Planning The Perfect Vacation For You And Your Furry Pal

Are you constantly wishing that your pup could accompany you on vacation?  Well, they can!  Many hotels are pet-friendly, and if you travel by car or van, transportation’s a cinch! Read on if you want to include your loyal best friend!

Where to go with your pet? 

Bringing your pet along can make a lot of differences in your trip planning—if you’re bringing your dog, you don’t want to leave him or her alone in the hotel (or worse, the car) all day long. Pick a place where your pup can get involved. For example, if you have a bigger dog, pick a location where you can go on hikes through canyons or on walks through the woods. You may also choose a location with a dog-friendly beach!  You want fun for the whole family, including Rex.

Finding a place to stay: making sure your accommodations pet-friendly

Now that you’ve decided on a location, it’s time to find accommodations. Luckily, there are hotels out there that allow dogs. Some even have special arrangements available for those with pets. For example, my family once stayed at the Windmill Suites in Ashland, which was a very nice pet-friendly hotel. They had grounds you could walk your dogs in, with pooper-scoopers and bags at the ready every few yards. It was actually quite nice to run into fellow travelers and their pets on my daily morning walk with my dog.

You can also look into sites like or, which offer vacation rentals and exchanges that often provide more flexible options for pet-owners. While not every rental will accept pets, those that do might provide better amenities, such as larger accommodations or even backyards that will give your pooch the space he needs!

Choosing Transportation

For transportation, you have a few options. With a dog, car travel is usually easiest; however,  before you embark on a three-day road trip, make sure your dog doesn't get car sick—that can be a nightmare.

Depending on the size of your dog, you have a few options for flights. If your dog is small enough, you can stow them under your seat. Unfortunately, this only generally works for toy breeds. My mutt (who weighs in at about 20 pounds) is too big for this option. If you’re in the same boat as me, your dog will have to ride in the cargo of the plane.

Unfortunately, most modes of public transportation in the U.S. don’t allow dogs (with the exception of service dogs).  Fortunately, some public transportation in other countries is a little more lax—for example, when I lived in Germany, you could buy a subway ticket for your dog.

Training Your Pet for the Trip

There are a couple of basic demands that your pet should know before you embark on your journey—“come” and “stay” are both important. In an unfamiliar environment, you want to make sure that your dog will stay obedient.  With all of the new sights (and smells), your pet might get disoriented.

You may also want to teach your dog to “go” (yes, that kind of “go”) on cue. This can really eliminate wait time. If your pet is trained to go on cue (for example, “go potty”), you can shave time off of a lengthy road trip.

Packing for your pet


What to bring?  The essentials, of course—their food, leash, collar and tags.  If you have some room, you might want to bring along the pet bed. This can help them acclimate to strange new environments—it gives them a little bit of familiarity and can really help them feel more comfortable.

So there you have it—all you need for a successful trip with your best friend!

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in So California who writes on everything from gardening and home improvement, to technology and marketing, to health and beauty. She has two bigs Great Danes and always tries to bring them along on family trips!

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