, giving your dog treats when they get in the car is a good start, but the best thing to do is take them on little trips to a place they enjoy going. Most dogs may associate traveling in the car with going to the vet. Not the best association! Taking trips to the dog park or going for a hike nearby are good trips for your dog to associate car travel with. As Burkert says, “Make your trips longer and longer, and before long you'll be ready to hit the road for a couple of weeks.”

 

Go Pet Friendly!

No one likes to leave their pet behind when going on vacation, so when you can, there’s always an option to take them with you. GoPetFriendly.com has a great collection of hotels and places you can go to make travel pet friendly, and as always, you can find great deals and low fares on FareBuzz.com

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