How to Plan a Seamless Pet-Friendly Road Trip

By Nicole Gravelle – March 27, 2023

When you imagine a road trip with your pup, you might have an immediate fear response — picturing your furry friend not being able to sit still, chewing on your seats or, worse, throwing up everywhere in your car.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way, especially because creating fond memories with your pet can bring so much joy into life. For those who enjoy traveling, having your pet by your side can make the experience even better and though there are some things to consider, you can still have a great road trip! 

Here are some of my top traveling tips for road-tripping with a furry friend:

Packing for Your Pup

Travelers have plenty of extra things to remember to pack when bringing their pets along for their next getaway. One thing I like to do is break it down into two categories: basic necessities and items for transportation. That way, it makes it easier to remember what you need to pack without getting overwhelmed.

Dog with head out of window.

I always recommend starting with the basics such as food, bowls and plenty of snacks, as well as making sure you have a secure collar and updated tags for emergencies. I’d also recommend packing a leash for walks and toys to make your pet feel comfortable in their home away from home. Depending on your mode of transportation, a crate or kennel are also things to consider packing. 

Planning Pet-Friendly Stops 

If you’re taking a road trip, it’s important to plan some stops along the way. This allows your pet to stretch their legs or use the bathroom as needed. It also gives you a chance to check if they have enough food and water. While some of these can be done during normal road trip stops, such as getting gas or food, others might require a little extra time. If you come across a stop that has something for pets or scenery with a small trail, taking that extra time to explore could become a fond memory.

Picking the Right Pet-Friendly Hotel

One of the most important choices you can make when traveling with a pet is finding the right hotel or resort that’s welcoming to your four-legged friend. Many pet-friendly hotels can offer special amenities or have reserved areas around the property designated for your pets to visit.

Dog and woman in car.

For instance, at my home spa, we offer guests traveling with an animal a pet bed as well as water and food bowls. Sometimes, we have dog cookies at the front desk that are made by our pastry chef. We also have pet-friendly patio rooms to make it extra easy to access our grounds and many grassy areas. However, keep in mind these rooms are an upgraded option, and there is an additional fee for bringing pets. Make sure to alert the hotel that you’re planning to bring your pet, prior to arrival.

Participating in a Destination’s Pet Policy

While many hotels and resorts are open to guests traveling with pets, it’s important to note that restrictions and policies may still be in place. I highly recommend looking into a hotel’s pet policy before booking as there could be breed restrictions, extra fees or certain requests unavailable. For example, if you’re requesting turndown services, you may be asked to keep your pet in a kennel or out of the room when housekeepers need to enter the room.

As part of our policy, pets are restricted from certain areas of the hotel such as the pool and dining areas. At check-in, we offer a special pet map for the resort to help guide your stay and give you and your pet ample space to enjoy the property.

About the Author

Nicole's head shot.

Nicole Gravelle is the marketing manager at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. With more than 20 years of experience working in the marketing and hospitality industry, Gravelle has worked at hotel and resort locations throughout California and Texas including Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort, Hyatt Regency Orange County, Grand Hyatt San Antonio River Walk, and Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk, in addition to her current role. 


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