Ready for a Road Trip?

March 18th, 2007 by Kathy Hawkins

It’s been a long winter, but the snow’s finally beginning to melt. You might be thinking of taking a week or two off from work, and heading someplace warm for a well-deserved break. You may already have a kennel or pet sitter in mind, but wouldn’t your dog love a vacation too? No matter where you’re going, you should be able to bring your animal friend along — all it takes is a little advance planning.

Photo courtesy of Mary Gordon.

For the car trip, your dog will be safest in a crate in the back seat. Make sure to stop every few hours for bathroom breaks, and bring a plastic water bottle to fill up your pet’s water dish during stops. If you’re going on a long trip, you may want to wait to feed him until you arrive; he’ll be more comfortable without food in his stomach, especially if prone to car-sickness, like my Gatsby.

Unless you’re staying with family, you’ll want to look into the best dog-friendly lodging options in your vacation area. Numerous sites, like,, and, provide extensive searchable databases for pet-friendly hotels and B&Bs throughout the US and beyond. Bed & breakfasts are often the cheapest option, and the owners are happy to have your dog — they may even have special treats and toys available. In a pinch, many large hotel chains, including Holiday Inn, allow dogs, though they generally charge a pet deposit of $20 or more.

Either way, it’s rare that you’ll be able to leave your dog in the room when you go out, but many beaches and campgrounds allow dogs, so he may be able to come along on your adventures if you’ve got plans to stay outside all day. If not, find a local doggie day care — the hotel receptionist or B&B owner should be able to provide you with details.

The three sites mentioned above also list dining options where pets are welcome, but as long as you can find a restaurant with outdoor seating that’s accessible without going through the building, you shouldn’t have a problem — when in doubt, just ask, and check out DogFriendly’s etiquette tips for more advice on dining out with your dog.

Your dog is a part of your family — why should he miss out on your exciting vacation? Imagine how much he’d love the chance to swim in the ocean for the first time, or go hiking through the woods with his people. Bringing your dog on vacation is easy, and far more affordable than paying for several weeks at an expensive kennel. So when you pack your bags, don’t forget to bring a few bones along!

Check out this article for tips on flights with your dog.

13 Responses to “Ready for a Road Trip?”

  1. Doggiemeow Says:

    Excellent tips, especially the part about pet friendly hotels. I posted a link to this article on doggiemeow. Please stop by and join

  2. Some things were never meant to fly… | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] my post last week, I talked about how to plan a road trip with your dog. Today, I’d like to discuss a different method of travel — airplanes. When, if ever, is it [...]

  3. Will Others Follow Their Lead? | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] Here is more info on dog safety while driving. [...]

  4. Starwood Hotels to Allow Dogs | Business Pundit Says:

    [...] think this is a great move by Starwood Hotels. “We intend to become the most dog-friendly hotel company in the land, and not just allow dogs to stay, but actually pamper and spoil them,” said Barry [...]

  5. DriverSide Says:

    Your dog’s ready for the car but is your car ready for the dog?

    Here are some great tips on making sure that your car is road trip ready, too:

    Get Your Car Ready For A Road Trip

  6. Judie Leung Says:

    Heya , does anyone know notable dog or cat sitting carriers site ? I will be checking out that 1 but my hubby and i had been curious as to if folks are familiar with any other ones. Anyway, genuinely good and helpful blog.I also like visual design of it. Anyways, if someone familliar with these folks let me know please. Have a nice day

  7. Dog Photo Of The Day: Backseat Drivers | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] Two canine passengers are ready to continue their road trip! [...]

  8. Dog Photo Of The Day: Catching A Sniff | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] A Boxer catches a sniff during a car ride. [...]

  9. Michael Schwartz Says:

    I’m always sure to find a good pet friendly hotels before taking a trip. You don’t want to find that out when you get to your destination.

  10. louanne studer Says:

    don’t leave your pet in a car thats too or too cold

  11. louanne studer Says:

    do you know of any dog friendly hotels in italy

  12. louanne studer Says:

    are there starwood hotels in europe that are dog friendly

  13. Sunglasses Blog Says:

    Ready For The Road Trip With These

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