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Pet Travel. Made Easy.

Pet Travel Hacks To Save You Money

Pets are family. It’s only natural then, that you want to bring them along on family vacations. Not to mention that they’ll make your vacation photos more complete and 1000% cuter! This can also be a good idea from a financial standpoint as it often costs less to bring your pets along than it does to leave them with a pet sitter or boarding service. Here are some pet travel hacks that will help you be the savviest pet-toting traveler.

Elderly dog looking out a car window with the text "Pet Travel Hacks To Save You Money"

 

Transportation

The first step when planning a pet friendly trip is to decide your mode of transportation. In addition to cost, it’s also important to consider flexibility, availability, and feasibility given your needs.

By Car

Traveling by car, if viable, is often the most economical option when traveling with your pet. Your pet might also find it less stressful than being cooped in a pet carrier for hours. The drawback, of course, is that it can be tiring to drive for an extended amount of time.

By Train/Rail

Traveling by train/rail is also a cost-effective option. While the pet fee will vary depending on the service, it’s usually reasonable, just $26 on Amtrak for example. However, some services have limitations on the size/weight of the pet, and that pets are not allowed on all lines. For a comprehensive list of all trains in the US and their policies, check out this guide from Upgraded Points.

By Plane

Most airlines charge approximately $100 each way for pets that are brought on board in a carrier. Do note that this would count towards your carry-on allowance. Larger pets that don’t fit in a carrier would have to be checked in as cargo and restrictions apply. Please visit each carrier’s detailed pet policy on their respective web pages before making your reservations.

Alaska Airlines

  • $100 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • $100 Cargo Cost (each way)
  • Restrictions: Minimum 8 weeks old. No brachycephalic pets allowed in cargo.

Allegiant Airlines

  • $100 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • Cargo travel not available
  • Restrictions: Minimum 4 months old. No more than 2 pets in the carrier. Permitted on domestic flights to the contiguous 48 states within the US only.

American Airlines

  • $125 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • $200 Per Kennel Cargo Cost (each way)
  • Restrictions: Minimum 8 weeks old. No brachycephalic pets allowed in cargo. Flight is at most 11.5 hours long and temperature < 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Delta Airlines

  • $125 Carry-On Cost (each way) in US / Canada / Puerto Rico, $200 International
  • Varies, contact customer service for rates
  • Restrictions: Minimum 10 weeks old. Temperature < 80 degrees Fahrenheit and > 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
    List of accepted animals.

Frontier Airlines

  • $99 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • Cargo travel not available
READ MORE ⇒  US Airline Pet Policies

 

JetBlue Airlines

  • $125 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • Cargo travel not available
  • Restrictions: Not permitted on flights to Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Cayman Islands, Trinidad, and Tobago.

Southwest Airlines

  • $95 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • Cargo travel not available
  • Restrictions: Minimum 8 weeks old. Not permitted on international flights.

Spirit Airlines

  • $110 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • Cargo travel not available
  • Restrictions: Minimum 8 weeks old. Not permitted on international flights.

United Airlines

  • $125 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • Varies, contact customer service for rates
  • Restrictions: Minimum 8 weeks old for domestic flights and 16 weeks old for international flights. Not permitted on flights to, from, or through Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand, and others.

Of the above, JetBlue has the most interesting pet program, named JetPaws, which offers its TrueBlue members 300 points on each flight when traveling with a cat or dog.

Do note that service animals are exempt from these fees. Airlines can’t charge a fee for service animals due to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

 

Hotels

Pet Friendly Hotels

To save money on hotel stays, look for hotels that charge either no fee or a low fee for pets. Higher nightly rates plus cleaning fees can quickly rack up a big bill. Here are some hotels to consider:

Aloft

  • Pets stay free.
  • Most locations allow 2 dogs under 40 pounds. Contact the location directly regarding a waiver for larger dogs or other pets. Aloft has a special pet program ARF (Animals R Family), which offers pet beds, bowls, treats, and toys upon request.

Four Seasons

  • Pet fees vary, but in some locations pets stay free.
  • Most locations allow one dog or cat, usually between 15 and 25 pounds.

Kimpton

  • Pets stay free.
  • No restrictions on type, number, or size of pets (as long as they fit through the doors). Offers pet beds, food/water bowls, and will provide pet recommendations upon request.

La Quinta

  • Pet fees vary, but in some locations pets stay free. Others charge $20 per night with a maximum of $40 per stay per room.
  • Most locations allow up to 2 cats or dogs per room.

Motel 6

  • Pets stay free.
  • Most locations allow 2 dogs or cats per room with a combined weight of 150 pounds or less.
READ MORE ⇒ Hotel Chains Where Pets Stay Free

Red Roof Inn

  • Pets stay free.
  • Most locations allow 1 cat or dog (weighing 80 pounds or less) per room + 10% discount on room.

Sheraton

  • Pet fees vary, but in some locations pets stay free.
  • Most locations allow dogs. Restrictions on the weight (usually 80 pounds) and number of dogs allowed vary by location. Larger dogs and other pets are subject to the manager’s discretion.

Virgin

  • Pets stay free.
  • Allows dogs with no restrictions on size or breed.

Sheraton

  • Pet fees vary, but in some locations pets stay free.
  • Most locations allow dogs. Restrictions on the weight (usually 40 pounds) and number of dogs allowed vary by location. Larger dogs and other pets are subject to the manager’s discretion.
READ MORE ⇒ Cat Friendly Hotel Chains
Siamese cat laying on a white comforter

 

Long-term Stays

If you can’t find any of the above options where you’re going, consider a hotel that charge a flat service fee for longer stays. For stays that are a week or longer, these chains can be cost-effective:

Candlewood

  • $75 service fee for up to 6 nights; $150 for > 6 days
  • Most locations allow pets under 80 pounds.

Doubletree

  • Up to $75 service fee
  • Call in advance as pet friendly rooms are limited.

Hyatt

  • $75 service fee for up to 6 nights; Additional $100 cleaning fee for > 6 days
  • Most locations allow up to 2 dogs weighing up to 50 pounds.

Indigo

  • $50 service fee
  • Most locations allow one dog or cat per room.

Loews

  • $50 service fee, possible additional cleaning fee
  • Allows two pets per room. Treats, bowls and place mats provided at check-in, pet beds, litter boxes, scratching posts, and toys available upon request.

Marriott

  • $50-$100 service fee
  • Most locations allow pets up to 125 pounds.

My Place

  • $50 for up to 7 days ($10/day); $100 monthly
  • Allows pets up to 80 pounds.

Novotel

  • $50 service fee
  • Allows 2 pets up to 50 pounds.

Something to note is that many hotels, including some of the ones above, might require a deposit in case of damages. This deposit will be returned upon checkout if there are no such incidents.

 

Pet Supplies

One of our favorite money-saving pet travel hacks is to be sure you’ve packed well for your furry travel companion! That way you won’t be buying all the things you forgot along the way at stores in tourist where markups are higher.

A small list of must-haves for your trip:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Food and treats
  • Protective pet gear (especially if you’re going somewhere hot)
  • Leash
  • Waste bags
  • A couple of toys and a blanket
  • Vaccination records (some hotels ask for these)

Read more >> Pack for Your Dog

Read more >> Pack for Your Cat

Cat and dog resting on bed in a pet friendly hotel

Traveling with your pet can be a great idea. You’ll make some amazing memories…and could potentially save a significant amount of money on pet sitting or boarding services! And, as more and more places have become pet friendly over the years, there’s never been a better time to bring Fido or Fluffy along. We hope these pet travel hacks make your trip more cost effective!

Pet Travel Hacks – References

  1. Family Vacation Critic
  2. Pets Welcome
  3. Pet Travel
  4. The Best Airlines for Pet Travel

 

About the Author: Lily Dee is a writer at The Pawsome World, a site dedicated to sharing valuable and reliable pet care content to help pets and their owners live their best lives. Being a pet parent isn’t always easy, and The Pawsome World provides tips/hacks as well as heartwarming content that pet lovers can rely on.

  • Sadies Dad says:

    I’ve wanted to take my dog Sadie with me on my annual trips to South East Asia but I worry about her traveling below decks and the flight changes. So many new things to smell. She would love it!

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      Hi Sadie’s Dad! Yes, flying pets in cargo can be concerning. I’d recommend talking to the folks at PetRelocation.com. They help families relocate with their pets all over the world and might have some good advice for taking Sadie on your annual trips. Good luck!

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