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Traveling with Pets: How to Make Your Pet’s Hotel Stay Awesome

When it comes to traveling with pets on vacation, a little research can go a long way. It can be easier than one might expect to bring furry friends along on your trip and keep them happy and comfortable.

Before Arrival

Hipmunk has your back, as always, with your hotel search. Filter your results by amenities offered, or check out our Pet-Friendly Hotels Index to get a good sense of which cities and destinations offer the most pet-friendly options.

Communication with the hotel is essential for an easy and stress-free trip, and much of it can take place before arrival. When investigating a possible hotel, keep in mind that not all hotels accept pets, and that some may charge extra fees per night for furry companions. On the other hand, many hotels offer amazing pet perks for a small per stay fee. The Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, for example, charges $100 per stay for pet-walking and pet-sitting services and a room service menu for cats and dogs, as well as helpful items such as bedding, litter boxes, and leashes.

When making a reservation, requesting a ground floor room is a good idea for dogs — it will enable easy walks and potty breaks, and will avoid disturbing downstairs neighbors with scurrying. For cats, a handicapped accessible room is ideal because of the larger bathroom, which offers easy clean up for a litter box.

What to Bring

There are a few essential things to bring along when traveling with pets. Identification tags and medical records are particularly important, especially if traveling by air. Bringing pets’ favorite toys will help them feel more at home in the new environment, and chewing toys for dogs and scratching toys for cats especially will distract them from chewing or scratching any hotel furniture. To make pets comfortable and avoid GI distress, keep them hydrated with bottled water and bring some of their normal food from home.

Many hotels require that pets be kept in a crate when left alone in the room, and even if it isn’t required, it’s a good idea for the happiness of travelers, pets, and hotel staff. It will avoid unwanted accidents in the room and prevent animals from rushing out the door if housekeeping visits the room.

Helpful Tips

Just in case, it’s a good idea to leave a cell phone number with the front desk staff of the hotel so that they can alert pet owners to any complaints or mishaps. For the general well-being of pets and owners, making sure that pets get a little exercise before arriving at the hotel can make them much happier and calmer once in the room. Maintaining a steady routine on the trip can also help make them more relaxed in a new atmosphere. A little advance preparation and communication with hotel staff can make traveling with pets an easier than expected experience for everyone involved, and can ensure a happy trip for both humans and animals.

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