So you want to get away from it all this summer, but you don’t want to leave your dog behind. The good news is — with more and more places becoming pet-friendly — you can take a relaxing break and bring your dog along, too! We’ve got several ideas that could make summer travel a ton of fun for both of you.

Preparing for Your Trip

Before you go anywhere, make sure your dog's shots are up to date, and that your dog's seat belt, carrier, or harness fits properly and comfortably.

Bring a towel in case your dog gets wet or muddy. Don't forget medications, dog waste bags, food, special treats, grooming tools, and comfort items such as a favorite blanket or bed.

Finally, do a search for “dog-friendly” hotels, restaurants, attractions, etc., for the destinations you’re considering to see what kind of accommodations they provide — and check out our safety tips for summer travel as well.

Dog-Friendly Cities

Traveling with your dog is better than ever now that cities have become so pet-friendly. The best feature dog-friendly parks, boutiques and retail stores dedicated to pets, as well as dog-friendly amenities and accommodations. Some of the best include Colorado Springs, Albuquerque, Austin, and Orlando.

Attractions include dog walking tours of famous neighborhoods, off-leash dog parks, and hotels that will pamper your dog. If you need a night out on the town for yourself or want to go somewhere dogs aren’t allowed, a pet sitter can make sure your dog is having a lovely time, too.

Road Trip!

Ready to take that road trip you’ve always dreamed of? Map your journey ahead of time and draw up a list of all of the places near your route that you could enjoy with your dog. Call ahead to hotels, parks, beaches and roadside attractions to make sure dogs are welcome.

Camping Expedition

Camping out under the stars is a fun adventure to share with your dog, and plenty of campgrounds have dog-friendly cabins and hiking trails, many with nearby rivers or lakes — and even dog playgrounds. The pet-friendly atmosphere means there will be plenty of other pets and owners around to hang out with and get to know.

Seaside Getaway

Several coastal cities boast about how dog-friendly they are, including Seattle, Portland, New York, and San Diego. There are off-leash beaches and trails, as well as hotels, restaurants, and shops that welcome dog owners and their pups.

Dog-Friendly Hotels

There are several hotel chains that are dog-friendly: La Quinta, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Clarion, Comfort Inn, EconoLodge, Motel 6, and Red Roof Inn, to name a few. Not every hotel in every chain is dog-friendly, and some have a maximum weight limit for pets, so call ahead. You can also search for dog-friendly hotels using this handy tool.

Dog-Friendly Cruises

There is only one major cruise line that accommodates dogs, Cunard, on all trips between New York and Southampton, England, on the Queen Mary II. The ship’s kennel master feeds and walks the dogs and keeps the kennels clean. Every animal guest receives a gift pack that includes toys, a food dish, a name tag, and more.

You're allowed to spend plenty of time with your dog during visiting hours, but your dog can't sleep with you or spend time with you outside of designated pet areas.

Important Cunard tips: Call far enough ahead of time to make sure your dog gets a spot in the kennel, because space is limited. You'll need to meet all pet travel requirements and obtain a pet passport, too.

There are many regional dog-friendly cruises, too. A few include Dog Gone Sailing Charters in Provincetown, Massachusetts; BayWatch Dolphin Tours in Galveston, Texas; Potomac Riverboat Company in Alexandria, VA; and Mercury Chicago's Skyline Cruise Line in Chicago, Illinois.

Wherever you choose to travel with your dog this summer, a little planning ahead of time will ensure a fun and safe summer vacation for you and your dog.


Photo Credit: fPat Murray via Flickr