Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pet Friendly Accommodation on the Road

There’s good news for people traveling with their pets: the chains are starting to sit up and pay attention!

Two more hotel chains have realized that catering to the traveler with pets makes good business sense. While driving down to Palm Springs this past year, I personally stayed at various properties in the Red Lion and Best Western Hotel chains in Washington, Oregon and California and found them to be incredibly friendly and enthusiastic upon our arrival.

Our faves? Casey, Finnigan and I give two paws up to The Best Western New Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. Rooms are clean, comfortable and spacious and Eugene is a great little college town with loads of parks and trails for walking your pooch. It’s a great place to stop on your first day drive if you are heading south from Vancouver. The town also has a charming downtown core with excellent coffee shops and restaurants and even though you can’t dine with your dog, mine were happy to chew a rawhide in the room while I had a lovely dinner with my human companions.

Another favorite is The Red Lion Inn. For me, two locations have proven to be extremely dog friendly: Olympia, Washington and Portland, Oregon, right on the Columbia River. Again, both places are dog friendly cities with loads of parks and walking trails, friendly patios and cafes and most of the boutiques and stores in The Pearl District in Portland and the downtown heritage area in Olympia were more than happy to have my dogs meander around with me.

On our trip south last fall, we came through South Lake Tahoe for a more scenic drive down. The Best Western Timber Cove was gorgeous! Each of my dogs was greeted with treats and goodies upon arrival, our room had a cozy fireplace, the bed was super comfy and had soft, luxurious sheets and linens and the location is right on Lake Tahoe so the views were spectacular!

Road trips with your pet are possible these days with chains such as Best Western and Red Lion making it easier all the time, but remember to plan ahead. Make your reservations in advance as many hotels designate a limited number of rooms as “pet friendly” and most do require extra fees ranging from $15-$100 per night to accommodate pets.

Be sure to follow the hotel rules – if you know your dog is going to bark and cause destruction if you don’t stay in the room with him, don’t leave him alone. Ensure you pick up after your pooch and be courteous: not everyone staying in the hotel will be an animal lover. Keep your dog on leash.

A superb website for the those traveling with pets is dogfriendly.com. It’s chock full of hotels, parks, restaurants, attractions and all things dog-related. While your final destination is the end goal, with a little planning the drive to get there can be a wonderful journey for you and your dogs.

See you on the road!

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