There’s nothing like hitting the open road with your furry co-pilot(s). Summer road trips to the beach, mountains, urban retreats, and quaint little towns bring pets and their people who are heading out for much-needed getaways.
Whether you’re traveling in-state, to a nearby state, or cross-country, there are a number of ways to save money and still have an enjoyable and fulfilling road trip with your furkid. With a little preparation and stick-to-it-ness, you can still say “YES!” to your road trip and make it both pet friendly and budget friendly.
Getting the best hotel rate
Typically, the biggest expense when you’re traveling is accommodations. When looking to book a hotel that welcomes your pet, you can simply make your wallet happy by planning ahead.
Planning ahead generally means lower hotel room rates. You can save BIG by not waiting until the last minute to book your hotel stay. Securing your reservations early equals to better rates. In addition, it provides you with greater availability of room types and special room requests. For example, many pet parents like to request a first floor room – making it easier to take their pets out for potty breaks.
Further, delaying booking a hotel, especially during the busy summer travel season, means less overall hotel vacancies. You may literally end up paying the price for your delay by having to book at a pricey hotel.
Saving on hotel pet fees
Hotel pet fees generally range from free to $150 per stay. There are plenty of hotels that have no or low pet fees, and they range from budget hotels to upscale hotels.
Some budget hotels allow pets to stay for free. Stand-outs include Red Roof Inn and Motel 6.
A couple of midscale hotel options that offer low or no pet fees include La Quinta and Aloft. Both brands welcome pets at most of their properties.
Although Kimpton Hotels is IHG’s luxury brand, their rates are quite reasonable and best of all, pets stay free. No matter your pet’s size, weight, breed, or type, they are welcome at Kimpton Hotels at no extra charge. On its own, Kimpton is a destination. You can park your car there, and you’re done!
There are many more out there. Be sure to do your research to find accommodations that offer no or low pet fees.
Save on meals
Right up there with accommodations, meal expenses while traveling can add up quickly. Yes, it’s nice to be waited on and out of the kitchen for a while. But, if you want to save on meals, there’s an easy way to do it.
Book a pet-friendly hotel that has rooms with kitchenettes. This will allow you to prepare some meals on your own. No, it doesn’t have to be all your meals. Even preparing one meal a day will help you save.
Plan ahead by doing some grocery shopping before you hit the road – or once you arrive at your destination.
Top picks for some hotels that welcome pets and have quite nice in-room kitchen areas include Candlewood Suites, Home2 Suitesand Homewood Suites.
Another way to save on meals is to book a hotel that offers complimentary breakfast. Hampton Inns are a fan favorite, particularly when it comes to their breakfast offerings!
Things to do for free (or close to it)
Finding free or inexpensive pet-friendly activities in just about Any City, USA is pretty easy if you do your homework first. Parks and recreational areas, hiking trails, greenways, ghost tours, historic walking tours, beaches, and art walks are typically free, easy on the pocketbook, and welcome pets. Further, there is an increasing number of shops and stores that now welcome furry patrons to sniff around and explore their wares.
And then there’s transportation costs
Unfortunately, gas doesn’t go on sale. Yes, you can shop around to get a savings of a penny or two per gallon. However, the only way you can really save on fuel cost is a function of your destination. Perhaps rather than taking that 4-hour road trip to North Carolina’s Outer Banks, you can take a 2-hour trip to Emerald Isle.
Taking a roadtrip with your furkid should be fun and memorable, without having to worry about breaking the bank. So, don’t skip out – use our tips for planning that much-needed pet-friendly getaway and start packing!
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When planning a trip, pet parents go to TripsWithPets for all they need to find and book the perfect place to stay with their pet – including detailed, up-to-date information on hotel pet policies and pet amenities. Helping pet parents plan trips with their pets is what we do!
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