Traveling with Pets
In time for #nationalpetday let’s talk about traveling with pets. Specifically, hotels that will welcome your family, including your four-legged family members. (Portions of this article originally appeared on Parade.com)
When you have to travel, what do you usually do with your pets? Traditionally, our family takes our dogs to our long-time dog sitter. But in the very near future, we could bring our dogs with us, even when staying in a hotel. That’s because more hotels and resorts are putting out the welcome mat for pets and making it easier for families traveling with pets.
There are a number of reasons that the hotel industry has responded to Americans and their love for their dogs and cats.
Why Americans like traveling with pets
First, while in the minority, a significant number of Americans want to be able to travel with their pets. According to the American Pet Products Association, about four in 10 animal lovers travel with their pets.
Welcoming pets helps their bottom line
Second, it can help a hotel’s bottom line. One study in the United Kingdom showed that hotels that welcomed pets were able to increase revenues by about 30 percent, primarily from the surcharges pet-owning guests pay for bringing their dog or cat. It’s just like the increased revenue airlines have seen from charging us to check our bags. (CNN says that last year airlines collected $1 million a day in baggage fees.)
We feel brand loyalty to hotels that welcome pets
And third, it can build brand loyalty. If you’ve stayed in a hotel chain that welcomed your pup and didn’t charge you an outrageous fee, you’d likely to stay with that chain again in the future, right? Think about hotel chains you purposefully book with because they offer free Wi-Fi or breakfast. Your thinking could easily trend towards these brands for letting your dog stay with you—even better if your dog stays for free.
Speaking of which, many hotel chains do charge a fee for having pets in the room. This is usually to cover the extra cleaning they might have to do after a cat or dog has stayed in the room. However, not all do.
Pet-friendly hotel chains
Here are five hotel chains that welcome household pets (versus service animals, which most chains welcome for free). Some of these hotels do not charge extra for these pets to stay in your room with you, which makes traveling with pets that much more pleasant. The hotel chains are listed here in alphabetical order.
Aloft Hotels are part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts family. There are 140 Aloft Hotel locations. We actually stayed in one of their properties outside the Buffalo-Niagara airport a few months ago. The hotel was clean, quiet and incredibly modern. I would definitely book a stay at an Aloft property again, especially knowing I could bring Oscar and Sadie, my pups.
Here is how the Aloft website describes its pet-welcoming policy:
Aloft is happy to welcome your dog, up to 40 pounds. Our pet-friendly arf (SM) program offers a special bed, bowl, and a doggie bag of woof-alicious treats and toys, all complimentary to use during your stay. Please make sure they’re on their best behavior-we don’t want to charge you extra for housekeeping!
If your dog weighs more than 40 pounds, or to see if another type of animal would be allowed, please contact the hotel directly to discuss a waiver.
In order to determine the Pet Policy for an individual hotel, please visit the hotel’s website. Pet Policy will be listed under the Announcements section.
I’ve had great luck booking our Aloft stay and other hotel stays using Hotels.com. In fact, there is a cash back deal happening through the end of 2018. Get up to a $100 Cash Back Rebate with code REBATES18! Book by 12/31/18; Travel by 3/31/19. That gives you plenty of time to enjoy your adventure of traveling with pets!
Extended Stay America
With over 600+ hotels across the United States, Extended Stay America has pet-friendly suites that lets pet parents like you and me avoid boarding fees at the dog sitter. Plus, you can have your four-legged friend participate in your next family vacation.
At very affordable rates, you can bring up to two pets per room and service animals are even exempt from additional fees. No more worrying if your furry family member is being cared for correctly or over the stress of you being gone might cause them.
Extended Stay America personnel are truly animal lovers and prove this with their support of The Petfinder Foundation. Petfinder’s mission is to help ensure no adoptable pet is euthanized for lack of a home and matches pets from shelters and rescue groups with their forever homes. I love this since we used Petfinder when adopting the four dogs that we’ve rescued as a family.
As proud partners, Extended Stay America provides the foundation’s volunteers with free hotel rooms across the country. These rescue volunteers save the lives of animals by assisting in adoptions and helping shelters prepare for and recover from disaster while becoming more sustainable in the process.
Kimpton Hotels are so pet friendly that they actually have a director of pet relations program. So cool. Like Aloft Hotels I’ve stayed in Kimpton properties–most recently in Chicago and Washington, DC. They are some of the coolest hotels around.
Here are some of the pet amenities you can expect when you stay there with your pet:
- A selection of hotel amenities and extras including plush pet-bed loaners in your guest room, food, water bowls and mats.
- A concierge list of nearby pet-friendly restaurants, parks, groomers and pet boutiques.
- Door hangers alert other hotel guests and staff that your cat, dog, or other beloved pet is in the room.
- Courtesy bags for walking your dog.
- No additional charge for pets, no deposit required
- There is no size/weight limit
- No limit on number of pets allowed
- Nightly wine reception — pets are welcome to join the party! Of course, the wine is for you!
FYI, Kimpton Hotels are part of the InterContinental Hotels Group. Use this link to find additional pet-friendly hotels around the world at other InterContinental Hotels!
La Quinta Inn & Suites
My daughter and I recently stayed at a La Quinta Inn & Suites in Dallas, Texas. I have to say that those clever La Quinta commercials are what inspired me to book our room through Hotels.com. (As I mentioned earlier you can get up to $100 cash back on your booking when you use the code REBATES18.)
Anyway, not only does La Quinta give you free breakfast (check out my Texas-shaped waffle from our free breakfast) but they welcome pets, too–dogs and cats. You’ll need to bring your own litter box if you’re bringing a cat.
La Quinta has more than 800 locations nationwide, many of them are pet friendly. Keep in mind, however, that the following La Quinta Inns & Suites locations do not allow pets:
- Inglewood, CA
- Manhattan, NY
- Queens, NY
- Central Park, NY
- San Antonio Brooks City Base, TX
- San Antonio Medical Center, TX
Red Roof Inn
Currently, Red Roof Inn locations are offering a great deal for pet parents and everyone else. Book now and save 15% Off your next stay at Red Roof Inn with VP code 621277. As always at Red Roof Inn, you stay happy and pets stay free! I would recommend booking for a stay before the crazy holiday season (post Memorial Day, pre Labor Day, Thanksgiving and winter breaks) gets into full swing. Red Roof has over 500 properties in the U.S.
More advice for traveling with pets
If you’re staying in a smaller hotel, you can still find out if properties will welcome pets. I would go to my favorite source of travel reviews–TripAdvisor. There you can read about others’ experiences staying in hotels, including with pets. You can also book hotel rooms (plus flights, rental cars and more) through the TripAdvisor site.
Have I missed anything else you think is important to know when traveling with pets? Post a comment to share your thoughts.