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5 Tips to Make Your Next Dog Friendly Vacation a Success

Updated on December 12, 2018
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Tonya is a positive dog trainer on a mission to inspire pet parents to LIVE life and explore.

Dog-Friendly Road Trip Tips
Dog-Friendly Road Trip Tips

Make Your Next Dog-Friendly Vacation a Success

I love dog-friendly road trips. Taking a vacation with Dexter is by far one of my favorite things to do with Dexter. But, it also can be a challenge finding fun things to do with Dexter, especially when I am trying to find unique and quirky things to see and explore.

I've been asked numerous times, “How do you find unique dog-friendly attractions?” Well, today's the day I reveal some of my secrets. Okay, so they aren't secrets, and I really want everyone to have as much fun on vacation with their dogs as I do with Dexter.

5 Tips When Planning a Dog-Friendly Road Trip

  1. Online Research-Online searching is my first step when planning a pet-friendly vacation or weekend road trip. My search terms really depend on my goal. If I know where I want to go, I will search for things such as the town and city and place dog-friendly or pet-friendly into the search box.

    I then sift through blogs and websites and start making notes. Whenever I find something online from a blog vs. the actual establishment, I always contact the establishment and double check their dog policy. There has been more than one occasion that the establishment no longer allows dogs or they never allowed dogs in the first place. It's also important to know their dog policy because sometimes they only allow dogs at specific times of the year, etc.

  2. Local Tourism Bureaus- My next step is to look at the local tourism website. They can be a wealth of information. Some city or state tourism bureaus even have a pet-friendly blog or category listing some of their top pet-friendly attractions. They are a great resource and can also provide brochures and coupons.

  3. Cold Calling- In reality, I don't just pick up the phone and call places, but I reach out via email. If during my travel research I find an attraction or restaurant that looks interesting, I email them directly to inquire about their pet policy. I explain in my email that I will be traveling with my well-behaved dog and I would like to visit their attraction with Dexter. If they say yes, I do print the email and take it along during my trip.

  4. Just Show Up- I would estimate that about 25 percent of my adventures with Dexter were unplanned. When we are on vacation and stumble upon a great attraction, I just ask if Dexter can accompany me. We receive more yes than no answers. This is particularly true when shopping in a city's downtown.

  5. Finding a Dog-Friendly Accommodation- I'm actually surprised when I hear people say that they can't find accommodations that allow dogs. I've personally never had an issue finding an accommodation in a city or town I've wanted to visit. My first stop is the Internet again with a few key search terms. I then start to research the hotel, read reviews and browse through their photos and photos from guests. I do recommend pre-planning your accommodations vs. winging it. Maybe that's the issue people are having. Just showing up at a location and trying to find a good hotel that allows dogs.

Traveling with a dog can be a great adventure with just a little planning. Making lifetime memories is worth every minute of research. Now, go plan your next dog-friendly road trip.

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