Fido-Friendly Tips for Traveling on a Budget

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We love our Pineapple Pups! All of our hotels are dog-friendly, so we jumped at the idea of partnering with Aurora James of Dog Etiquette for the second time. Check out some tips on traveling with your four-legged friend.


Countless people enjoy taking vacations, but many don’t enjoy seeing the dent it makes in their bank accounts. These costs can really add up—especially if you’re taking your dog on the road with you. However, with the number of Americans owning dogs surpassing the amount with children, traveling with Fido is becoming more and more common.

If you’re getting ready to plan your next vacation, but want to find an economical way to bring your pup along, then this guide is for you. We’ve got the top tips for traveling with your dog without breaking the bank.

Where to Go

Though you may think the opposite is true, you aren’t limited to certain locations when traveling with your dog. Do you want to relax on a beach enjoying surf, sand and palm trees? Most coastal towns offer dog-friendly beach options. From sun to snow, countryside to urban exploring, start thinking about your vacation in terms of where you want to and then research the Fido-friendly options there. In reality, planning where to go is the easy part; it’s planning how to get there that might take some time.

How to Get There

Traveling with your pet has never been easier, though the costs do range. You can take your dog on a plane, but the fees can tack on an extra $50-$500 to the cost of travel. In addition, many airlines require that your pet is healthy and up-to-date on all shots and vaccinations, which can cost another several hundred dollars if you’re a bit behind. While it’s always in your pup’s best interest to be caught up on these annual checkups, you don’t have to be as concerned if you choose to travel by car or train. Most major rental car companies allow pets, but have rules and regulations, and there could be additional cleaning charges.

So, if possible, the most comfortable and economical option to travel with your dog is to take your own car.

Where to Stay

When staying in a hotel while on vacation, it’s easy to find one that allows pets, though they may charge a pet deposit, a pet fee, or add on a daily pet surcharge. Staypineapple offers a pineapple pup package that includes a dog bowl, treats, and doggie waste bags to keep! As well as a dog bed for comfy nights, if you choose not to let your four-legged friend into the bed with you.

What to Do

You don’t have to plan every activity around your dog, as long as your pup is comfortable staying in an unfamiliar place alone. If your pet is crate-trained, be sure to bring their kennel along so they have a safe place to relax in the hotel room while you’re away. You won’t want to stay away for too long, so be sure to plan your dog-free activity in two-to-four hour blocks so you have time to go back and check on your pet. If you want to bring your dog along, look for low-cost activities like:

  • Restaurants with pet-friendly patios and dining options

  • Beaches that allow dogs

  • State parks that allow dogs on trails

  • Walking tours of historic city centers, like the French Quarter in New Orleans or Times Square in New York

  • Trolley Tours and Ghost Tours

Another little-known option is to ask a local real estate agent about fun things to do in a given area. You can find all kinds of ideas online, but real estate agents often know secrets in each city and can offer additional tips and ideas. For example, see the “Things to Do” list in this guide on Seattle - a general list of “places to visit” while in Seattle is fleshed out with ideas from those who are most familiar with the city itself. These hidden gems often end up being a family favorite!

Once you know where you’re going, do your research to plan a good balance of activities where Fido tags along and stays behind.

When to Leave Fido at Home

No matter how much you may want to share this adventure with your dog, it just may not be economical to bring them along. For example, if you’re traveling overseas, bringing a pet can not only be expensive, but the extensive travel could be traumatic for your dog. If you plan on all-day activities where you won’t be spending much time with your dog, leaving them at home might also be a better call. In these situations, you can hire a pet sitter or board your dog at a reputable facility.

Having your family pet with you on vacation can be very rewarding for both you and your dog. With more and more businesses opening their doors to dogs, it’s easier than ever to plan trips that can include your pet in all the fun.

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