This just in: Fido is officially part of the typical North American family, and he expects to be included on seasonal vacations. He doesn’t come without issues or needs however, particularly when it comes to travel logistics and additional getaway costs. Here are several strategies put to use in our home when it comes to traveling with our rambunctious yet loveable Labrador.
The site my husband and I use most often when traveling is PetsWelcome.com. It allows us to search for doggie-allowed establishments based on location, including whether or not any of the hotels in question charge an additional fee for letting Rover spend the night. If two hotels offer the same price with the exception of a $25 deposit for furry friends, then knowing this information ahead of time can help you avoid dishing out the extra dough. When pet-friendly hotels aren’t prevalent, knowing where you’ll be landing that night also allows you to plan the most efficient highway route, saving time on the road and rewarding Fido with some extra romping time.
If you’re going to be in a particular location for several days, and hanging out in the hotel just doesn’t suit your dog’s personality, don’t assume you need to dish out for the overnight canine resort. Many of them offer reduced rates for day access. At one such establishment in Miami, $15 bought us a day at the spa for our loveable Labrador, giving her some much needed leg stretching time which resulted in a much more restful night for all of us back in our room. She always feels more secure sleeping with us, but needs an exceptional amount of exercise to remain behaviorally manageable. So this hybrid solution is an affordable, workable solution for us.
We’re huge fans of free public rest areas on road trips. If you think you’re going to clock eleven hours on the highway without a romp session, think again. Rover will definitely have other ideas, and you don’t want to find that out while cruising sixty plus miles per hour down the interstate. Since you’ll need to use these rest stops for the dogs anyway, packing a picnic will fit in nicely with that agenda. All things considered, you’ll still spend less time off the highway than if you’d stopped at a restaurant on your own.
When possible, plan a vacation with an activity itinerary that will easily include your dog. Hiking, camping and even snowshoeing during a mountain cabin getaway can be fun for Fido. Just make sure you bring along protective canine booties if there’s going to be slush and snow. Oceanfront fun during warmer weather, along with lake access for water dogs will build memories for the whole family and allow your furry family member to expend necessary energies during the day.
Traveling with a canine will never be issue free, but it can be fun and affordable for the whole family. Proper planning and a bit of compromise will go a long way towards a successful vacation experience with your dog.
A lifelong money cruncher who can squeeze a nickel ‘til it cries, Myscha is a syndicated columnist, best-selling author, and founder of Trek Hound and We Be Sharin’.