Summer vacation is calling, and your dream trip with Fido awaits! Before you pack your bags, check out these tips from the pet travel experts for planning a summer getaway that won’t break the bank. Your pup will be glad you stashed away some extra dough for treats.
Posted by Jessica Roberts
1. Filter for Pet Fees
When shopping for a pet-friendly hotel using the BringFido app or website, be sure to apply the pet fee filter to your search. You’ll instantly find hotels that impose no additional fees for pets or charge a pet fee under $25. In most cases, you’ll find properties that are just as nice for humans and even more welcoming to your canine companions. When booking with BringFido, your reservation is also backed by our Pet Friendly Guarantee, a benefit you won’t get when booking elsewhere.
2. Timing Matters
Savvy trip planners know that the timing of your vacation can make a big difference in the price of your accommodations. Booking a midweek stay rather than a weekend trip will almost always mean a lower cost reservation, and tourist destinations are generally less crowded during the weekdays. Also, be wary of minimum stay requirements during summer. Some hotels and resorts impose three-night minimums during peak season, and that can make for limited availability when looking for just a one- or two-night stay. If you are flexible with your travel dates, try multiple date searches for stays of at least three nights to secure a great hotel in a popular location for less than peak prices.
For example, hotels in Myrtle Beach are always in demand in summer, and many places are booked far in advance, have minimum stay requirements, or charge a premium price. For a budget-friendly option, the Red Roof Inn Myrtle Beach Market Common is a great spot for tourists on two legs and four and is just two blocks away from the beach.
Another popular summer destination is sunny Santa Barbara along the Pacific Coast. Check into the affordable dog-friendly Motel 6 Santa Barbara Beach, the chain’s original location. There’s no pet fee, and the location is worth a million bucks.
Heading to the pristine shores of Florida this summer? Look to La Quinta Inn & Suites Panama City Beach. This affordable and comfortable PCB hotel is just one mile from one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, and Fido is welcome for a small fee.
3. Plan Free, Pet-Friendly Activities
There are lots of free or very inexpensive pet-friendly activities to experience while traveling. And in the warm summer months, it’s even easier to enjoy outdoor activities like free festivals, public gardens, and walking tours. Fido will be thrilled to join you on a self-guided walking tour of the city you’re visiting, and hoofing it on foot is a great and inexpensive way to explore a new destination.
If you are looking for a patriotic summer holiday getaway with plenty of free activities, try pet-friendly Washington, D.C. The Hotel Harrington is a budget-friendly spot for your canine companion to rest up after a “pawtriotic” tour of our nation’s capital.
Is your pup a fan of music festivals? Plan your summer trip to Lancaster, PA, and check out the Long’s Park Amphitheater Summer Music Series. Admission to the event is free, and the nearby Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Lancaster offers perfectly comfortable pet-friendly accommodations for your visit.
If you’re seeking a magical adventure for your summer vacation, give Hendersonville, NC a try. The free-to-visit Bullington Gardens Fairy Trail at the public Bullington Gardens is certainly worth a visit, and the Red Roof Inn Hendersonville will welcome Fido without charging any pet fees.
4. Avoid the Crowds
While you might have an idea of the type of vacation you want to take (beach trip, mountain getaway, riverside retreat), being flexible with the destination is a smart way to save your hard-earned bones. If you plan to vacation during peak season, choosing a less popular destination can make a big impact.
For example, instead of popular Bar Harbor, stay at the nearby and equally dog-friendly Kennebunkport. Not only is this small town a charming destination, but The Lodge at Kennebunk offers very budget-friendly accommodations for you and your furry friend.
Looking for a beach retreat this summer? Consider a lake or river beach destination over the more popular oceanside beaches. Check out Minnesota Point in Duluth. Stay at Woodlake Inn, where you’ll be close to the dog-friendly lakeside beach and the paved Lakewalk.
Is your pack heading to the Pacific Northwest for your summer vacay? Try some of the smaller towns in the region. Cannon Beach is a picturesque coastal escape full of adventure at every turn and happens to be one of the best pet-friendly beach towns in America. Just a short drive up the coast you’ll also find the Motel 6 Astoria, a pet-friendly place to stay that will suit any travel budget.
5. Try Ruffing It
State parks provide visitors and their canine companions with an affordable alternative to traditional vacation accommodations while still featuring some of the most picturesque and pet-friendly activities in the country. Check out these state parks with pet-friendly cabin rentals where you and your pup can enjoy all the creature comforts of summer vacation without the high price tag of a typical hotel.
Four air-conditioned cabins at Crooked River State Park Campground in southern Georgia allow dogs. Not only does the park feature miles of trails to explore along the Intracoastal waterway, but you’ll be just a short drive from epic pet-friendly summer activities like the Jekyll Island Dolphin Tour and Amelia River Cruises & Charters.
Beat the heat in Vermont’s maple country with your four-legged camper at Moose River Campground. You’ll be near one of the coolest pet-friendly destinations in the country, Dog Mountain, which is free and open to the public.
6. Vacation with Family and Friends
When you plan a summer “fur-cation” with friends and family, you not only get the benefit of shared memories, but the shared expenses can save you all a big chunk of change. Simply gather your favorite folks and their furry companions, pool your resources, and use BringFido to find a place to stay that allows multiple pets. You’ll be well on your way to the fabulous summer vacation of your dreams. And just like with hotels, when you use BringFido to find a pet-friendly vacation rental, you can filter results for places that charge no pet fee, or a pet fee under $25.
Dauphin Island is a fabulous place to vacation with the whole family, Fido included. Ocean Harmony is an affordable and spacious pet-friendly vacation rental comfortably sleeping 12 humans, situated right on the beach.
New England is beautiful in the summertime, and Mystic, CT is the perfect destination for the quaint seaside town vacation of your dreams. Harbour Inn & Cottage is the ideal setting for family get-togethers and small gatherings and is an easy walk to all the shops, restaurants, and sights of the town.
Looking for More Cost-Saving Pet-Travel Tips?
An increasing number of travelers are bringing Fido along, and that means pet-friendly options book up quickly. Pet-friendly travelers can take advantage of the wealth of information found on the BringFido dog travel blog. Check out featured articles like The Best Budget-Friendly Airbnb that Welcomes Dogs in Every State and Last-Minute Summer Getaways Where Pups Stay Free for more places to stay and play with your pup that won’t cost all of Fido’s hard-earned bones.
Searching for the perfect summer trip? Gather great ideas from Fido’s Summer Road Trip: Beaches Edition, this selection of the best dog beaches, and the Best Small Towns to Visit with Your Dog This Summer.