Undoubtedly, the best tip I ever got for travel with pets – stay at a pet friendly hotel. Not a hotel that just gives lip service, but one that really embraces the concept. It makes all the difference.
I’ve checked into my favorite Victoria hotel and I’m already starting to relax. With me is my loyal friend – my golden Labrador Sadie. Now that the kids are older they’re off doing their own thing, and my husband is busy at work, Sadie has proven to be great company. Since I don’t like to leave her alone, and wanted to visit my sister, I knew Sadie would go with me.
We live in Kamloops, just north of Vancouver, so I drove down and took the ferry to Victoria. With Sadie patiently in her pet travel carrier, it wasn’t a long trip. My sister always wanted me to stay with her, but with her three kids, two dogs and their chaotic house, I knew I’d be glad I stayed at a hotel. I know Sadie would thank me – their Jack Russell terriers were too frenetic for her. The staff at this pet friendly hotel chain has gotten to know me, and greeted me by name as I checked in, even coming out from behind the counter to fawn over Sadie. I smiled as I watched her bask in the attention, while I munched on the complimentary chocolate chip cookie the staff had offered me when we walked up.
The hotel has pet designated rooms, and I love that. It’s not that pets are tolerated – they really are welcomed. We moved in, Sadie as usual having to explore every inch of the room. I set up Sadie’s bed in the corner, so she had to go sniff it and rumple it up to her tastes. When she saw me pull her leash out of my bag, she started hopping on her front feet. I got one of the small bags the hotel provided – what a great touch – and took Sadie outside so she could take care of business. We needed to stretch our legs after the drive, so I walked to a side street next to the hotel, and about two blocks down was a wonderful park. We spent about 20 minutes walking through the trees and
saying hi to other walkers. There wasn’t a fence, so I didn’t let Sadie off the leash, even when she spotted a couple of squirrels. When we met several ladies walking who wanted to pet and make a fuss over Sadie, she was quite content to enjoy the attention. I knew we’d visit one of the local dog parks later, but for now, this helped Sadie expel some excess energy after sitting in her pet travel carrier.
We went back to the room and Sadie was delighted to eat the treats the hotel staff had provided – just one more great feature of this wonderful hotel. She thirstily drank from the water bowl I had placed for her in the bathroom, had a snack, and then by the lazy way she walked, I knew it was nap time – I suspected for both of us. We settled down, her in her bed, and me on the large and luxurious bed. I must say, the pillow on that bed was the most wonderful I’d ever laid my head on. The next thing I knew, the clock said an hour had passed. I really loved the quiet and peace of our room – since I had stayed at the hotel a number of times before, it felt like home.
It was time to call my sister and go over to the chaos of her house, I knew that. But Sadie and I were so relaxed we just lay back on our beds and lounged for a while. I didn’t even turn on the TV. I just enjoyed the quiet time with my favorite friend, and watched Sadie look up at me occasionally with an adoring look on her face. Life is good when traveling with pets!
Carol Atkins has been traveling the globe for much of her life. She loves of all types of travel adventures including island hopping, hiking, cruising and being lazy on the beach :). She’s a dog lover and learning that traveling with pets can be a real challenge. Follow her on twitter @atkins_carol