Pet Friendly Traveling
Well, we are back – sigh – to our normal lives – sigh – after an awesome trip to Florida. We stayed in Watersound – a lovely little town that I fell in love with. I keep reminding myself that I can always return to Watersound…I can, and I will. I will be posting about that part of the trip a bit later. This post is dedicated to the trip there…with our two dogs, Gill and Cameron.
Traveling with dogs, I imagine, is similar to traveling with kids. Snacks – check; toys – check; medicines – check, potty breaks – check. One big difference in the two… all hotels allow kids, not all hotels allow your furry friends. Thus, my hunt for a “decent” hotel that allowed pets was on.
We knew Nashville, TN was about midway between Ohio and the destination – so that is where I focused my search. I quick search online of “Pet Friendly Hotels Nashville” delivered some good results – the Loews Vanderbilt was one of them. BTW…how did we ever survive without the internet?
The Loews Vanderbilt was the perfect fit for us. Upscale, king bed, good size rooms…and pet friendly. They even offered a “Pumped Up Pets” package that included comfy dog beds, dog dishes, dog dish mats and an amenity bag full of dog food, treats and toys. It also included a meal for both dogs off of the specially designed pet room service menu.
When arriving at the hotel I also noticed that they had water dishes for pets outside the entrance doors to the hotel…a sure sign that this was a hotel that truly caters to pets. My only complaint was the rather small “bathroom” area they provided to walk the dogs. It was outside the main doors, just past the valet service…lots of cars moving about and not a whole lot of grass for them to explore. But, they did provide baggies and a bin. I also did read that a dog park was not too far down the road. We never did make it to the dog park…we were really only there to sleep.
After the pain of unpacking the car, checking in and getting everyone settled in…we realized just how hungry were were. We ordered off of the extensive room service menu…they ordered off of the pet room service menu. Yes, a special pet room service menu – how funny is that?
I was a bit hesitant in feeding them too much that was outside of their normal routine – especially since we were looking at another eight hours of travel in the morning. I decided that this should be more of a snack. We ordered up the Chicken Chow Chow, a mixture of cooked chicken, green beans and carrots. A very well balanced meal for the dogs; I was impressed, and so were they. They are a bit spoiled… I know this.
Despite the fact that Gill was wise awake and pacing around the room at 3:30 in the morning (he apparently does not like hotel rooms) – the experience at the Loews Vanderbilt was pleasant. They provided us with everything you would need to travel comfortably with your pets.
- My Guide to Pet Friendly Travel Resources -
Several hotel chains offer pet friendly locations. Here is a listing of the chains that offer the best selection worldwide. It is best advised to check with each individual hotel for restrictions.
Best Western Hotels - 1800 of their US and Canadian locations welcome pets.
Comfort Inns and Suites – 550 pet friendly locations nationwide.
Extended Stay Hotels – With 680 pet friendly locations, you are sure to find a location that suits your needs.
La Quinta – Over 700 pet friendly hotels from coast to coast.
Residence Inn by Marriot – A great pet friendly choice for you and your pet. We stayed at a Residence Inn in Nashville on the way home from Florida. Because of the full kitchen and separate ground floor access to the room, it ended up being much more “convenient” option than the upscale Loews Vanderbilt. A good choice for anyone traveling with their pet.
Pet friendly travel websites:
PetsWelcome.com – You can search by state through their database of pet friendly chain hotels.
DogFriendly.com – Provides pet travel guides for dogs of all sizes and breeds.
Bring Fido – An excellent resource for pet friendly destinations, pet friendly hotels, pet friendly air travel and pet friendly restaurants in the US. Nice website design as well.
PetTravel.com – When you are flying with your pet, the rules and restrictions can be confusing. Check with PetTravel.com for information on pet friendly airlines, obtaining a pet passport and rules and guidelines for taking your pets into another country.