Summer is here, and it’s time to start filling your calendar with fun excursions! These suggestions for affordable vacations with pets are intentionally vague in terms of destination. They’re the kind of trips you can take anywhere in the country, with a little creativity and a bit of planning.
What’s important to remember is that taking a vacation with a pet doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair. Going simple can be highly rewarding. Perhaps there is something on this list that you’ve never tried before. Make this the summer that you and your pet take the plunge and experience something new!
Car or tent camping is one of the most economical ways to vacation, and a great way to spend a few days with your pooch. Many campgrounds are pet friendly, as long as you keep your furry travel companion on a leash. If you’ve never camped with your dog before, you may want to practice in your living room or the backyard before you set out for the woods. Set up the tent and have a sleepover!
Federal campgrounds tend to be less expensive than those that are privately-owned or run by the state. But keep in mind that they may also have fewer amenities. If you’re counting on electric outlets and shower facilities, do some careful research before selecting your site. Some federal campgrounds provide only drinking water and composting toilets – and some don’t even have that. These are the kinds of places we love because they’re less crowded and offer first-come, first-served campsites when other campgrounds may be booked well in advance.
Another great option is camping on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. Depending on where you choose, these spots are very inexpensive or free, making for super affordable vacations with your pet! BLM locations are generally undeveloped, so there will be no amenities, and campers can usually stay up to 14 days.
Consider taking a cycling vacation with your dog! The idea might sound daunting at first, but remember – you set the pace and decide how far to go. Cycling is a lot of fun, and moving along more slowly allows you to see things you’d otherwise miss.
If you don’t have equipment like panniers or a trailer for your dog, ask around to see if you can borrow them from a friend or rent them from your local bike shop. Before you head out, spend some time acclimating your dog to riding in a trailer, like you would if you were teaching her to use a kennel for the first time. Once she’s used to the trailer indoors, transition to short rides around the block, gradually increasing the distance over a few weeks.
READ MORE ⇒ A Complete Guide to Cycling With Your Dog
Start with a weekend tour from your front door. Many cities have bike paths that lead to known cycle routes or quiet country roads outside of town. Check your local tourism board website for ideas, or follow the routes used by local bicycle races. (Bonus: the race markers are often left along the road, so you won’t have to check your map as often!). Another option is to check Wikiloc, which has thousands of bike routes all over the world.
Flying is expensive and can be stressful, and larger dogs aren’t permitted on trains like Amtrak. That makes road tripping a natural choice for affordable vacations with your pet. If you pair it with tent or car camping, then you’ve really got yourself a budget vacation!
The beauty of taking a road trips with a pet is that you’re able to explore destinations and attractions you’ll both enjoy. If you love hiking, apps like AllTrails can help you locate local favorites. And if you prefer shopping, sampling the local fare at pet friendly eateries, or laying on the beach, GoPetFriendly.com’s road trip planner will provide you with a nice selection of options.
If you prefer to take your home with you everywhere you go, try renting an RV or Campervan. There are several pet friendly RV rental companies, and some only charge a pet fee if the RV requires additional cleaning. So, do the clean up yourself and you’re good to go!
READ MORE ⇒ Tips for RVing with Pets
While the cost to rent an RV or van might seem high at first, you save on hotel fees and eating out. Find a BLM campground and prepare your own meals in the on-board kitchen, and this becomes a great alternative for affordable vacations.
Don’t overlook your own backyard! Visit your local tourism office and pick up some pamphlets about nearby attractions to check out. You could also find a new trail, visit the local botanical garden, or try paddle boarding with your pup on a nearby lake.
Even if you’ve lived in the same place for years, it’s amazing the things you’ll find to do when you play tourist in your hometown.
With more and more folks traveling with their pets, hotels are becoming more pet friendly. However, some take advantage and charging exorbitant pet fees. Private accommodations, like AirBnb and vacation rentals, may do the same – so carefully check the pet policy before making your reservations.
Luckily, there are plenty of great hotel options that allow pets to stay for free, like Kimpton Hotels, Red Roof Inn, and some La Quinta locations. These chains are located throughout the US, so you should have no problem tracking one down in your ideal destination.
READ MORE ⇒ Hotel Chains Where Pets Stay Free
We hope these tips help you plan a budget-friendly vacation with your best friend. If you have other ideas for saving money on a pet friendly trip, please leave a comment below!
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