Vacationing with Dogs

Until last month, I had always hired a dog sitter to stay at my house while we went on family vacations. One of my dogs gets car sick, while the other is rather sickly in general. Plus, neither of them is well behaved. They are oh-so cute, but are very bad dogs. Last month, we visited Isle of Palms near Charleston, South Carolina for a few days and took the dogs with us to have some fun at the beach. I learned that vacationing with dogs can be a little tricky, but it’s something I now highly recommend.

Ample preparation is key when traveling with pets. I first had to locate a beach in Georgia or South Carolina that allowed dogs. I did a lot of web searches and visited many pet blogs. Since my dogs Winston and Lilly were a part of this trip, I did most of our vacation planning on the couch using my Acer C720P Chromebook. That way they could snuggle up and weigh on on the decisions.

Vacationing with Dogs

(Planning our trip.)

The Acer C720P Chromebook, powered by Intel technology, is the perfect device for doing your vacation planning – from anywhere to anywhere. It’s small, it’s fast, and it’s light. It also has the same very cool touch screen feature that I have on my larger Intel AIO device. Many thanks to our sponsor Intel AIO for providing us with the Acer C720P Chromebook to review.

Once we narrowed down our location to a couple of dog friendly beaches, the hunt began for a dog friendly hotel. When searching for a dog friendly hotel, it’s a good idea to read the hotel’s pet policy in full. I thought I had found the perfect beachfront resort, only to learn they had an 8 pound weight limit for pets which wasn’t going to work for my 25 pound pups. Also, expect to pay a non-refundable pet fee. The typical range for this fee is $100-$200.

Vacationing with Dogs
(An evening walk with the dogs on the beach.)

Traveling with dogs requires a lot of extra gear. Once the car was loaded up, I realized that dogs had at least as much gear as the people going on our vacation. Being in new surroundings with different smells and sounds can be scary for dogs, so it’s important to bring things like your dog’s favorite toys and blankets – even their bed if trunk space permits. It’s difficult for my dog, Lilly, to walk some days so we even had to pack her fancy pink dog stroller.

Vacationing with Dogs
(A walk around the Charleston Battery.)

Hotels use the same rooms over and over for families traveling with pets, so it’s a good idea to bring a can of disinfectant spray and a couple blankets or sheets to cover furniture, if necessary. Pack plenty of food and treats for our dog. If you’re visiting the beach or a park where your dog is sure to get dirty, bring your dog’s shampoo along as well.

Vacationing with Dogs
(A fun day at the beach with the dogs.)

Expect to get little or no sleep your first night in the hotel. Most hotels have their pet friendly rooms located in the same area of the hotel, so expect to see and hear lots of other dogs. My dogs were alert to every sound that first night, but by the second night they slept well from sheer exhaustion.

It’s important to have a well fitting harness or collar for your dog, while on vacation. You never know what might set your dog off. Since this was a dog friendly beach, there were many other four legged friends on the beach. Winston and Lilly quickly claimed the beach as their own and wanted to chase all the other dogs away.

Vacationing with Dogs
(The dogs on patrol.)

My Acer C720P Chromebook came in very handy while on vacation. One of my dogs had a chronic illness flare up while we were at the beach, and I had to find a place for my Vet to call in a prescription. By the time we got home, she was starting to feel better.

Vacationing with Dogs
(My Acer Chromebook came in very handy while on vacation.)

It’s true that vacationing with dogs is a lot more work, but it’s something I would do again in a heartbeat. I know my dogs are miserable when left with a pet sitter, and it was so fun seeing them play at the beach. They had a blast and so did I.

Have you ever taken your pets on vacation?

#spon: I am in a partnership with Intel. Through this partnership I gain access to content, product, or other forms of value.

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  1. says

    I would like to have one of thosestrollers for dogs! It is difficult to take pets along on vacation. I usually get a pet sitter, but I know our dog would enjoy going along to the beach.

  2. Amy Desrosiers says

    Oh my goodness, the doggie carriage is too cute! My dog stood with my MIL when we went on our vacation.

  3. says

    We’ve never actually traveled with our pets, we typically have family “babysit” while we’re away (not that we travel often). Your doggie in the stroller is too cute! hehee.

  4. says

    We always travel with our dog. He’s good both in the car, and on a plane.

    We’ve never had an issue with his sleeping in a hotel. We do tend to book suite hotels, and that way the bedroom door can be closed at night, and the sounds in the hall are diminished.

  5. Shauna says

    Great tips… we took our pup on vacation years ago and after one night the hotel said that he was too noisy and couldn’t stay… We had to find a pet hotel and thank GOD we had his records…

  6. Jenna Wood says

    I know not all hotels are the same, but my mother ran one for a while and their policies for cleaning after a pet were pretty intense, even though a pet would be staying there the next night. But a can of disinfectant never hurt anyone.

  7. says

    I live an hour from Charleston. I would have loved to have met you both in person! It looks like you had a great time. If you decide to come back and want to meet up shoot me an email. (I live five minutes off of I-26 too.) 😉

  8. Ann Bacciaglia says

    Your dogs are so cute and they look like they had a fantastic time on vacation. I love the photo of the dogs on the beach,

  9. says

    Sometimes we think about taking the pets on vacation with us; and then realize all the extra work/gear we have to take to include them. It’s just easier for us to leave them with family while we are gone. But then the husband really starts missing them 2 nights into vacation. LOL. so much for relaxing without the pets.

  10. Cindy Brooks says

    Your dogs are adorable. We have a Bichon Frise, too, and we love her to pieces. She always travels with us unless we are flying. I’ve never heard of a “dog friendly” beach! Is that common on the east coast? I’ve never seen any restrictions on the west coast. Most pet owners are considerate and “pick up” after their dog. Also, I’ve never paid more than $15 for a pet fee (We usually stay at a Best Western or something similar.) Wow, that would get pricey at $100 or more! We bring potty pads in case she needs to go inside and she is good about using them. The most difficult thing we run into when traveling with her is if we want to go somewhere she’s not allowed (like a restaurant) and it’s too hot to leave her in the car, but we work around that cause it’s fun to have her along :)

    • Angela says

      Awe! Bichons are wonderful dogs. Many of the beaches here on the East Coast don’t allow pets. I think it has something to do with protecting turtles and other wildlife. Yup. Every place I checked was $100 or more for the pet fee. I wonder if it was the area? We had a suite at Residence Inn and it was $100. Having the dogs with us limited us from doing some things but a beach trip worked out quite well.

  11. says

    I was at a hotel a few years ago when I was switching through the channels and seen a screen with the guest’s pets. It hadn’t realized that hotels allowed pets. Now that I have two little dogs I have been wanting to take them on a vacation.

  12. says

    We’ve taken dogs with us on vacation, but only road trips. It was great to not have to worry about them being taken care of. It did change the dynamic of the drive, and I’m not sure I would do it again until my kids are a little older.

  13. Maria Iemma says

    Both our dogs are elderly and they do not travel well. We usually have a family member come to the house a couple of times a day during our vacations to walk, feed and give them some love.

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