This post is sponsored by Extended Stay America. All opinions are my own. For more information, see my Disclosure Policy.
Last month, I traveled to New York for my brother’s fiancee’s bridal shower and for a girl’s weekend with my best friend. It was a total blast, and while we were there, my mom was picking up her new puppy Oscar from the breeder in Buffalo. Oscar is my new “fur brother” pictured above, isn’t he the cutest? Anyway, figuring out how to travel with pets on a budget can be complicated, stressful (for you and your pet) as well as expensive if you’re not careful. In the spirit of my new fur brother, I wanted to share with you some tips on how to travel with pets on a budget.
When traveling, the last thing most people want to do is leave their pets behind. Many people think that traveling with their pet is expensive, but in reality, with a little preparation and planning it is actually often cheaper to bring your pet than it is to leave them with a pet sitter. And if you’ve been around a while, you might remember my pet sitter horror story so you’ll understand why I prefer to bring our pets whenever it’s feasible to do so.
Oscar is quite the model isn’t he? We are totally smitten with this little guy, and he is a complete love bug. And since my father has flight benefits as a retired airline employee, Oscar is going to be a dog that travels A LOT as he gets older.
We have traveled with our pets (dog and cat) many times, including 3 cross-country moves. Each time presented it’s own challenges and expenses so I wanted to share some budget-friendly tips AND a bit about our new favorite pet-friendly hotel chain.
How to travel with pets on a budget:
Stock up on supplies
Anything you might need for your pet from food to treats, poop bags to medications make sure you have it in advance. You never know when you’re going to need them, and you might not be somewhere that they are available and if they are available, you’re at the mercy of whatever the prices are. We make sure to have cat litter and disposable litter trays as well as more than enough of Loki’s prescription medications, plus Bear and Loki’s food. They eat specialty foods that we have found good prices on at places near us, but if we have to shop elsewhere we may either not be able to find them, or wind up spending a fortune on food when we already have some at home.
ALWAYS have a collar with current tags
Pets will panic when in unfamiliar places. The last thing you want is to open Fido’s carrier and have him bolt, but what happens if you have no identification or chip? Make sure your pet has proper identification so if they freak out and run, you can be sure to get them home safe.
Make sure they are up to date on vaccines and preventative medications
Don’t forget to check with their vet to be sure they are up to date on things like shots, heartworm meds, flea and tick preventatives, etc. If you are traveling by airline, they may require documentation from your vet so be sure to have this done in advance or they could refuse your pet passage (thus costing you in fees to change your tickets or worse, cancelling your trip altogether!). If you’re traveling by car, this is still important because you never know what your pet will come in contact with at rest stops, hotels or your destination.
Check with your vet before sedating
A simple phone call to ask about dosing your pet with Benadryl or a prescription sedative could save a costly vet visit if you get the dose wrong. Before trusting random internet dose guidelines, make a quick call to your vet if you plan to give your pet a mild sedative before your trip. While you’re on the phone remember to ask if your pet is up to date on vaccinations and ok to travel long distances.
Check for pet friendly hotels
We have stayed at many hotels during our travels. Not all hotels are pet friendly and not all ROOMS are pet friendly. Be sure you check with your hotel BEFORE you book so that you’re not stuck paying fees for unauthorized pets. For my New York trip, I stayed with Extended Stay America at their Bethpage, New York location. I had never stayed at an Extended Stay before, and I will sheepishly admit I thought they only did extended stays and not one or two nights. WRONG! I love that Extended Stay hotels are pet friendly and affordable.
The room was HUGE, clean and it has it’s own kitchen, which is perfect for feeding your pets, cooking your own meals (which keeps travel cheap!) and a fridge to store your beverages or refrigerated medications.
Everything was so clean-sometimes pet friendly hotels get a bad rap for having stained carpets, fur everywhere or poop not picked up on the grounds. I was totally impressed with how clean the hotel was, and how quiet! Not a single barking dog, very little noise despite the place being quite full both nights I was there.
The great part about nice big rooms like this is there’s plenty of room for your pets! You could easily fit a litter box somewhere, or put up a baby gate or kennel to keep your pets contained within your room.
These are my tips to travel with pets on a budget. A special thank you to Extended Stay America for providing me with a room while I was in town. There are definitely going to be many more ESA hotel stays in my future, especially when I travel with my boys Bear and Loki. So many places don’t welcome pets, so it’s a relief to find a quality hotel chain that does.
How do YOU travel with pets on a budget?