Dog Days of Summer

Kyle McIntosh

MY SON AND I recently completed a cross-country road-trip with Poppy, our two-year-old goldendoodle. We got Poppy just before the pandemic and she’s our first dog, so we learned a lot on this adventure. If you’re a first-time dog owner planning a trip that involves hotels, here are three money-saving recommendations:

  1. Call ahead. I booked rooms many months before our trip and ensured all hotels were “pet friendly.” As I was new to traveling with a dog, I figured it would be a good idea to check that a dog would be permitted in our room. I was happy to learn that all rooms were pet friendly but surprised there’d be an extra charge for Poppy at four of the five hotels. The cost per night for a dog ranged from $20 to $100, or an average of more than $60. I rearranged our itinerary to drop the hotels with the highest fees, which saved me more than $100.
  2. Look for La Quinta Inns. I found that Marriott hotels charge a wide range of dog fees, but La Quinta Inns consistently charged $20 per night. La Quinta Inns aren’t spectacular, but the rooms were clean and the service was good.
  3. Bring carpet cleaner to cover any accidents. At check-in, you’ll likely have to sign a separate contract covering your dog’s stay. Your dog will have to behave and you’ll accept liability for any accidents. In the end, we didn’t have any issues with Poppy. Still, just in case, I traveled with cleaning supplies so I could take care of accidents myself rather than pay a steep fine.

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