Websites For Finding Pet-Friendly Accommodations

Websites For Finding Pet-Friendly Accommodations

Pets can make absolutely wonderful travel companions. The process of finding pet-friendly accommodations, however, can be a less-than-wonderful experience. Fortunately there are several websites that specialize in helping your little Rover or Fluffy enjoy your vacation along with you.

Reviews of our favorites:

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Pet Speciality Travel Sites

pet hotel booking s Websites For Finding Pet Friendly Accommodations follow me on pinterest button Websites For Finding Pet Friendly Accommodations Bring Fido is an absolutely superb website! As the name implies, Bring Fido specializes in dog travel (though much of the information on the site applies to cats and other pets too—particularly when it comes to booking hotels). The website has a treasure trove of knowledge about dog beaches and dog parks, about dog-friendly restaurants, hiking trails, tours and shops for the world ’round. This wealth of information makes Bring Fido well worth a visit for everyone with canine travel companions whether they are booking a hotel or not.

As for Bring Fido’s hotel booking engine, what we love about it is that the hotel listings state upfront whether a quoted room rate includes a pet fee or not (although you have to click through to a hotel to find their specific pet policy). We also like that all the property reviews—and a hotel’s rating from 0 to 5 bones—are submitted by travelers who have experienced that hotel with their pets. All that is enough for us to forgive Bring Fido for the site’s prevalence of pop-up ads.

OfficialPetHotels.com – Has the most efficient, straight forward pet-friendly booking engine of any website we found. The best part: after you do your hotel search you can quickly mouse-over the “pet policy” box and instantly get a particular hotel’s pet policy (see screenshot, below). The downside is that the OfficialPetHotels selection of bookable properties consists mostly of large chains hotels and their coverage can be spotty, especially for destinations outside the United States and Canada.

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Tripology offers an excellent service for all trips whether or not they involve bringing a furry creature in tow. Simply fill out a form with your email address, what sort of trip you are planning (cruise, weekend getaway, camping trip, etc.), when and where you are going, and what pets you are bringing (if any). Tripology then matches you up with a travel specialist who will provide any help you want planning the details. There’s no obligation to it. And here’s what’s amazing: The service is completely free! Give it a try before your next trip.

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Other Useful Sites

Most of the major hotel booking websites—including Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com and Orbitz allow users to search for hotels that accept pets. All of them require you to first do a regular hotel search and then limit the results to pet-friendly properties. We’ve found that Travelocity generally offers the most selection, though we usually prefer Hotels.com because they incorporate bed and breakfasts into their results.

Speaking of B&Bs, BedandBreakfast.com allows users to search for pet-friendly properties too. The website includehttp://travel.spotcoolstuff.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=4500s many B&Bs not bookable online and thus not in the Hotels.com database. Some B&Bs, especially in rural areas, have huge grounds your pets can roam around in.

Pet Air (not to be confused with Pet Airways) is an useful resource for all things related to shipping, and flying with, pets. Thinking starting a zoo? Pet Air is not only able to help with dogs and cats but with parrots, monkeys, goats, snakes, pigs, turtles and all manner of other animals too.

Go Pet Friendly – Pet-companioned campers looking for RV parks and tent sites in the United States and Canada should check out Go Pet Friendly’s database of campgrounds. The site also has a listing of pet-friendly restaurants and attractions. In general their listings offer more breadth but less depth than those offered by Bring Fido. See comment #3, below.

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Comparison Chart

To give an idea of the number of pet-friendly hotels each of our recommended bookings engines have available—and the cheapest property each has on offer—we did a sample hotel search for five destinations chosen at random. The chart below is what our research turned up in August ’09 (though these things often change so your search will likely yield different results).

Location Bring Fido OfficialPetHotels Travelocity Hotels.com
  Portland, ME USA          
    # of pet hotels:   8 6 12 6
    cheapest price:   $69 $67 $60 $51
  Mendocino, CA USA          
    # of pet hotels:   6 1 3 3
    cheapest price:   $99 $198 $239 $136
  Banff, Canada          
    # of pet hotels:   7 4 7 8
    cheapest price:   C$98 C$99 C$98 C$99
  Galway, Ireland          
    # of pet hotels:   5 0 6 3
    cheapest price:   €75 - €40 €55
  Nice, France          
    # of pet hotels:   5 12 66 (!) 25
    cheapest price:   €51 €56 €48 €56
Bring Fido OfficialPetHotels Travelocity Hotels.com

Our conclusion? It can be worth shopping around at all four sites.



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Pet Airways, the Dog- and Cat-Only Airline
The BowLingual Dog-To-Human Translator
A Review of the Vision Quest Ranch: California’s Safari B&B
Bathe With Monkeys
Useful Websites While Traveling

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 Websites For Finding Pet Friendly Accommodations

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Responses

  1. Tomek says:

    Great comparison and analys, SpotCoolStuff.
    I know it was a while ago since this piece was created so here I would like to add my site to the list of Useful Sites:
    it’s a vacation rentals portal, which while sorted by ‘pet considered’ rentals brings +70k lodging options world wide: http://www.homeaway.com/search/refined/world/region:1/Suitability:pets+considered

    ps. had to say it since I do personally care for best lodging options when we travel!

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. maps4pets says:


    Twitter:
    Just Tweeted this article to our 23K + followers. Hope it helps. J x

    [Reply to this comment]

  3. Cec says:

    I have used bringfido.com, their webiste and information looks good, however, the customer service sucks and you will end paying a lot more for their services, which in my opinion, are not worth it. I will never used them again. I made a reservation in Mt. Vernon WA, on April 2011, just to find out that the hotel did not know them, I almost get charged twice but did not thanks to the General Manager at the hotel I stayed in. The hotel was not informed I had a pet, so I almost don’t have a room because the few pet friendly rooms were already taken (they let me stayed in a no-pet friendly room). The customer service in BringFido were very rude, and their fees were a lot more than the standard hotel rack rate.

    [Reply to this comment]

  4. maps4pets says:


    Twitter:
    Just wondering when we can expect some more great articles focusing on pet friendly travel. We are currently updating our old UK Pet Friendly Holidays website and would love to assist with feedback bt promoting via our Twitter account.

    [Reply to this comment]

  5. Tobias says:


    Twitter:
    Hi there,

    well if you are going to plan a vacation over in Europe you probably can search for pet friendly accomodations on http://www.ciaobau.com

    Over 60.000 objects there to find and travel there.

    Thanks for your post and the huge info on other sites and pricings. Well done!

    Greeting from Germany,
    Tobias

    [Reply to this comment]

  6. Fido Factor says:


    Twitter:
    This is a great article. I love how thoroughly you compared the various sites. The tricky thing about pet friendly lodging & locations is that the rules change often so it is hard to have complete & current information.

    We started Fido Factor to address the information problem by focusing on user-generated & updated content. We launched our website and iPhone app in July ’09 in the San Francisco Bay Area and have been working on our national expansion since December.

    We are getting hundreds of new locations & reviews from our users every month and are also rapidly adding new functionality to the site & app. Right now the site is U.S. only but hopefully later this year we’ll add support for other English speaking countries.

    I don’t know the Bring Fido people but Rod at Go Pet Friendly has worked very hard to get good hotel information. Most of us are doing this because we love spending time with our dogs and hope to find a way to have it pay the bills (someday). We love the support from our users and constructive feedback.

    Take a look and let us know what you think.

    Garrett

    [Reply to this comment]

  7. Sanjeev's Travel Guide says:

    Great sites. Will surely use them when I’m traveling with my dog. Thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

  8. maps4pets says:


    Twitter:
    Great article. We are a not-for-profit website that is specifically promoting pet friendly holidays. We can offer free links for all advertisers. Please get in contact with us ASAP. Contact us through the website please and ask for Julia.
    http://www.maps4pets.com/accommodation.asp

    [Reply to this comment]

  9. Authentic Seacoast Resorts says:


    Twitter:
    We’re happy to see you review some pet friendly accommodations websites. We choose to register our pet friendly property, Osprey Shores Golf Resort (http://www.ospreyshoresresort.com/accommodation/pets.html), with Pets Can Stay (http://www.petscanstay.com) as they have a formal certification process lodging providers need to complete to be included in their program. Many of the sites we evaluated simply wanted money to be included in a listing with no guarantee for travellers. We will definitely be evaluating your recommended sites to see if they can help travellers let people know their pooches are welcome on the Nova Scotia Authentic Seacoast.

    [Reply to this comment]

  10. Spot Cool Travel Stuff says:

    Hi Go Pet Friendly,

    We did test out your site as part of our research for this piece. In our opinion (and that is all we offer here, for our readers to take or leave as they see fit) there are key aspects of your site we found lacking.

    Most importantly in terms of this review: We are not fans of your hotel booking engine. First, it only worked for US and Canada destinations. Second, any search requires you to put in dates (and a lot of people, ourselves included, often start their trip planning research before they know their specific dates of travel). You also have to bother specifying the number of rooms. (Couldn’t you set that to default at 1?). Third, and maybe more troubling to us, for several of your hotels you don’t seem to have a pet policy available.

    On your list of pet-friendly restaurants, you have a large number in your database (more than Bring Fido, it seems) but there’s little information on each restaurant, to the point that we felt your list wasn’t so useful.

    Here’s a concrete example that illustrates our point:

    In California, the single best pet-friendly restaurant we know of north of Sonoma is a place called Ravens in Mendocino. It is really wonderful—pets there are almost treated like human customers. And the food is fabulous.

    OK, do a search for pet-friendly restaurants in Mendocino, CA on your site and Bring Fido’s. Yours pulls up 3 options to Bring Fido’s 1. But Bring Fido’s includes the best restaurant, Ravens. On Bring Fido you get a photo of the place and a description of it that lets you know what a special restaurant it is. Your site doesn’t list Ravens at all! One of your results is Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlor, which arguably doesn’t count as a “restaurant” and, anyway, you aren’t allowed to bring dogs into it. And your other two Mendocino dinning results aren’t actually in beautiful Mendocino but in less-than-beautiful Ft. Bragg, a 20 minute drive away.

    All that said . . .

    We do see all the work you’ve put into your campground database and just added that to our review. You also have some great information on pet-friendly attractions. Pet travelers, especially those planning camping trips with their pets around the US and Canada, should check it out: http://gopetfriendly.com/

    [Reply to this comment]

  11. GoPetFriendly says:


    Twitter:
    Just wanted to let you know that on June 1 we launched GoPetFriendly.com. We list pet friendly accommodations, restaurants, beaches, dog parks, state and national parks, and many other activities where you can be with your pet. We called approximately 30,000 hotels and campgrounds in the US and Canada to obtain a uniform pet policy – e.g., number of pets, weight restrictions, exotic pets, and room fees. We also list service providers (vets, sitters, animal hospitals) should you need them. All of our listings can be reviewed and rated by our users. A cool feature of the web site is a RoadTrip Planner that lets you plot your travel from point A to point B and the approximate number of miles you want to travel per day – and it will suggest pet friendly accommodations along the route that will meet your needs.

    [Reply to this comment]

  12. Pet Parrots says:

    I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks so much for this information. Pet lovers everywhere will be happy to find out about these hotels and services.

    Pet Parrots Blog

    [Reply to this comment]

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