Drive, Don’t Fly
Traveling with your dog makes everything more expensive. From hotel and airline pet fees to pet travel gear, the high cost of dog-friendly travel can make leaving your pup at home sound more appealing. However, you don’t have to choose between ponying up for a pet sitter or going broke finding pet-friendly accommodations. You can take a trip with your dog and save money with these five budget-friendly pet travel tips.
If you’re flying with your dog, expect to spend hundreds extra in airline pet fees, veterinary health checks, and specialized carriers to get your pooch on-board. Driving is always cheaper than flying, even if you have to buy a dog safety restraint for your car.
Save Money on Dog Travel Gear
Skimping on essential gear is a great way to find yourself overpaying for pet supplies in a pinch. Instead of risking discovering your pet carrier isn’t airline-compliant when you’re already at the gate or realizing that your dog’s leash is too long per trail rules, research what pet gear you’ll need and shop before your trip. You’ll have a chance to search for deals and coupon codes on carriers, portable food bowls, harnesses, and other pet-friendly travel gear, so you buy exactly what you need and don’t overpay.
Choose Pet-Friendly Lodging Carefully
Just because a hotel allows pets doesn’t mean it’s pet-friendly — or wallet-friendly. Some hotels and vacation rentals charge exorbitant pet fees and impose prohibitive restrictions on dog breed, size, and unattended pets. Worse yet, some hotels advertise pet-friendly rooms but don’t have any green space for your dog to stretch his legs and relieve himself.
Research carefully to find lodging that’s truly pet-friendly. Some hotel chains let pets stay free, but it’s still wise to check reviews on BringFido to see what other dog owners have to say about pet-friendly accommodations before you book. If staying in a vacation rental, filter listings for pet-friendliness and check listings for mentions of pet restrictions and fees. If it’s not clear, contact the host to clarify the pet policy prior to booking.
Or Opt for Camping
One place you’ll rarely have to pay extra for your pooch? Campgrounds. Camping is not only dirt cheap compared to hotels and vacation rentals (and sometimes free!), it’s also incredibly pet-friendly. What’s better than a cozy campsite where your dog can play and explore without stressing over a damage deposit?
If you don’t already own a tent, sleeping bag, and other camping essentials, buy them for cheap by shopping REI Outlet where you’ll find discounts on last season’s best gear. If you’re staying near town, you only need a few basics to spend the night under the stars. However, if you’re heading into the backcountry, you’ll need to gear up with the right equipment.
Choose Outdoorsy Activities
The best way to save money traveling with your dog is also the easiest to do: choosing outdoor activities over the popular tourist attractions. Not only are outdoorsy destinations more fun for your dog, they’re also full of inexpensive activities like exploring a National Park, strolling along a greenbelt, and taking a dip in the river or ocean. When you do hit up tourist attractions, check online for discounted dates and admission coupons.
Why pay for a pet sitter just to have your dog miss out on all the fun? The next time you’re going on vacation, invite your pup along and use these tips to save money on pet-friendly travel. You’ll gain a memorable experience with your dog without spending more than you can afford.
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