Tips For Pet Friendly Travel Accommodations

According to research, over half of Americans consider their pet part of the family. So, it’s no surprise when you want to bring your fun loving fur friend with you while traveling. To make your quest easier on everyone, we recommend following the steps below. It will help guarantee that you will enjoy a leisurely vacation with your loved ones.

Step One: Ask Questions

When calling hotel chains or state cabins, be sure to ask multiple questions regarding their pet policy. Many of these policies will have multiple rules in place. For example, they will allow a small pet or dog. However, the pet cannot exceed a certain weight limit. Some hotel chains will even have a rule such as pets are only allowed in carriers, etc. The hotel manager should be able to answer your questions over the phone, but it is always a good idea to request a hard copy. They can e-mail or fax you the information.

Step Two: Check Room Capabilities

You may want to check what the room amenities are, regardless if you are staying in a pet friendly cabin or hotel. If your pet has special diet needs, you may need a stove or refrigerator. It is also a good idea to find out if there are trails or pet friendly parks nearby. That way you will be able to give your pet much needed exercise.

Step Three: Find Out If It’s Really Pet Friendly

When traveling with pets you will quickly learn that there is a difference between pet friendly lodging and tolerant lodging. A pet friendly cabin or hotel will provide easy clean up surfaces, doggie bags, and some will even offer treats. Most of these locations will also allow your pet to run loose in the room while pet tolerant lodging will only allow them inside a certain square footage.

Step Four: Gear Up For Your Pet Travel Needs

When taking a trip with pet in tow, remember that they will have special travel needs. You may want to pad their kennel with pillows or towels so that they are comfortable. You may also want to take along extra bags for accidents, treats, and small trays to pour water in while stopping for a break.

These are all easy to follow trips so that your upcoming vacation will be one to remember. Your pet will thank you with better behavior as well.

Frugal Travel Tips For Cruises

Cruises are one of my favorite ways to see the world. I love falling asleep in one country and waking up in another, not having to pack and unpack. Cruise lines run the range of prices from value to super expensive. For frugal travelers, here are some tips to cut expenses.

Consider All Itineraries

When most people think of cruises, they think of the Caribbean, the Mediterrian, and perhaps Alaska. However, name an ocean port and there is likely a cruise sailing into it. And some of these itineraries can not be only bargains but a pleasant surprise. We once booked a 12 day Baltic cruise from London to St. Petersburg and return for less than the airfare from New York to London. It remains one of our favorite cruises.

Bring Your Own Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Food is normally included in the price of a cruise (except for dining at the exclusive restaurants). However, beverage other than water, coffee, tea, and if lucky iced tea come with an additional cost. So what we do is buy non-alcoholic beverages in ports (allowable – for alcoholic drinks, there is often a corking charge) and then pour them into glasses.

Make Your Own Tour

We’ve been on over a dozen cruises all over the world and have only done one ship organized tour (on our first cruise). They are expensive, move forward at the pace of the slowest traveler, and restrictive. For a well organized traveler, making their own arrangements is preferable.

One trick that we use is to look at the sights the ship tours cover and include those in our “tour.”

Note: Tour Directors will often tell of horror stories about passengers not getting back to the ship on time. The solution? Leave some extra time and do the far away venues first.

Big Breakfast, Late Dinner

For the frugal traveler, maximizing the time in port is a must. That means if possible choosing the late seating at dinner. Also we tend not to eat large lunches (if at all). Instead we eat a large breakfast on the ship (where the breakfast is free), snack on bits and bites of local food while on shore, and then top the day off with a leisurely late dinner.

Cruising is one of the favorite ways for this frugal traveler to see the world. And by using these tips, it is one luxury that can fit into a traveler’s budget.