Road Tripping with Fido: Tips to Keep Costs Down and Tails Wagging
Guest post by Nick Burton of Our Best Doggo
You’re a dog owner, so you already know how much more fun everything becomes when you involve your four-legged family member. This same concept applies to vacationing, as well, but you might be concerned that traveling with Fido will cost you a pretty penny.
The best way to keep costs down (and make the trek easier on your pooch) is by taking a road trip. Airline fees are pricey; take Delta, for example. If your dog is deemed small enough to ride in-cabin, you’re looking at a round-trip cost of $250, but that price jumps to $400 if your dog has to ride in cargo — and that price doesn’t include your ticket! Plus, air travel is stressful for both of you. Thankfully, car travel with your dog is easy on everyone, including your budget, and the following tips will help you keep those costs down and tails wagging.
Keep Food Costs Down
Road trips make it easy to pack your own snacks or stop at gas stations to buy a cheap pack of crackers. Your dog doesn’t have that luxury, as he is dependent on dog food the entire trip. Dog food is a pet supply you are constantly buying, so find ways to save such as buying from a wholesaler like Costco or Sam’s Club, switching to a slightly cheaper alternative that is still just as nutritious (just do your research beforehand), comparing prices online, or even making your own. You’ll need a way to transport it too for easy access, so grab a travel bag online from Amazon and take advantage of their free shipping and reviews.
Don’t Forget the Essentials
Dog food is a must, but you’ll need to pack a bag for your dog to ensure he stays happy not only during the ride but also once you arrive at your destination. For example, you’ll need a crate in case you need to leave your dog in the hotel for a short period of time, harness and/or car seat, food/water (and bowls), bedding, collar/leash, toys, and a well-stocked first-aid kit. If there’s an item on the list you don’t have, don’t start fretting about the cost. You can save money and even earn cash back by looking online for coupons and discount codes for popular stores and online retailers. For example, if you need a car seat or harness, you can take advantage of cash back deals and free store pick-up at Petco. Many dogs experience carsickness as well, so before you turn to pricey meds, talk with your vet about possible natural remedies via herbs and aromatherapy such as ginger, cocculus indicus, and lavender.
Find the Right Hotel
In an ideal scenario, you could road trip to see a family member or friend and stay there for free. However, if you decide to go off the beaten path, you’ll definitely need to find a dog-friendly hotel. Fortunately, there are several mainstream hotels that accept dogs for a minimal fee, including Aloft Hotels, Red Roof Inn, and La Quinta Inns & Suites. There are other hotels that accept dogs as well, but the fees tend to be a lot higher. Use websites such as BringFido.com to find pet-friendly hotels, and try to find an area that offers several dog-friendly amenities such as restaurants, hiking trails, breweries/wineries, parks, etc.
While the hotel you use is dog-friendly, bear in mind that they won’t be too friendly if your pooch destroys the room out of anxiety or boredom. If you’ll be venturing out for an activity that doesn’t allow dogs, consider hiring a trusted dog sitter in the area. Be sure to read the reviews and shop around for the best price. You can ask the front desk for recommendations as well.
Having your dog accompany you on a road trip is sure to be an amazing experience, and with a little planning, you can avoid overspending. The tips above will help you keep costs down. That leaves you to hit the road with your furry companion riding by your side.