Poppy loved her sky high view of downtown Asheville, NC. As a guest at the Kimpton Hotel Arras, she enjoyed the floor-to-ceiling windows and being able to watch the cars, the people and of course, the other dogs going by. A goodie bag at check-in made sure that our four-legged friend was not just accepted at the hotel, but truly welcomed by all the staff.
Poppy, our Australian Shepherd puppy was a coronavirus addition to the family and has been a bundle of fun (most of the time!). When it came time to drop off my youngest daughter at college in North Carolina, it meant it was time for her first real road trip. But it does require some planning. Here's what I learned:
You will need to stop more often than you think. We tried to go about two hours between stops and we tried to find local county parks and interstate rest areas so there was a good amount of green space to run around and stretch the legs. We had a long leash (20 yards or so) that we were able to wrap around a tree, which provided more flexibility than just a standard length leash.
Many hotels say they accept pets. For some hotels that means just dogs, not other pets, so if you have a cat you could be out of luck. Many of the hotels that accept pets also charge an extra cleaning fee, so you could be paying an extra $50-250 dollars per stay. This may be fine for a multi-day stay, but less fun for a one-night stop. Others like the Kimpton or the Aloft hotels have no extra fees. Check that you know the policy to avoid an unpleasant surprise. Also, some hotels limit the number of rooms that they will allow pets into, so those may have already been booked up. Make sure the hotel knows you plan to bring a pet.
Because they are so pet-friendly, hotels like the Kimpton tend to have several guests with pets staying at any one time, so on a walk through the lobby you are bound to meet other dogs. Depending on your dog, this may or may not be a good thing!
At night time, we sought out dog-friendly outdoor dining patios and were pleasantly surprised by how many options we had. A good resource is a website like bringfido.com. Most places that are dog-friendly will provide water bowls and some also have a dog menu, but be prepared with some treats in case.
We had someone sit in the backseat with Poppy, which was a nice option as that person could help her look out the window when appropriate and provide comfort, snacks, etc. If you're traveling solo, definitely travel with a crate as you don't want to have a curious puppy decide to come join you in the front!
In the present environment many of us still want to travel, but are reluctant to fly. There are many great vacation spots that are within driving distance of our homes and where we can take the whole family. Contact BlueFountain Travel for more details on how we can help get you and your pets out of town for a 'pawsitive' vacation experience!