Hospitality Industry Makes it Easier to Vacation with “Best Friends”

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Pets have evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry and hotels and businesses throughout the world are rolling out the red carpet for, and catering to, pet guests. The best pet-friendly hotels have special menus, pet concierges, special exercise facilities, pet-sitters and even translators for those who can't bear to leave their “best friends” behind when they travel.

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“Travelocity found that one in four people travel with their pets, showing that this is a big part of the growing travel market,” Amy Ziff, Travelocity's editor-at-large said in a prepared statement. “Travelers are no longer limited to walking their dogs in the backyard or local park. Now the entire country can be their pets' playground.”

In addition to Travelocity, web sites such as BringYourPet.com offer listings of pet-friendly hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, condos, cabin and resorts, at the click of a mouse. Nor are pet-friendly accommodations second-class. Luxury chains, such as Kimpton Hotels, not only welcome pets, they offer packages designed for both pet and owner.

If you are traveling with a four-legged friend, here are some tips from Travelocity for making the trip more pleasant for everyone:

  • Check with your vet before traveling, as trips can be stressful for furry friends. Also make sure that you have health certificates and other documents needed for airlines, hotels and foreign countries (as applicable to your trip).
  • Bring along toys and blankets from home to help pets acclimate to new and changing surroundings.
  • Be prepared to pay extra at some hotels if your pet stays in your room with you. Fees will vary depending on the hotel and the type of services required from staff to care for your pet.
  • Make reservations in advance and use airline-approved carriers when flying with pets.
  • Take short trips to get your pet used to traveling by car before embarking on a trip that will require everyone to spend hours or days on the road. A pet harness or “car carrier” can also help to make the pet comfortable and keep them safe.
  • Do your homework. You can discover the best time for walks at www.weather.com and a nationwide list of dog parks at http://animal.discovery.com/features/dogpark/map/map.html

Most importantly don't forget your pet's collar, leash and identification. Always put your pet on a lease before opening a car or hotel door.

With a little preplanning, your trip can be a vacation for you and your “best friend”!

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