Travel with Pets: 3 Pet-friendly Hotel Chains


Traveling is much more fun if you can bring the whole family, including your pets. Here's a look at lodgings that cater to pet-owners.

Travel with Pets: 3 Pet-friendly Hotel Chains

A dog enjoying his stay at a Red Roof Inn. Photo courtesy of Red Roof Inn.

Nobody likes to be left home when the rest of the family leaves on a trip, least of all your faithful dog. In recognition of the fact that Friday is National Dog Day, an annual celebration begun by pet lover Colleen Paige, we’re sniffing out hotel chains that allow dogs.

Because more and more pet lovers travel with their four-footed friends, more and more hotels are accepting pets. About 60% of US hotels bark about being pet-friendly according to a 2014 survey by the American Hotel and Lodging Association. But here’s the bone I have with that statistic: the vast majority of properties restrict pooches to those under 25 or 35 pounds. A few properties admit dogs up to 70 pounds.

That makes Cleo, my 70-pound Labrador, happy, but not Maggie, my 150-pound Newfoundland. More than 84% of pet owners travel by car with their pets and we’re among them. Unless we’re visiting family or friends, we need to choose our destinations carefully, very carefully. Few properties accept big dogs and even fewer accept more than one big dog.

We also growl about fees. Some hotels charge fees that range from $25 to $125 per stay and some also add a non-refundable fee for cleaning. On a multi-day or week-long road trip, the “dog tax,” as we call it, cuts into the family vacation finances.

So when we find a hotel that welcomes Maggie and Cleo, we celebrate. And we’re not alone. About 6 in 10 dog owners say arranging dog accommodations adds to the difficulty of trip planning; 22% of dog owners have delayed their trips because of dog care problems; and roughly 3 in 10 (27%) state that kennel fees or hotel deposits for their pet have impacted their plans, according to DogVacay, a service that pairs dog owners and dog sitters.

Truly Wag-Worthy Hotel Chains

Three hotel chains don’t charge fees and two allow more than one pet of any size.

To make your dog or dogs comfortable, be sure to bring your own dog crates, pet beds, and dog toys as well as water and food dishes. A happy dog is much less-likely to bark or whine.

LaQuinta Inns & Suites

Almost all of LaQuinta properties welcome up to two pets (cats and dogs) of any size. The few exceptions are a result of local laws that prohibit pets. Otherwise, along with no weight limit there are no fees.

Kimpton Hotels

All 65 Kimpton properties welcome pets of “reasonable” size. Maybe your pet elephant won’t make it—the animal has to fit through the door—but Maggie will and so will Cleo as Kimptons don’t place a limit—except for “reasonable”—on pet occupancy.

Red Roof Inn

At Red Roof Inn, one family pet of any size stays for free at most all of the properties. Just a few hotels cannot accept pets because of local laws. And the chain doesn’t charge fees.

Happy National Dog Day.

What are your favorite pet-friendly hotels? Have you been able to avoid hefty pet fees? Share your comments with me on Twitter, @familyitrips!

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