Whether you’re exploring your home state or embarking on an epic adventure, no road trip is complete without the addition of your furry friend. To help you make the most of your travels, we rounded up our favorite expert-approved tips for road-tripping with your pup.
1. Map out dog parks ahead of time. As you plan your itinerary, be sure to map out some time to visit dog-friendly attractions and outdoor spaces. If you want to mingle with the locals, head to nearby dog parks. Here, you can bond over the adorable dogs, learn more about the destination, and even get tips and recommendations from residents. Find dog parks and/or dog-friendly beaches near you, online.
2. Bring along a BarkBox. Spoiling your pet has never been easier thanks to BarkBox. The monthly subscription service offers fun toys, treats, and chews. You can even get travel-themed boxes, such as “New York City” (think Central Pork Pizza treats, a Statue of Liberty ball, and more), and even safari, Japan, and tropical-themed boxes (the latter of which is complete with a coconut shrimp treat). These special gifts are a great way to make your pet feel special and reward them for A-plus behavior, while also keeping them entertained throughout the car ride.
3. Find a pet-loving hotel. While pet-friendly hotels are an absolute must when it comes to traveling with your pooch, go the extra mile and stay at a property that specializes in puppy pampering. Our favorites include the XV Beacon Hotel in Boston (with an optional $25 donation that goes to animal charities), the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica; and all Kimpton Hotels. (These properties all offer complimentary, pet-approved amenities and accommodations, like plush bed, homemade treats, and toys). Many other hotels also allow dogs, but you may have to pay an extra fee. Before you book, check different hotel sites and read up on their pet policies.
4. Have dinner as a duo. Most major American cities offer an array of pet-friendly eateries, but if you’re heading somewhere a bit more under-the-radar, you’ll want to do some online research beforehand. Whether you’re traveling to Phoenix, Austin, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale – or anywhere in between – you’re bound to find several dog-approved dining options to meet your preferences.
5. Take a hike (literally). According to veterinarian Lynn Buzhardt, both you and your pup can benefit from outdoor exercise. In addition to improving your physical health, walking and hiking can also help regulate both you and your dog’s joint health, mental health, and emotional health. While you’re away from home, consider taking your dog to a nearby national or state park (some of them allow dogs). A few of our favorite dog-friendly parks include Acadia National Park (Maine), Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona), Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado), Padre Island National Seashore (Texas), and Shenandoah National Park (Virginia), among many others across the country.
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