Going on a road trip with a dog? Here’s how to have fun and save money

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Strategic use of a rewards credit card could make traveling with a pet easier and cheaper.


Key points

  • Collect your dog’s vaccination record and medication before leaving.
  • Purchase pet insurance to avoid costly veterinary services.
  • Plan ahead to find roadside stops and overnight accommodations that are pet-friendly and free or inexpensive.

Traveling with your BCF (canine best friend) can be more enjoyable and economical than leaving the dog behind, especially on long journeys. If you take your dog with you and drive, you’ll avoid spending on overnight care or dog airfare, and at the same time, you’ll avoid the stress some dogs feel when they don’t know where to go. find their human. Before hitting the road, check out our tips for saving money on road trips with a dog.

Ask your veterinarian before you go

You may need to produce a vaccination record to take advantage of certain services during your trip, such as dog daycare on days when you plan activities that are not suitable for animals. Getting pet medication on the road usually requires an office exam for a fee in the city you are in. If the vet is very reserved, you might even pay an emergency fee.

Avoid these costs. Stop by your veterinarian’s office to get a copy of your dog’s vaccination record and a sufficient supply of medications he may need during your trip.

Get pet insurance

You cannot predict when or where your dog will become ill or injured. Whether you are at home or on the road, animal insurance can help protect you financially when your dog needs expensive care.

Expect the unexpected — identify your dog

No one expects their dog to get lost, and your dog may be even more likely to get away when you’re traveling. In an unfamiliar environment, a dog may be highly motivated to jump over a fence, dig a hole underneath, or pull another type of Houdini move to escape its limits. They may be trying to find a way home or looking for you.

At the very least, make sure your dog wears a properly fitting collar and an ID tag with your cell phone number, even if your dog is microchipped. Make it really easy for a Good Samaritan to get you together.

A lost dog doesn’t just cause heartache. It can also cause wallet woes. If your dog is rescued by a local animal shelter, chances are you will have to pay a fee to get him back. Many shelters will charge you an impound fee and license fee, both of which are significantly higher if your dog is unmodified.

drive hungry

Some road travelers like to limit their food and water intake so they can make fewer stops. Whether you’re comfortable with this travel strategy or not, consider your dog’s biological functions. You might consume little food and water until you relax for the night. A dog that eats and drinks a lot will need to take the usual number of relief breaks.

A potentially worse consequence of traveling full is that a car sick dog can make a big smelly mess. A sick dog is likely to affect your zen more than your bank account balance, but could also delay your trip or force you to take an unplanned trip to the store for cleaning supplies. If it’s really bad, you might find yourself looking for professional details.

Stop at truck stops that accept dogs

When stopping for gas and snacks, pick a spot where your dog can safely stretch his paws and go about his business.

Most 560 Love truck stops have designated dog areas. TravelCenters of America has designated pet areas at all of its locations. There is a truck stop in Sacramento that even has a dog wash (the 49ers Travel Plaza). To find out more about pet-friendly truck stops along your route, check out the handy summary we found on the Commercial truck dealer to place.

Find dog-friendly accommodations

If you have the right equipment, book a campsite. Most KOA campgrounds allow dogs (although some have breed restrictions).

If your idea of ​​camping involves a big-screen TV and a comfy bed, many hotels allow pets. The trick is to find those where pets don’t add significantly to the cost of your room.

  • Hotels in Kimpton: Dogs of all sizes are allowed, with no charge or deposit. Kimpton offers a long list of luxury pet amenities. Save your points by using the free annual fee IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card and get the fourth night free when you redeem them for a stay.
  • Red Roof Inn: Most locations accept pets at no additional cost. Use a travel credit card which awards bonus points for hotel purchases.
  • Marriott Element Hotels: All locations accept small and medium-sized dogs at no additional cost and offer amenities like a loaner dog bed. Use a Marriott credit card to earn points for perks like free Wi-Fi and late check-out. The Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card has no annual fee. Several other Marriott Bonvoy credit cards have annual fees but offer a free night certificate among other benefits.
  • Motel 6: Pets stay free (the Studio 6 range of hotels charges a $10 per night pet fee).
  • The fifth: Some locations accept pets for a small additional fee.
  • Best Western: About half of Best Western properties allow pets. They charge a little extra every night. The Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® allows you to check in early and check out late.
  • Extended stay in America: Pets stay for a modest fee per night.

Call ahead to reserve your room as sometimes only a limited number of rooms are available for guests with pets. Additionally, some hotels have restrictions on the size, breed, or number of pets. All hotels expect your pet to be well behaved and that you clean up after your pet’s calls to nature.

If you use a hotel credit card you might get extra amenities and loyalty points. Alternatively, using any card that pays Chase the Ultimate Rewards points can help you earn points for free stays at thousands of hotels big and small.

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