When you travel with a pet–in my case a large dog–there are some challenges when you try to find the best pet friendly hotel for you and your four-legged travel companion. If you’re wondering what I am looking for when trying to book the best pet friendly hotel for Ares and me, I look at a few things: how pet friendly they really are, their location, their price, and their services. I’ll take these one by one and explain what you should be looking for.
How Friendly is the Best Pet Friendly Hotel?
Pet or dog friendly are powerful keywords to advertise your hotel. Especially in destinations where finding such a hotel is a bit of a challenge. But what does pet friendly mean? You have to look beyond these enticing words and sometimes, if you book through a third party site, a first check won’t be enough. What I mean by this? If a hotel allows small pets, then it will be labeled pet friendly. If you go there with a large dog, they might refuse to accommodate you and your giant.
To review hotel policies, check out their listing, check their website as well, and just to be on the safe side, maybe send an email and ask for a formal okay on your dog staying with you. I had to deal with this in Bulgaria while traveling with Ares. The hotel we’d booked was listed as pet friendly, no other fine print, on the site where we found it. Their website told a different story. They were nice enough to accept me and say we’d discuss it if they got any noise complaints (which wasn’t the case), but they could have just as easily said no and have me deal with the booking site whose listing was inaccurate.
How Much to Pay for a Pet Friendly Hotel?
Unless you’re travelling to a pet friendly destination with all hotels offering accommodation for your dog, there’s a huge chance you will pay more on your hotel, or have to pay a separate fee for your dog. You can choose the cheapest hotel or, like me, you can find a different way to bring down your hotel budget. The way I do it is to use services like Groupon and pair it with the hotel booking site I prefer. So I will always check Hotels.com coupon codes before booking. I’ve been using Hotels.com for a while now because they have a great selection, their prices are pretty low, and the free nights they offer are compelling enough for me.
Where’s the Best Pet Friendly Hotel Located?
The location of your hotel is very important, especially if you’re traveling to an urban destination. This might matter less for those traveling with cats, but if you travel with a dog, this becomes a huge factor. You need to walk your dog and make sure they get enough exercise. Figuring out how close a park or a trail or a dog friendly beach is should be on your mind when you book. If you have to take a buss for an hour just to get a a park or somewhere with a bit of green to walk your pet, that’s going to turn into a huge waste of time. In rural or nature settings, this becomes less important, of course. If you have a forest right behind your hotel, you and your dog will be fine.
The other thing to consider is whether there are pet stores and vets close to your hotel. If you need extra food or a quick check up, you should make sure you can get to those places fast. You’ll also need to know which vets have emergency services, but that matters more in choosing your destination than your hotel.
What Services Does the Hotel Offer?
While it’s commendable that you are trying your best to make sure your pets are well cared for, the next step is to make sure your needs are met. If you’re like me and need to work while traveling, then you’ll need a hotel with access to Internet, preferably free. If you travel by car, then you need a parking lot close by, preferably right next to the hotel. These will also play a part in what you choose to book.
These are the things I keep in mind when booking the best pet friendly hotel I can find at a destination. What do you look for when finding accommodation for you and your furry friends? Please share your tips and thoughts in the comments.