If you’re getting ready to hit the road with Fido this summer, how much extra are you willing to pay your hotel?
Pet lovers across the USA will soon be packing up their canine chums and drive with them to hotels nestled in the mountains, sitting on lakes and located in big cities. Some will pay for the privilege of watching Spot’s tail wag inside a hotel, while others will seek lodging that doesn’t charge extra fees.
“Fees seem to be common, and some are pretty stiff!,” pet lover and frequent traveler Jane Fowler recently told Travel Update.
Fowler typically stays at La Quinta properties since the chain doesn’t charge extra pet fees. Sometimes she books a short-term rental home via a company such as VRBO and HomeAway, and filter for “pet friendly.”
The Kimpton chain of colorful boutique hotels, like La Quinta, targets pet owners who aren’t willing to spend more on their lodging.
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“Our pet policy is simple,” Kimpton’s website says. “We welcome any pet, regardless of size, weight, or breed for zero fees or deposits at every Kimpton Hotel.”
At other hotels, the pet free can range from $10 to more than $100, depending on pet cleaning fees. (Email me or comment below on the highest pet fee you’ve ever paid!)
Big chains: Best to check individual hotel’s policy
Regardless of a chain’s corporate pet policy, pet owners might consider taking the extra step of checking on an individual hotel’s policy because some hotels will scrap the brand rules and create their own.
In Liverpool, N.Y., for instance, one of Hilton Worldwide’s Hampton Inn hotels received at least one rave review on TripAdvisor from a pet owner in May 2014.
“We love this hotel. Very few Hampton Inn (hotels) allow pets and this one does. No fee charged either! When we are visiting a vendor in Chaumont, New York, we always stay here, even though it is a little of our route. Everything is super clean and there are no pet odors in the rooms,” the reviewer wrote on TripAdvisor.
At Best Western, which is a network of individually owned hotels, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, either. The company has a special website that helps guests find pet friendly locations and tips from celebrity dog trainer Cesar Milan.
Readers: Are you willing to pay extra to bring Fido into your hotel room? If not, what do you do? If so, tell us about what you’ve paid and why.
Photo of Ann Stinely and Dexter courtesy of Jane Fowler; taken at the La Quinta Springfield, Mass. in summer 2013.