Paws On the Go: Pet Friendly Travel

It’s vacation time! You wait for it all year and now it’s finally here.

Only one problem – what do you do with your dog? Chances are that if he’s a part of the family, you’ll miss him too much to leave him behind – so bring him along! There are a ton of dog friendly places to go. We’ll give you the low-down on the top pet-friendly airlines, hotels, and cities, as well as what to bring.

Pet Friendly Cities

Don’t want to spend too much of your vacation time looking for a dog-friendly place to hang out? Try one of the top 10 dog-friendly cities. They are chock full of dog-friendly hotels, transportation, attractions, stores, beaches, parks, botanical gardens, outdoor dining, and historic walks.

  • San Diego, CA
  • Portland, OR
  • Austin, TX
  • Northern Virginia, VA,
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Boston, MA
  • Orlando, FL
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Charleston, SC
  • New York, NY
  • Honorable mention goes to Anchorage, Chicago, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and San Antonio

If none of the above destinations are on your list, you can search websites such as,,, and for tips on pet friendly spots throughout the US.

Dog Friendly Hotels

Don’t try to sneak your dog into a non dog-friendly hotel. If you get caught, you may be asked to leave or pay a fine – which can put a damper on your vacation. Many hotels offer specific rooms that are designated pet-friendly in case of accidents or loud barking. Try researching boutique hotels and ask their policy on dogs. Some are pet-friendly but don’t state it on their websites, and most have a small fee for pets – make sure you get the amount upfront before you book. Plus, there are tons of dog-loving chain hotels to choose from. Try one of these:

  • La Quinta Inns and Suites
  • Holiday Inn and Hotel Indigo
  • Best Western
  • Candlewood and Staybridge
  • Choice Hotels
  • Comfort Inn and Quality Inn
  • Residence Inn and Towne Place
  • Marriot
  • Hilton Hotel and Hampton Inn
  • Embassy Suites and Doubletree
  • Motel 6 and Studio Six
  • Check out this list of local boutique hotels

Pet Friendly Airlines

Flying with your pet can be a little tricky. If your pet is larger, he must travel via cargo. Your tiny pup though can ride with you in the cabin under your seat. You must call the airlines in advance and tell them you are traveling with a pet. Some airlines restrict the amount of pets on a flight so you want to make sure to call well in advance. Fees for traveling with your pooch can be steep. Some airlines charge as little at $75 each way up to $250 each way – pets traveling cargo are more expensive.

In order for your pet to fly, you need paper work from your vet stating that he is up-to-date on all his shots and healthy enough to fly. Some flat-nosed dogs like pugs, boxers, and bulldogs are prohibited from flying due to their shortened airways and the altitude. Check out this pet-friendly airline chart, but make sure to call as prices and rules may have changed. You can also look into, PetAirways which flies only dogs (no humans) to and from Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, LA, New York, Omaha, and Phoenix.

Pet Supply Vacation Check-list

Packing for your dog can be just as time-consuming as packing for yourself. You want to make sure you have everything so you don’t have to make unnecessary stops during your vacation. Get a travel-safe carrier or pop-up kennel so your dog has a safe haven to relax in – new environments can be stressful. Pack his favorite food and toys and always have a portable water bowl and water with you when you’re out walking. Also pack a few training pads to keep your hotel room or your car clean. They can be lifesavers whenever you need to dry off your dog or keep a surface safe from dirty paws.