Since yesterday was National Dog Day, and we continue to navigate travel during a global pandemic that has Americans hitting the road to domestic destinations in greater numbers, it seemed like the perfect time to discuss dog- and pet-friendly travel. Some people love traveling with their dogs, and don’t leave home without them. Others have trusted sitters or reliable places to board their pooches. I’m somewhere in between.
I’ve taken my dog Roxie along with me many times on road trips to a close friend or family member’s home, as well as on some flights for longer trips up north. Roxie’s true lineage is a mystery, but I go with Chiweenie because she has the long body and sweet face of a dachshund with the ears and height of a chihuahua. This Mexican hot dog has been in my life since 2007 and I can’t imagine being without her. She weighs about 14 pounds and is small enough to fly in her under-seat carrier on JetBlue or Spirit – for fees that now often cost more than my own ticket. Prices have really skyrocketed over the years – the free market knows pet travel is a hot commodity. She’s also a great little car rider and nuzzles up for pats on the head when she’s not napping.
Traveling with a dog, much like owning a dog, is not always a picnic. Over the years, Roxie has had some car sickness incidents on road trips, which I’ve found can be managed by giving her less food and water before heading out, lots of cold a/c, and covering the seat with extra towels, just in case. She also once had an epic accident in the Atlantic City airport. [Insert Triumph the Insult Comic Dog “for me to poop on” joke here.]
Regardless of the challenges, it can be really nice to have your dog with you on a trip. I’ve seen friends on social media take their dogs on cross-country road trips. RV travel is a great way to take your best friend along.
Roxie has yet to stay in a hotel, but I know plenty of people who have taken their animals to pet-friendly properties, and I love meeting other people’s dogs when I stay at those hotels. Here’s a link to an article on the best pet-friendly national hotel chains, and shout-out to independently-run Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, a terrific pet-friendly hotel. My friend Ashley and her dog Baylor are big fans of boutique Kimpton properties on their travels. “Kimpton is the best for pets. Hands down. No competition. No pet fee, treats for the pets and they provide dishes and a bed for your pet if you don’t have them. They always make your pet feel special and welcome,” she said.
Do you ever travel with your dog? What do you love or not love about it? What’s the funniest thing your dog has done on a trip?