Traveling With A Dog? This Travel Tip Will Improve Your Hotel Stay

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There are pros and cons to traveling with a pet, but there are also travel hacks that few travelers with pets know about. I’ve traveled with my pup for nearly a decade (!), so I know the ins and outs. If you’re traveling with a dog, this travel tip will significantly improve your hotel stay.

JetSetRuby Loves To Travel

The running joke regarding my travel companion, JetSetRuby, an 8-year-old shihtzu, is that she has stayed at more luxury hotels than anyone I know. She’s stayed at over 100 luxury hotels, from Viceroy Riviera Maya to Peninsula Chicago. We stayed in a Penthouse at the Palazzo in Vegas, she and I were the very first guests at Casa Kimberly (Elizabeth Taylor’s former house) in Puerto Vallarta, and she was the very first dog guest at Four Seasons Surf Club in Miami and The Whitby in NY.

Ruby has even been on 3 private jets, she loves yachts and her favorite place is Mexico!

Ruby on private jet. Photo: Jimmy Im

While it’s become a lot easier to travel with pets, traveling with your dog really does have a positive impact on mental health in ways you don’t expect. Dogs bring a lot of joy, sure, but having Ruby shifted a lot of my destination planning. With her, I started traveling to more outdoor places, like a beach or the woods, which also helped me relax. Now, I mainly travel to countryside or beach destinations, and I have one rule when traveling with my dog Ruby.

Whatever hotel or resort I book, I take a ground-floor standalone cabin, cottage or villa. 

Urban Vs Rural Destination

Dog friendly Catskills
Dog friendly Catskills

First, let me explain why I go to countryside or beach destinations.

I’ve changed the way I travel because I have a dog. City hotels, while touting to be pet friendly, rarely have the amenities I look for when traveling with a dog, and my requirements are a little higher.

If I travel to a city, I will need a hotel where windows open for fresh air, but most importantly, green space around the hotel to take Ruby out. You’d be surprised with how limited this can be in some cities. For instance, in New York, I stayed at a ‘pet friendly’ hotel in midtown. While it was a great hotel, there wasn’t a patch of grass within a 6-block radius (versus other midtown hotels where you actually can find a small park or even a tree).

Ruby at One & Only Palmilla in Cabo.
One & Only Palmilla in Cabo.

Sure, this hotel accepted pets, but was it really ‘pet friendly’? So now if I go to a city, I look up a hotel on google maps first to see if it makes sense for a pet. Also, with Ruby, I like to avoid big hotels with high floors and crowded elevators. I always say if a hotel has a picture of a dog on its website or Instagram, that’s a good sign.

Ruby in Puerto Vallarta

That said, I tend to avoid cities now when I travel. I find a lot of satisfaction going to sprawling nature. There are plenty of great places near me, like the Catskills, and there are hundreds of amazing hotels tucked away in rural landscapes.

Booking Standalone Cabin Or Villa Is The Best Travel Hack

Blantyre with JetsetRuby
Blantyre with JetsetRuby

Nowadays, many hotels and resorts tout a separate, standalone cottage, cabin or villa for guests. These premium accommodations are separate from the main resort or hotel, and they feel worlds away. A hotel or resort can have several of these (versus just one) on property, and they’re generally great for honeymooners, couples, families or bachelor parties since they often have more than one room — though it’s not uncommon to find one that has one room.

Blantyre cottage
Blantyre cottage

These accommodations may cost a little more, but they are certainly worth the splurge if you’re traveling with a dog.

Reasons Why Your Dog Will Appreciate Cabin, Cottage or Villa Accommodation

Blantyre hiking trail
Blantyre hiking trail

If you’re traveling with a dog, your pup will appreciate the upgrade to a standalone accommodation. One, it’s going to be ground floor, meaning there are no long hallways, no elevators and no crowded areas that you must go through to go outside.

Secondly, dogs love bigger spaces. If you book a room in the main resort or hotel, chances are your room will be smaller than the standalone accommodation. More space allows your dog to move around a bit more. You take a look at my review of Blantyre, which has standalone cottages, to see why Ruby loved it.

(Check out Ruby’s favorite pet carrier to travel in. It’s airline approved).

Lastly, peace of mind. You don’t have to worry about your dog barking if you’re away, and your dog doesn’t have to worry about hearing odd noises or housekeeping coming in if he/she is alone in the room.

If you’re traveling with a dog to a countryside or rural destination, be sure to book a separate, standalone accommodation to significantly improve your hotel stay.

More stories:

The pros and cons of traveling with your pet

5 best pet-friendly destinations in North America

6 expert tips for flying with your pet

5 reasons you should book a vacation rental over a hotel

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