My dog Tyson is my very best friend. I do a lot of traveling and unfortunately, he is not welcome on a lot of my plane trips. The cost is simply too high, as is the risk. When I take road trips I do try to take him along, as he is pretty well trained in the car (let's just say he behaves better than your child).
For this reason I have become pretty well versed in the world of pet friendly accommodations. He's no little dog. While many Miniature Yorkies, Poodles, Shih-Tzus and other small pets might be welcome where pets are not normally allowed or are a bit easier to hide a 60-pound Pit Bull is just not the same. Needless to say, I have to plan ahead when it comes to travel and have found some pretty pet friendly accommodations. Nobody ever gave me a heads-up on these things. I had to do all the research myself, and some of it was the hard way—driving from place to place until I found someone who would take in not only me but my fur-child as well.
There are numerous places that you can go to find pet friendly accommodations. Many people are under the impression that you have to check into a fleabag hotel to be able to bring your pet, but that isn't the case at all. Some places welcome all pets, whereas other places accept just dogs, just cats, or just small versions of either. I have fallen victim to those weight limits before.
One of my favorite sites for checking out pet friendly accommodations is PetsWelcome.com. They do an awesome job with keeping up to date on the latest news and listings of accommodations where our four-legged children are welcome. They list everything from hotels to bed-and-breakfasts, ski resorts and campgrounds.
Pet-Friendly-Hotels is another site that allows users to search for pet friendly hotels. These ones are sorted by state and listed in order.
My advice: make sure that your pet is nice and clean before you check into the establishment. While many places won't care, others will want to meet your pet. If your little guy is clean and well-maintained, the manager will feel much more comfortable with them staying.
Call ahead first, also. Just because a site has a certain hotel listed as being “pet friendly” doesn't mean that they still are. Take the time to make sure that your pet will be okay and consider the extra costs that might be incurred. The worst thing that could happen is for you to arrive somewhere expecting for the both of you to be able to stay, or find out that the cost was not feasible.
In my experience, bringing something to lie down on the spot where your animal will sleep is a nice thing to do, too. Nobody wants to have to do extra cleaning because of your pet, and if you are staying somewhere long enough you want to minimize the risk of them complaining to the management.
Traveling with pets can be fun, and when you can travel with them there is one less thing to worry about at home. If you can't bear to leave your little guy at home, travel with them and plan for pet friendly accommodations. Just remember to plan ahead and be as respectful of the establishment as possible, just to make sure that pet friendly businesses stay that way.