5 Pet-Friendly Seasonal Getaways
Whether you're planning a Valentine's Day trip or a President's Day weekend break, winter getaways can be more fun with your four-legged friends in tow.
More than 75 percent of Americans would take their pet on every vacation -- if only they could -- a recent survey by the American Automobile Association and Best Western International found. Not only that, almost 30 percent of traveling pet-owners said they would choose their pets over their significant others as a traveling companion -- if only they could.
But more than half of those traveling pet-owners said it was difficult to find pet-friendly accommodations. And since almost 75 percent of pet-inclusive vacations involve visiting friends or family, there's often more at stake than just fun getaways.
Although it's fashionable for establishments to bill themselves as "pet-friendly," some are more pet-friendly than others. For instance, some will not accept felines, or dogs over a certain weight. Some establishments limit how many pets can be lodged in a room, or charge additional fees for or deposits for accommodating pets.
Some hotels don't allow pets on the beds, and provide pet beds instead. Some hotels don't permit guests to leave pets unattended; some do for short periods; and some even provide a pet-sitting service.
Though pet policies can be found on hotel or pet travel web sites, the information can be incomplete or outdated. Hotels may alter their pet policies from one month to the next, so make sure their pet-friendly policy is still in place before toting the pet along.
Here are some of our favorite pet-friendly destinations if you're planning a trip this month:
1. All sizes and pets are welcome for a $20 fee at the Hotel Aspen, in Aspen, Colorado. Some rooms have porches for canine romping, and there's a hiking trail nearby for pets and their owners. But, if management considers a dog too "noisy," it will be removed to the front office, with the owners charged a $20 per hour sitting fee.
2. If you'd rather take off for warmer climates this season, all sizes of cats and dogs are welcome for a fee of $25 at the Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando, Florida, near Universal Studios. Not only do animals receive a treat at check-in, but their owners can order for them from their own room-service menu. As a bonus, the hotel occasionally offers steep discounts in winter months.
3. For an urban retreat, the upscale Serrano Hotel, a Kimpton Hotel in San Francisco, offers a "Pet Palace Package," which includes deluxe accommodations for both human and pet, "designer" mineral water; dental doggy biscuits; and "after-dinner disposable clean-up bags." The hotel has a stock of gourmet lamb & rice dog food, leashes, and rawhide fetch-it sticks. In keeping with the hotel's "fun and games" theme, pet owners are challenged to a hand of Twenty-One upon arrival. If the pet owner wins, she or he receives a prize. If the house wins, the hotel asks for a $5 donation for the San Francisco SPCA.
4. For snowy romps, The Pine Chalet, in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin., welcomes all sizes and pets, and limits two pets to a room. The chalet doesn't charge a fee, and provides food bowls. Pooches gain access via doggie doors to an outside fenced-in dog run. There is also a 6 ft. by 6 ft. indoor kennel on the lower level.
5. If you plan to celebrate President's Day enjoying the historic sights in our nation's capital, the Hotel Monaco, another Kimpton Hotel in Washington, D.C.. accepts any number of pets without size or weight restrictions and for no extra charge. Located close to the city's museums and landmarks, the hotel also provides food and water bowls, a map of great dog walks in the neighborhood and a special treat, among other goodies. As a bonus, the hotel's room service menu offers food especially for pets.
Are you planning to travel this month with your pets? Do you have a special destination where you love to take them? Share your thoughts below!
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