What You Need to Ask Pet Friendly Hotels

A hotel being pet friendly doesn’t tell you much about their policies other than that they may or may not allow your dog or cat. Often, pet friendly hotels may not be cat friendly. Before you book a pet friendly hotel, you’ll need to find out the answers to these questions:

Are you cat friendly?

If you are traveling with a cat, this is your most important question. Because cat allergies can be stronger than dog allergies, hotels that offer cats the ability to stay there are more likely to limit the number of pet friendly rooms. Especially with a cat, call first to make sure they’ll accommodate you.

What is your size limit for pets?

Weight limits can be as low as 25 pounds to as high as limitless. If you have a large dog, you will want to call first. The good news is some hotels will happily accept your Great Dane and even walk him for you. When you get on the phone, you never know what doggie perks you’ll find out about.

How much is the pet fee?

Fees may start at $0 and range up to $100 per night. Generally, fees are non refundable. Occassionally, fees are refundable as long as your pet doesn’t damage the room.

Can my pet stay in my hotel room alone? 

This is one of the most important questions you can ask, yet it has the widest range of answers. Some hotels may expect your pet to be crated when you’re not there. Some may not want your pet alone in the room at all. Others, will let you leave your pet in the room as much as you’d like, as long as he or she doesn’t bark or meow nonstop.

No matter what the hotel policy is, you’ll want to leave your cellphone number at the front desk. This way you’ll know if your pet is announcing they want you to come home to neighboring rooms. On top of making your pet happy by coming back when they are nervous, you’re  also avoiding the charges a hotel may charge you for having to rebook other guests who are disturbed by noise from hours of barking or meowing.

Can I verify your pet friendly policy online?

While I never recommend only looking online for a pet friendly hotel’s policy, I do recommend double checking hotel policies online. The reason is one hotel representative can tell you about a pet policy they don’t fully understand. If the pet policy isn’t posted online, ask the hotel representative how long they’ve been working for that particular location. As long as they’ve been there at least 6 months, you should be fine with bringing your canine or feline companion.

What do you need to bring with you?

Some hotels will provide pet beds, water bowls, and treats. Call ahead to find out what you should bring. If you are traveling outside of the country, bring a small bag of pet food with you that isn’t beef based. If you’re staying in a country for more than a few days, consider ordering pet food online and having it delivered to your hotel before you arrive. Wellness pet food is deliverable in the US, Canada, and across Europe via Amazon.

 

Woof Woof’s Lessons from Staying in Airbnbs for a Year

They say a dog knows every scent in their home well. Woof Woof knows the scent of my luggage. When in a new Airbnb, he knows wherever our luggage is happens to be our room.

For the year we stayed primarily in Airbnbs, he was comforted by that familiarity. He got to play in dog parks in 17 states, 7 countries, and 2 Canadian Provinces.

He met over a dozen different Airbnb hosts from college students to Michelin star chefs. He’s heard Woof Woof spoken in at least 5 languages. In case you’re curious Voof Voof is how you spell Woof Woof in Norwegian.

But it wasn’t all fun and sniffs. We both had to learn the best ways to live with other dogs and people we didn’t know. I learned how to introduce the idea of him coming by text, how much time to give someone to make sure they read the message that essentially says a well-behaved canine guest will be staying with them, and when I should and shouldn’t dog sit another guest’s or the  host dog. Hint: never before you’ve seen them play together nicely with two adults present.

I’m so excited to share our travel tips with you here and biweekly on Woof Woof’s Instagram account.

 

 

 

 

Woof Woof Learns Conference Etiquette

Woof Woof has tagged along when I was speaking at two different conferences. He was also at a third one where I was an attendee. At FinCon, the financial bloggers conference, he was the only dog there. He was so happy to have all the attention and was definitely an asset when I spoke about networking. Who’s a better networker than a cute, well-behaved dog?

He was trained for conferences among other social situations. That’s why he was able to make it through a long day at a conference with only three barks. I never wanted to leave him in the room because everyone enjoyed having him there so much.

After this wonderful experience, I thought about what other humans should know who want to bring their dogs.

1. Give your dog public experience first in your hometown. This can be as simple as bringing him to dinner with you at an outdoor restaurant. If your canine pal barks once, say no and ask for a sit. Then, give a treat for good behavior.

2. Find out if the hotel and the conference are pet friendly. It can be a disaster if you bring your dog and there is nowhere for your canine to stay.

3. Make plans for when you have to leave your pet in the room. Some hotels will let you leave your pet in the room when you need to, others won’t. When you can’t get a pet sitter for when you’re at a banquet or other non dog friendly event, let the front desk know to text you if your canine barks.

4. Take your dog out at least every 4 hours for bathroom / walking breaks. Everyone needs a break from the 24 / 7 networking atmosphere of a conference. Imagine if you were 13 inches from the ground and surrounded by 600 60 inch or taller humans. The quick break will help your pet regroup.

5. Keep your pet on a short leash. Woof Woof is confident because he knows I’m close by. He let everyone pet him because I don’t bring a leash that’s longer than 4-feet long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosen Plaza Hotel Orlando, Florida

Woof Woof ended his tour of the Rosen Hotels at the Rosen Plaza. It’s a short distance from the Rosen Centre via the skybridges that connect both hotels to the convention center. The walking bridge is worth a trip for your pet. Woof Woof loved walking across and smelling the trees and grass below that are a small sampling of the nature the Florida Everglades have to offer.

It’s missing two amenities that are present at the Rosen Centre: a spa for humans and a grassy area for a doggie bathroom. Essentially, the closest canine bathroom is a grassy area by the CVS that’s a one-minute walk away. You’ll need to bring your own poop bags.

But while you’re letting “sleeping dogs lie”, a quote from the provided do not disturb sign for your pet, there’s a resort-style pool and whirlpool with a pool bar to enjoy. Another note for humans, I was very pleased with the health-conscious style of cooking at all Rosen Hotels. The salad had olive oil and lemon. And not gobs of olive oil. A bottle that is actual serving size. At the Rosen Shingle Creek, I had a kale chip snack and the Rosen Centre had whole wheat crust on their pizza. With a $150 per stay fee, this normally isn’t a place to bring your pet for one night, but it is a great place to stay for 3 or 4 days or more.

Woof Woof Stays at the Crockett Hotel in San Antonio, Texas

Woof Woof is constantly on the hunt for smells and views he hasn’t seen or sniffed. So staying in a place that’s over a 100 hundred years old and across the street from the Alamo gave him the experience he longed for in Texas.

 

But it was hot. It was so helpful that the Crockett Hotel having water bowls in the lobby. He was seeking out water wherever we went. Each restaurant with outdoor seating gave him ice water in some sort of styrofoam container.

 

When in the hotel, he couldn’t go more than a few steps without someone wanting to pet him. He gave several sideways head hugs.

 

When it was time to take a nap, he brought the new stuffed toy the hotel staff gave him onto the bed.The hotel has a policy of only one dog per room. Maybe, it’s so each one gets enough attention.

Woof Woof Takes the C & J Bus from New York to Portsmouth, NH

I have several fears in life. One of the biggest ones: driving in Boston. Woof Woof had to meet with his marketing manager, Jane Harrell, in Portland, ME on Easter weekend. Plane and train prices were not great. If we wanted to rent a car, the prices weren’t much better.

After doing a bit of searching, I discovered the C & J bus to Portland, ME, followed by taking an Uber to Portland, ME. Provided there’s availability, the C & J bus is only $78 each way including taxes and everything. It’s not a normal bus. There are leather seats, tray tables, gluten free snacks, fruits, and a Kerrigan coffee maker in the back. It makes minimal stops and takes about 5.5 hours to get to Portsmouth. You can also take it from New York to several other New England locations including Boston.

For pets, it’s one of the most pet friendly modes of transportation there is. They have official pet tickets, and you have to sign a waiver that you are responsible for anything your dog or cat does. So good behavior is a must. The maximum weight allowance is 20 pounds. He sat on my lap most of the time, but he still had space to sprawl out on the floor when he wished. We brought a carrier for him, even though this particular driver didn’t require it. The rule on carriers seems to be one of courtesy. As long as your dog or cat isn’t bothering anyone, you probably will not be required to have your pet travel in one. If you forget your carrier when travel, cardboard carriers are available for purchase at a small.

The only problem we encountered was the lack of noise level. C and J asks for passengers to avoid cellphone usage for non emergencies. If I were traveling and knew I would need to make calls along the way, Amtrak would be my choice. However, Woof Woof would be required to travel in the carrier.

It was a pleasant trip that gave Woof Woof plenty of time to look out the window at the views of the North East. We’re planning on traveling C & J this week.

Happy travels. See ya out there.

Pet Friendly Hotel Review: Holiday Inn Express Tucson Airport

Whether it’s the first day or the last day of your vacation, sometimes you just need a hotel that’s close to the airport and offers everything you need for a restful stay from a shuttle to the airport to a great breakfast and a gym to workout afterwards. And of course, the warm welcome your dog or cat needs and deserves. That’s exactly where we’d place the Holiday Inn Tucson Airport.

It’s not a place to spend a whole vacation, but it’s a great place if you’re working at nearby offices or passing through Tucson for a day or two. For humans, there’s a pool and hot tub. The pet fee is reasonable at $25 per pet and works for the whole stay. All pets are accepted, so you can bring your dog, cat, ferret, parakeet, etc.

Woof Woof loved the free breakfast offered to all guests, and it was pretty healthy for him. He ate an egg white omelet and half a bagel. The room was comfy, but it was the staff that made his stay. He couldn’t walk the lobby without a staff member stopping to pet him

Pet Friendly Hotel Review: Sheraton Harborside Portsmouth

Portsmouth, NH is pure beauty with all the New England charm and colonial homes you’d expect. It’s situated directly on the water. Woof Woof loved smelling the sea air and walking across the bridge that within a mile or two led to Maine. It’s just an hour drive away from Boston and the same from Portland, Maine.

The Sheraton Harbourside hotel was just as charming as Portsmouth itself. Woof Woof had an array of room choices available to him from standard rooms to suites that are dog friendly. He was given a homemade dog treat made by the pastry chef, Lea. She offers them to all the canines staying in the hotel.

When Woof Woof entered the suite he stayed in, he barely sniffed it. He didn’t look at the view. He just gave an approving this-is-home-for-a-few-days look. He alternated his room time between the bed and a comfy couch while I watched TV.

With the exception of when we ordered room service, the lobby was much more interesting to him. The restaurant area is in enveloped by two curved staircases with pillars separating seating from the lobby. He loved climbing up and down the staircase. Marcia, who works in both the hotel and room service, brought Woof Woof extra slices of bacon.

When he retired to bed, he was grateful for the dog bowls the hotel provides for a few sips of water. Definitely a warm place for any canine visitor.