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Tips for Pet Friendly Travel Destinations

Tips for Pet Friendly Travel Destinations

How well you and your companion behave on the road directly affects the way future furry travelers will be treated. Always clean up after your pet and keep him under your control. This is not only a courtesy to fellow human travelers; it’s the surest way to enjoy a safe and happy vacation.

Inquire about pet policies before making hotel reservations. Many travel websites will have information regarding pet policy; however, you should always verify the information with the hotel itself. Properties may impose restrictions on the type or size of pet allowed, or they may designate only certain rooms, such as smoking rooms, for travelers with animals. If you have a dog, get a room on the first floor with direct access outside, preferably near a walking area; keep her leashed on any excursion.

Hotels may have supervision policies requiring that pets be crated when unattended or that they may not be left alone at all. Allow your pet only in designated exercise or animal-approved areas; never take him into such off-limits places as the lobby, pool area, patio or restaurant. Prepare to receive limited housekeeping service, or none at all.

Expect to pay some type of additional charge, which may be per room or per pet and may include any of the following: refundable deposit, non-refundable deposit, daily fee, weekly fee.

If staying with friends or relatives when you reach your destination, make certain your pet is a welcome guest. Know and respect their “house rules,” especially if they have small children or pets of their own.

Once in the room, check for such hazards as chemically treated toilet water, hiding spaces and electrical cords before freeing your pet. Give her time to adjust to her new surroundings under your supervision.

Practicing Good “Petiquette”

• Try not to leave your pet alone, but if you must, crate or otherwise confine her.

• Crate at night as well.

• To keep your pet and the housekeeper from having an unexpected encounter, leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door when you go out without him.

• Barking dogs make poor hotel neighbors — keep your pet quiet.

• Don't allow your pet on the furniture. If she insists on sleeping on the bed, bring a bedspread or sheet from home and place that on top of the hotel bedding.

• Clean up after your pet immediately — inside the room and out — and leave no trace of him behind when checking out.

• Dispose of litter and other “accidents” properly — check with housekeeping.

• Notify the management immediately if something is damaged, and be ready to pay for repairs.

• Add a little extra to the housekeeping tip.

Good “Petiquette” Outside of the Hotel Is Also Important

• When you take your pet out of the room, keep her leashed, especially if your destination is in wilderness areas and around small children. No matter how obedient she is at home, new stimuli and distractions may cause her to forget or ignore vocal commands. Know and obey animal policies at parks, beaches and other public areas. Check before arriving to make certain animals still are welcome, even if you've been there before — the rules may have changed.

• Look for outdoor cafes when selecting restaurants. For health reasons, pets are not permitted inside eating establishments, but many restaurants allow animals to sit quietly with their owners at outdoor tables. Drive-through restaurants are another alternative.

When deciding where your vacation destination should be, researching on travel websites like AAA can be quite helpful for finding pet friendly places.