Skip to main content

How to find a pet-friendly hotel for your next trip

Do you have a hard time leaving Rover at home when your family travels? You’re not alone. More than half of animal owners say they plan to travel with pets this year and, with more than 2 million domestic animals traveling on commercial flights every year, the hospitality industry is taking note. More than ever, hotels, beaches, and even restaurants are offering dog-friendly options for their animal-loving customers.

Traveling with your pet can deepen your bond, add a measure of security if you travel alone, and decrease the amount you spend on boarding fees. So, how do you find a pet-friendly place to stay when you’re on the road together? Here are our top tips for finding the best one for you.

golden retriever and luggage

Do your homework

Once you’ve picked a destination, look for pet-friendly accommodations in that area.

  • Search online. Several sites, including and, identify pet-friendly hotel chains and destinations. If you’re traveling by car, search for pet-friendly hotel chains along your route.
  • Check with your travel agent. Some companies, such as AAA, can help you find hotels, campgrounds, attractions, and restaurants that welcome pets.
  • Visit the state’s tourism website and search for pet-friendly options. This is also a great way to find other attractions you may want to explore while you’re in the area.

It’s also important to know the difference between pet-friendly and pet-tolerant so you can search for the appropriate property. Pet-tolerant hotels may let you keep your pet in your room, while pet-friendly hotels offer a lot more. Extra amenities can include pet food dishes, play areas, and chew toys, with some upscale properties even offering in-room pet massages.

Finally, be specific about what type of pet you have when you’re conducting your online search or talking to your travel agent. Most pet-friendly hotels accommodate only dogs, which may be problematic if your family pet is something other than canine.

Visit the hotel website

Once you’ve identified a few options, visit the hotel website and review their pet policy:

  • Is there an additional charge? Some hotel chains, such as La Quinta and Motel 6, don’t charge any additional fees. Others charge a flat fee of between $50 and $100 or daily fees beginning at $10.
  • What are the restrictions? Can you bring just the family dog, or are other animals such as cats, rabbits, and reptiles allowed? And what about weight? Is your 80-pound golden retriever as welcome as your 7-pound Yorkie? Are they allowed in common areas, such as the lobby? Are they allowed on the bed in your room?
  • Can you leave your pet alone in the room? If you’re planning to take the kids to the amusement park for the day, don’t assume your dog can stay in the room alone. Check to see if you can leave a crated pet alone or if you have to make day care arrangements.
  • Are leashes required? While some bed-and-breakfast properties allow dogs to roam freely, other hotel properties may require your pet to be leashed at all times.
White Maltese in suitcase

Ask questions before you book

Finally, before you book, call the hotel front office to confirm they can accommodate your family. Due to guests with pet dander sensitivities, pets may be confined to a certain floor or block of rooms that may be booked on the dates you want to travel.

If your dog isn’t allowed to stay in the room alone and you can’t take him with you during the day, ask about doggy daycare options in the area. You may need to make a reservation beforehand.

And even though your pit bull is welcome at one hotel chain’s property along the way, make sure he is welcome at the next. While the majority of pet-friendly hotels don’t have breed restrictions, policies vary from property to property.

You’re almost ready to go!

Now that you’ve found the perfect spot for the entire family to stay on your next vacation, it’s time to make a few more decisions:

  • Will you take along pet food or save room in the suitcase and buy it at your destination?
  • Does your hotel provide a pet bed and food bowls, or do you need to bring your own? You may also want to bring a favorite toy or other familiar item to make your pet feel more comfortable in a strange room at night.
  • Are all your excursions along the way pet-friendly, or do you need to make daycare arrangements?
  • Make sure your pet is chipped and properly identified before you hit the road. No one ever plans to lose their pet when they’re traveling, but it happens.

When it’s finally time to head out, travel with confidence. Enjoy the quality time you’re spending together and take lots of photos. Years later, you’ll be able to look back with a smile on the memories you captured.

Editors' Recommendations

Debbie Clason
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Debbie Clason's work has appeared in Family Life Magazine, Sports Illustrated, The Lutheran Witness, Massage Magazine…
What you need to know about your cat’s swollen lip – what causes it and how to help it heal
These are the most likely causes and best treatment options for your cat's swollen lip
Woman petting cat

Your sweet furry friend is a wealth of enjoyment and entertainment — from funny sleeping positions to those precious purrs. Cat behavior can be somewhat of a mystery for even the most dedicated kitty lovers, though, and those feline feelings can lead to physical manifestations that puzzle us.

If you've ever looked at your cat and noticed a swelling on the upper or lower lip, here's what you need to know: This common occurrence isn't something to worry about, but it isn't something to ignore, either. While your vet checks your cat's health, you can read up on this confusing condition. Here's what causes a cat's swollen lip.

Read more
These are the 8 most loyal large dog breeds that make loving companions
Big breeds that will never leave your side
Akita with brown fur standing outside

There are so many reasons why dogs are known for being man’s best friend. Our pups love us unconditionally -- even when we aren't being our best selves. No matter what's going on, your four-legged friend will be happy to see you. Bad day at the office? Does your boss think your work performance is lackluster? Your dog respectfully disagrees. They’ll wag their tail when they see you walk through the door and shower you with kisses. They’re loyal and loving until the end.
One of the best things about dogs is that they're just as diverse as people are. Small, large, energetic, lazy... there's a dog for anyone out there. Some people fall head over heels for larger dogs, like Labrador retrievers, because they make for great swimming, hiking, and running partners. Large breeds are also often great snuggle buddies — even if they feel like a ton of bricks in our laps and take up the entire bed. What’s more, some of the most loyal dog breeds are large ones.
If you're leaning toward adding a big dog to your home, consider these eight breeds when searching for a true-blue forever friend.

What are the most loyal large dog breeds?
Dogs tend to be loyal by nature. Some pets take it up a notch, though, including these large dog breeds:

Read more
Do puppies sleep a lot? These are the perfectly normal sleeping habits of a healthy pup
Puppies sleep a lot, but here's when it's normal and when to be concerned
Puppy sleeping on lap of human with mustard yellow sweater

Generally, puppies require abundant sleep — some will snooze up to 20 hours per day. Every pup is different, though and as they get older, the number of sleep hours decreases. By about 16 weeks of age, most dog breeds will be able to sleep through the night.

Sleep is an essential element of human and canine development. As anyone who has had a new puppy can tell you, it can be tough at first to get them into a good sleeping routine. Still, you'll want to make sure you and your new dog are rested and fit for all that life has to offer you. Here is everything you need to know about when your new puppy should be sleeping through the night and the answer to the question, "Do puppies sleep a lot?"

Read more