Planning a Summer Road Trip with your Dog

So you want to take a holiday with your dog but after reading about how to fly with your dog you’re thinking maybe just a summer family road trip with pooch in tow will do the trick – I think it’s a GREAT idea because that’s exactly what we’re doing this summer! This summer Rich and I are embarking on a 4 week road trip with Kendall as our source of navigation and let me tell you planning a trip that lasts 4 weeks is difficult enough but when you factor in the dog, well, it takes a bit of planning and strategizing – all of which I’m going to share with you so you can plan your very own dog friendly road trip.

STEP ONE | figure out where you want to go and then stop and really think if it’s going to be conclusive to pet friendly travel – for example, wanting to spend a week at the beach when none of the beaches allow dogs might not be the best plan. This is your chance to get out and try new types of vacations and maybe even find something else that you like even better than sitting by the ocean – my top suggestion is hiking with your dog (if you and they are fit enough for such activities of course).

STEP TWO | once you know where you want your end to be start planning your route. Personally I like “loops” because I feel like you get more for your time than just one way there and the same way back. This is where you want to get your map out and see if you can spot any parks along the journey – National Parks are the best but mountains and lakes are fun too. If you can’t see anything try using Go Pet Friendly to find suggestions of where you can stop and let your dog run around and get a break – if it’s your first time look over my tips for traveling with your pet before moving on

STEP THREE | hotels – this is a big question I get asked a lot and research is key for this one. Yes, you can look on TripAdvisor but what they don’t tell you is that restrictions can apply to these hotels so always double check the hotels website or call them and ask if they have weight restrictions or even a pet fee. I always try and find ones without a pet free because well it’s obvious and sometimes I admittedly lie about Kendall’s weight here and there so get her under the restriction (only once was a questioned and honestly it’s not like they can prove she’s 5 pounds heavier than I told them).

STEP FOUR | now your vacation is booked – kind of – you still need to see what activities you can and can’t do with your dog. Chances are if you’re going hiking then you’ll probably be able to bring your dog along for most of the days out but if you can’t then start researching restaurants that our dog friendly so they can be included at some point during the day. You probably won’t know the most pet friendly places if you’re new in town so try using Bring Fido to find local shops, restaurants and dog parks. When in doubt ask a local (preferably someone with a dog) for the best places once you’re there.

STEP FIVE | enjoy yourself! Just because you’re bringing your dog along for the trip doesn’t mean you still can’t relax and have a good time, in fact it brings a whole new level of fun when you’re forced to venture out and explore.
And if you’re wondering where we’re road tripping this summer – first stop is Virginia – so stay tuned as I’ve partnered with some amazing pet friendly hotels and planned fun activities to bring you hiking guides, dog friendly city guides and of course lots of pictures so follow along on Instagram because departure is just around the corner: 25 July!

Planning a Road Trip with your Dog

About the author
Staci West is an obsessive compulsive traveller who is currently dealing with a chronic case of coffee addicition. Symptoms include blackouts from online shopping sessions, a ferocious passion for everything colourful and energy levels that exceed a normal human capacity. On the advice of her carer and companion, Kendall her yellow labrador, she created L&L, a down to Earth lifestyle blog, as a distraction for her pathological need for shoes.


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