In Honor of National Pet Day: Best Places to Travel with Pets

April 11 is National Pet Day, and we thought it was the perfect opportunity to help you get your furry friend alongside you on the road!

If you’ve ever wondered, “How can my pet travel?” or, “Is pet travel safe?” we’re here to tell you it’s totally possible, especially when you’re road tripping in a travel trailer or motorhome.

Not only is camping conducive to the kinds of outdoor activities Fido will be most excited for (did someone say walk?!), it’s also one of the most affordable ways to travel when you’ve got a pet by your side. Campgrounds are often much less expensive than pet-friendly hotel chains, especially when you use your Passport America membership, which scores you a 50% discount on your campsite accommodation fees at almost 1900 campgrounds nationwide. Sweet deal!

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So grab the leash, stock up on the treats, and let’s get going. Here’s what you need to know about traveling with your furry friend.

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Top Pet Friendly Vacations

When it comes to pet travel, it’s true that not all destinations are created equally. But luckily, camping lends itself to the kinds of spots that are great for traveling with dogs — full of all sorts of trails to take long, meandering walks down!

Keep in mind, however, that many of our National Parks impose strict limits and rules on pet admittance, and some don’t allow them at all. “In most parks,” according to the National Park Foundation, “pets are not allowed on trails and in wilderness areas — this is for their own protection as well as that of the local plant and animal life.”

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But there are some pet-friendly national parks that are perfect for domestic doggy travel. Here are a few of them:

  • Acadia National Park, Maine
  • Yosemite National Park, California
  • Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
  • Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
  • North Cascades National Park, Washington
  • Cuyahoga National Park, Ohio
  • Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

Even within these parks, pets must usually be kept on a six-foot leash or shorter, and may not be allowed on certain trails. Be sure to check at your individual destination for the most up-to-date pet rules.

If you’re looking for a more urban getaway, there are plenty of cities that are just a little bit friendlier for Fido. Take the following, for example.

Austin, Texas

With almost as many urban trails as there are music venues, Austin is a great place for Fluffy — especially since most of those bars and restaurants allow her to chill on the porch.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

From wine tasting to wandering through cute little boutiques, this central-coast California gem is well-known for its dog-friendliness. It’s even home to a dog psychiatrist!

But more than likely, you can skip the puppy shrink and head to the gorgeous off-leash dog beach. A view like that is as good as therapy any day.

Denver, Colorado

Considering how open-minded Colorado is in other regards, it’s no surprise its capital city is doggone wild. According to Fodor’s Travel, Denver boasts 179 dog-friendly restaurants, as well as a variety of off-leash dog parks.

Keep in mind, however, that pets are prohibited in most of nearby Rocky Mountain National Park, though there are several hiking trails outside the park’s limits you can explore as an alternative. Oh, and another thing: Fido probably doesn’t want to don skis!

Animal Friendly Rentals

No matter where you and your furry fam are headed, RVing is a pet travel luxury. It can make traveling with animals a whole lot easier than trying to cram everyone into a crowded car — and it can be a lot cheaper than the steep pet deposits hotels often charge!

Even when you’re RVing, however, pet travel can come at an additional cost. For example, some RV owners who rent through RVshare include a modest cleaning fee or upcharge as part of their pet travel requirements, and campgrounds can also impose extra fees for animals (or limit how many are allowed).

It’s an important job for any pet travel planner to take all these factors into consideration before getting on the road. You don’t want to arrive at your destination only to learn that Spot’s a deal-breaker!

Pet Travel Accessories

To ensure your pet is safe and comfortable while you’re traveling, there are a few items you might want to add to your packing list. Here are some of the most important.

Pet Travel Crate

Image via Amazon

Your RV may have lots of room to roam, but that doesn’t mean your pet should be taking advantage of it while the vehicle is in motion! It’s a safety essential to keep your animals in travel crates while you’re driving; after all, you need to keep your eyes on the road and not on Spike.

Crates come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so be sure to choose one appropriate for your pet’s needs. For small dogs and cats, we recommend one like this, with lots of ventilation and a convenient handle.

Collar and Leash

Image via Amazon

As mentioned above, many pet-friendly parks do impose certain restrictions on animal accessibility, and one of the most common is that dogs remain leashed at all times. And really, this is a solid piece of advice anyway; you don’t want your faithful friend to get lost!

Many areas require dogs be kept on leashes of six feet or less, so if you’re using a longer leash or a retractable model, it might be a good idea to invest a shorter one.

Collapsible Pet Dishes

Image via Amazon

When you’re traveling by RV, every square foot counts — and it can be a blessing to be able to collapse your pet’s food dish when it’s not in use.

These silicone travel bowls will free up your space, and they’re super easy to clean, too!

Food, Treats and Toys

Image via Amazon

Having a supply of food on hand is a given; your pet needs to maintain her steady dietary habits to stay healthy and strong.

But you should also keep your furry friend comfortable on the road by bringing along her favorite treats, toys and stuffed animals — they’ll also discourage her from chewing on stuff you don’t particularly want teeth marks in, like your shoes!

Pet Travel Essentials

We hope this post has showed you how fun it can be to travel with your pet, and given you some great ideas on where to take your four-legged friend’s first journey.

Happy National Pet Day, campers!

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