A friend of a friend is an LGBT travel consultant. Out of curiosity, I asked him about booking pet-friendly trips with businesses that are also LGBT-friendly—was this a common thing?
His cheeky response was: “We do not allow any pets to accompany their owners on our adventures. This is at the pet’s request—they like to stay home and have the house to themselves and hold big parties with their friends.”
He got my golf claps and 10′s across the board for snarkiness. Meanwhile, I did a little snooping and discovered some things. Community Marketing’s gay and lesbian consumer index (including responses from over 10,000 gay men and 10,000 lesbians) found that 61% of gay men and 83% of lesbians are pet owners. Just as travel agencies, destinations and agents become more LGBTQ-savvy, slowly but surely they’re including our love for animals in the mix.
Whether you’re driving or flying, it’s crucial to remember that you need to be the “pack leader,” literally and figuratively. Pack both practical and comfy-cozy gear for you, your friends and family, and your beloved animal-babies. Always envision and prepare for a smooth trip and plan, plan, plan!
Below, you’ll find some pet travel tips for road trips and more.
Pet Travel Tips:
Don’t just think about amenities—think about travel costs and fees. Hotels and motels may enforce pet’s weight requirements and require fees or deposits. Call ahead to find out as many details as you can so you’re sure to have a good trip.
Make sure your animal babies are current on all vaccinations. Keep a copy of your animal’s papers in your glove compartment, just as you would for yourself and your girlfriend/wife. Keep all appropriate meds with you, and make sure your pet’s wearing his/her tags.
Bring plenty of familiar sights and sounds for your doggies, kitties, etc. (Like binky-blankets, toys, and yummy but healthy snacks). Bring appropriate animal carriers with you.
If you’re flying, be sure to be conscious of any rules other states may have about traveling with pets (no pets in motels if you’re traveling to North Carolina, may?).
Try to keep your pets on their regular feeding schedules once you’ve reached your destination, but don’t feed them too much on the morning that you’re heading out. If your animals fall ill, that’s no good for anybody. And poop scooping in the car ain’t cute.
Take regular breaks at rest stops, especially if your pets aren’t easily entertained inside your vehicle.
As you’ll be in less familiar territory, never leave your animals alone or unattended, and never leave them in a car alone in an unfamiliar place (even with the windows cracked open).
Just as you can leave your animals in the house for a few hours at a time, so too can you travel on the road without frequent stops. Still, if your animal-kid has behavioral problems, find a great sitter or leave ‘em at home. Not only is it bad “pettiquette” to upset strangers, it could also be potentially unsafe.
Bring and acquire water. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate–and that goes for you too.
Purrfectly Pet-Friendly Sites:
PetsWelcome.com – www.petswelcome.com
Features lodging Listings for over 25,000 hotels, B&Bs, ski resorts, campgrounds, and beaches that dig felines, canines and friends. Also features a pet sitters’ registry, and an acclaimed series of readily available travel books.
Pets on the Go – www.petsonthego.com
A definitive guide detailing animal-loving B&Bs, inns, hotels, resorts and private rentals. Includes reviews and professional advice and a special “pet-friendly car rental company” section.
Yahoo Pets – http://shine.yahoo.com/blogs/pets
Offers information about all kinds of pets including adoption information, breeds, pet pictures, pet finder, videos and so much more.
Kimpton Hotels – www.kimptonhotels.com - 1-866-544-3576
Yes, smarty-pants travel agent dude: there’s at least one pet-friendly and LGBT-friendly hotel chain I discovered along the way. Scoring a perfect 100 percent in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, the Kimpton chain, with properties in San Diego, San Francisco and beyond, also features an LGBT customer loyalty program, 10% Pride discounts and packages, and amenities and discounts for LGBT singles, families, and pets.
October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month. To show your support at the ASPCA, click here: http://www.aspca.org/adopt/adopt-a-shelter-dog-month