June 5, 2012
By Amy Lieberman
Unique animal-friendly destinations for summer.
Devoted pet owners starting to map out their summer plans don’t necessarily have to consider getaway options that will involve leaving their furry companions at home.
Now, more than ever, there are not only vacation possibilities that can accommodate and even revolve around pets, but there are also new comprehensive websites that make searching for pet-related travel information even easier.
Launched in March 2012,TheJetSetPets.com provides users with listings of pet-friendly hotels around the world, from cities within the United States to across Asia, as well as comprehensive information on individual airline and railroad companies’ pet travel policies.
Travel journalist Kelly Carter, the founder of TheJetSetPets.com, says she launched the site when she recognized a need for more readily available information on what it takes to travel with your pet.
“I’ve been covering travel since 2003, and my dog Lucy has been traveling with me since 2001. I noticed that more and more people were traveling with their pets, but there were still so many people who didn’t know that they could do this,” Carter explained to Zootoo in a phone interview. “People don’t know how easy it is to get their pets into other countries, for example. I wanted to create a total resource on this.”
There are certain go-to pet friendly hotels — running the gamut in price — which Carter says people can always rely on. Motels 6s are pet-friendly, as are Fairmont Hotels, W Hotels and Kimpton Hotels. Cleaning fees and pet deposits vary and people should inquire about their specific policies.
It’s always worth asking all hotels about general pet policies, even if they don’t list themselves as pet-friendly on their websites. Carter says she has found that sometimes especially high-end hotels don’t like to publicly advertise that they are pet-friendly, “just for the mere fact that they might not want to offend other guests who maybe are not so pet-friendly.”
But that doesn’t mean that these pet-friendly hotels don’t go out of their way to make their canine guests feel at home.
“You’ll find that these hotels have all of these amenities, like special doggie dishes, and they just don’t advertise it,” said Carter, speaking at the time from a Four Seasons hotel, where she was staying with Lucy, a longhaired Chihuahua. Lucy, a seasoned traveler, is soon going to start guest-blogging about her experiences for AOL.
“People want to travel with their pets,” Carter continued.
People should be aware of size restrictions hotels might have on pets, and other regulations, like if you are able to leave your pet unattended in a room or not.
TheJetSetPets.com considers Aspen, Boston, Del Mar, Calif., Los Angeles, Los Cabos, New York City, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Tokyo and Whistler among the best cities to travel to with your pets, given the pet-friendly hotels available there, as well as the amount of pet-friendly activities and amenities the cities offer.
But there are also options for people — and their pets — whose idea of a summer vacation is heavier on the hiking and swimming, less on museum-going and street strolling.
Glen Highland Farm’s Canine Outdoor Adventures, located about four hours north of New York City in Morris, N.Y., offers 175 acres of free roaming land for people and dogs alike to take in during its June through October season. People can stay with their dogs in tents, cabins or RVs from $135 to $350 a night and spend their days hiking, swimming and fishing. Dog trainers and agility courses are also on hand if people feel like making the vacation a slightly educational one.
Another similar option is Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. This 150-acre countryside resort includes hiking trails, extensive lawns, dog swimming pools and agility courses. The “Dog Chapel,” used as a place to honor both departed pets and the lives of those still living, makes this unique, as does the “Healing House,” offering therapeutic dog beds. There’s a minimum of a two-nights stay here, which would cost between $195-249 a night per two people.
And for a classic camp experience, Canine Camp Getaway, in Lake George, N.Y., offers every summertime activity you and your dog could possibly want to enjoy together. The four-day camp session — this year, running from June 24th through the 28th — includes everything from swimming lessons and water games to dog trivia, horseback riding and canine CPR lessons. Veterinarians and trainers will also be on hand to answer questions, and to lead obedience lessons. Prices range from 1,125 to $1,350 for the camp session.