Traveling with a dog is a blessing and a curse. I used to get frustrated finding places to stay that would welcome my dog too. I have a lot of experience traveling with my dog and figured out just how to finagle it whether I’m heading to a major hotel chain, independent hotel, or bed and breakfast.
Dog Friendly Hotel Chains
Motel 6 welcomes pets at all of their locations for no charge. Let the staff know when you check in so you get an appropriate room. If you plan to leave your dog alone in the hotel room during your stay be sure to bring a crate. Rooms will not be cleaned if your pet is left unattended. I’ve been to two Motel 6′s and we both enjoyed the stay. I was worried that at a budget pet-friendly hotel the rooms reserved for pet owners would be less than pristine but I was pleasantly surprised both times. With over 1000 locations in the US you can usually find a Motel 6 near your destination.
EconoLodge is another inexpensive hotel that allows pets. EconoLodge is part of the Choice Hotels brand with more than 2000 pet friendly accommodations. The EconoLodge I visited charged a $10 pet fee per day, great for a short stay. If you are vacationing longer the $10 fee adds up fast. They do not allow dogs to be left unattended in the hotel room at any time. I would go back but only for short stays. Between the daily cleaning fees and the strict policy about unattended dogs, my longer trips require a different solution.
Super 8 hotels are a mixed bag when it comes to pet policy. Some locations charge, some don’t, and some don’t allow them at all. I stayed at one in Connecticut where I had to pay $20 per night.
Verdict: When I’m traveling on a budget (which is most of the time) my go to hotel chain is Motel 6. Their consistent pet policy and leniency for unattended dogs is unbeatable in this category.
Midscale to Upperscale
The Marriott Brand hotels have more than 1000 hotels that allow pets ranging in price from midscale to luxury. Their brands include Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, and Residence Inn among others. I have experiences with a Marriott Hotel in California and a Fairfield Inn & Suites in Florida. The Marriott in Anaheim had a steep fee, $75 non-refundable, which can pay off if you’re on a long trip. The Fairfield charged $20 additional per night.
The Holiday Inn is another brand that has individual pet policies. I love the beds/pillows at the Holiday Inn and I’ve been to a handful of locations. If you want to bring your pet to one of these hotels, be sure to familiarize yourself with the policies. I’ve had fees of $50 per night and $15 per night. It varies quite a bit! They are also strict when it comes to leaving dogs unattended in the room.
I had the opportunity to stay at the W Hotel in Washington DC. What an unforgettable experience! If my dog could talk he would surely BEG to go back because he was treated like royalty. There was a pet welcome kit which had information about nearby areas parks and dog runs. A cushy dog bed was in the room with a toy, first aid kit, poopy bags, and much more. The W offered dog walking services which I didn’t take advantage of. Pets are allowed in the room unattended and there is even a special “dog in room” tag. I was so surprised when we came back from a day of exploring and found not only a mint on my pillow, but a treat on the dog bed too. Such dog friendly luxury hotels don’t come cheap; I was charged $25 a night plus a non-refundable $100 cleaning fee.
Bed and Breakfasts
Bringing your dog to a B&B is easier than it seems. A lot of these are owned by couples who may even have a dog of their own. A resource that’s been helpful in the past is Bring Fido. If you don’t see any listed there in the area you’re traveling to start to do your research. If a B&B website is silent regarding their dog policy, follow up with an email. In the email explain that you read/heard good things about their hotel. Mention your well-behaved pooch and any special certifications you have. You can also attach a Pet Resume. In the resume include a nice, friendly picture and list all training and certifications. An owner is more likely to welcome a certified therapy dog, or a canine good citizen than an unproven dog.
Do you have experiences with dog friendly lodging? Let everyone know in the comments!