Photo: Courtesy Red Roof InnOften, the dog gets left behind on a family road trip. That’s because many hotels don’t permit pets and a majority of those that do, charge fees and accept only small dogs. But at Red Roof Inn one family pet of any size stays for free.This makes Maggie, my 148-pound Newfoundland, and me very happy. More than 84% of pet owners travel by car with their pets and we’re among them. Although the number of lodgings allowing pets has risen in the last ten years, the vast majority of properties restrict pooches to those under 25 or 35 pounds, with a few properties admitting dogs up to 70-pounds. That still means Maggie’s locked out.
In addition, most chains charge fees that range from $25-$125 per stay. Some hotels even add a daily dog fee to bill. On a multi-day or weeks-long road trip, the “dog tax,” as we call it, cuts into the family vacation finances.
So when we find a hotel that welcomes Maggie, we celebrate. And we’re not alone. About six in 10, or (60%) of dog owners say arranging dog accommodations adds to the difficulty of trip planning; 22% of dog owners have delayed their trips because of dog care problems; and three in 10 (27%) state that kennel fees or hotel deposits for their pet have impacted their plans, according to DogVacay, a service that pairs dog owners and dog sitters.
It’s good to know that Red Roof welcomes all dogs, even the big ones. The budget-oriented chain with more than 400 locations in the U.S., sweetens the family road trip this season with its Go More. Go Better contests in May. Post your family travel texts, photos, or videos to the site and share photos on Instagram to win Go Pro cameras and free nights. Check the Red Roof site for details and deadlines.
Here are some tips for trips with dogs:
-Walk your dog on busy streets, ahead of your trip, to acclimate him to buses, blaring horns and crowds
-Use a pet carrier for small pooches or a seat belt for big dogs.
-Don’t let your furry friend stick her head out the car window it dangerous, particularly for your dog’s eyes.
-Always carry water and a bowl.
– Never leave your pooch alone in the car even with the windows cracked.