Taking your family pet on holiday? Book your accommodations early

Photo: RODNAE Productions/PEXELS
Winging it can be a good thing. It takes the pressure off of having to plan and make decisions – and opens the door to spontaneity and free spirit. However, winging it also comes into play when you’re simply procrastinating. There is a time and a place for winging it and reserving a hotel room for you and your pet - particularly around the holiday season is not the time (or place).

If you really want a stress-free holiday and enjoyable trip with your furkid, you should start by planning where you’re going to stay and book your accommodations ahead of time. Booking your pet-friendly hotel room well in advance has many advantages that definitely outweigh the lure of being spontaneous and/or procrastinating.

Get the room you want (and need)
When traveling with your pet, there are typically unique preferences or requirements when it comes to room selection. Booking a room on the first floor is a common request from pet parents. Rooms on the first floor make pet potty breaks easier. Plus, pets with mobility issues prefer first floor accommodations. In addition, a room away from “busy” areas such as an elevator or stairway are favored by people traveling with their pets to avoid potential barking and stress. There are also some hotels that have an allotted number of specific rooms designated for people traveling with pets.

Booking early helps to ensure you’ll get a room that will definitely welcome you and your four-legged traveler. And of course, booking early will help to ensure that you'll get a room with all the highly desired “human” features and amenities that you’d like.

YOUR pets need to be welcome, right?
Lest we forget, not all hotels allow pets. And those that do allow furry guests have specific pet rules. This includes pet weight limits, number of pets allowed, types of pets, and pet fees – among other things. The reality is that it’s going to take a bit more effort to find a hotel that will welcome your 80 lb. dog and three cats than if you’re traveling with one 10 lb. chihuahua.

Booking your hotel in advance will allow you the time to find a pet-friendly hotel that will accommodate your whole crew. It will also give you time to find the best options when it comes to pet fees.

Get good deals
In general, saving on hotel room rates is one of the biggest reasons people make hotel reservations ahead of time. Booking early typically equates to getting a better rate. As the departure date gets closer, availability wanes as the demand for rooms increases. This means you will very likely have to pay more for your pet-friendly hotel room. This is commonly the case when travel plans are around holidays and weekends. In addition, starting your pet-friendly hotel search early affords you more time to “shop” for the best deals.

Stress-free holiday for the win
You’re taking a trip for the holidays with your precious pet. It’s supposed to be an enjoyable, bonding, and stress-free experience.

Anything to reduce stress is always recommended. Securing a hotel room is probably the most important thing you have to do when taking a trip with your pet (unless you’re flying). Why wouldn’t you take the time to ensure that you have the perfect pet-friendly place to stay when you arrive at your destination? Having that big question mark hanging over your head is unnecessary. Do yourself a favor and be sure to book your pet-friendly hotel early.

Kim Salerno is the founder and CEO of TripsWithPets. With over 45,000 accommodations, TripsWithPets provides online reservations at pet-friendly hotels across the United States and Canada. For more information visit tripswithpets.com.