By, Katy Cable-TWR
A 3 minute read
The dog days of summer are here! Time to get out, get away and have some fun! Last week I went over important safety tips for traveling with your pet, this week, Part Two, includes planning a trip and pet-friendly vacation ideas for any budget!
Most of us consider our pets family members and many would love nothing more than to include them on our vacations. In order to make it a fun, safe, memorable IN-A-GOOD-WAY here are some important tips:
Prior to making your vacation plans:
🛳Think honestly about your time, budget, and what your priorities are for this vacation. A quiet get-away to re-charge or a busy family trip to re-connect.
🐶Evaluate how safe and prepared your pet is for traveling. Depending on the type of adventure you are planning, the best option may be to leave your dog with a pet-sitter. Or, if you are including your pet, a relaxing short drive to a dog-friendly campsite might be a better idea instead of having an elderly dog or fearful new pup accompany you on a long airline flight to a new destination. Or maybe you are interested in a bit of both. A fun trip that caters to dogs by providing pet-friendly activities and amenities as well as other family-fun options.
Read on for some of my favorite destinations to explore. Whatever you're looking for, one of thee very best dog travel resources I have found is: bringfido.com This terrific website includes everything you need to plan and enjoy a wonderful vacation with your pet virtually anywhere in the world. Filled with pet-owner reviews, and every amenity and service you may need from dog-friendly accommodations to emergency vet care to dog-friendly activities. For hotel reservations, check out All The Rooms with great pet-friendly accommodation options and tips.
As a pug owner, I am against airplane travel if at all possible. Flat-nosed dogs have difficulty breathing and can overheat easily. With all the possible issues that can occur on a plane, it's just not worth the stress and possible heartbreak should something happen. Sometimes air travel is the only way to go therefore, refer to last week’s blog for life-saving important tips. ✈️
As luck would have it, living here in So Cal, some of my favorite getaways are just short car rides away. Whether you have children and are doing a family trip or a more relaxing adult retreat, these can be perfect spots.
From the glamour of Beverly Hills, to the beautiful beaches it would be hard to find a better travel destination than right here in my own Southern California backyard of Long Beach. Not many places offer the year-round excitement, diversity and options. Long Beach is both centrally located right in the middle of LA and OC and is less crowded and expensive than many other destinations. It offers great public transportation into various parts of LA, as well as an airport. Just a short drive to Disneyland (and other attractions) and plenty to do if you want a day to stay put.
Regardless of what you choose to do Long Beach is a great bet! Not only is it extremely dog-friendly, boasting 10 off-leash dog parks and the only off-leash dog beach in LA county: Rosie's Dog Beach. There is plenty to do with the family AND Fido.
There are several wonderful outdoor shopping areas including the quaint Shoreline Village, Retro-Row, Downtown Pine Street, and the popular Belmont Shore. Most offer an array of cafes, bars, coffee houses and restaurants with dog-friendly patio dining. Most stores are also welcoming towards pets.
With perfect weather year-round, you can rent a bicycle and pedal down the bike path which lines the beach from Belmont Shore to Shoreline Village. In addition to bikes, you can rent kayaks, SUPS, Duffy electric boats or even 30ft. sail boats and have a day on the water. -Or pretend you're in Venice, Italy and take a gondola ride through picturesque Naples. Over the summer there are an abundance of free outdoor concerts in the park, moonlight movies on the beach, and street fairs you can attend with your dog. Although summer is a fun time to visit, after Labor-Day rates go way down as do the crowds. The great thing is, the weather is still perfect year-round.
After a sunny day playing in the salt water and sand, your pooch can be royally pampered at one of the many pet spas and boutiques. Don't miss Pussy and Pooch on Second Street in Belmont Shore. Although wonderful places to visit year-round, after Labor Day rates go way down as do the crowds.
There are plenty of dog-friendly hotel and AirBnB options which will likely be less pricey than staying in the heart of LA or OC. And again, being in the center of everything gives you easy access to anywhere you're interested in visiting. Again, visit All The Rooms for ideas.
I have to laugh, but it seems to be my experience that the finer the hotel, the more responsive they are to pets. My dogs receive first-class treatment at many 5-Star resorts, yet they're forbidden from staying at most budget motels. In addition, I've noticed my canine was definitely cleaner, smarter and better-mannered than most the other guests at these haunts. -Well, RULES are RULES😜!
It wouldn't be a trip to SoCal without a visit to "The Happiest Place on Earth" as well as some of the world's other leading amusement parks. Disneyland, Universal, Knott's Berry Farm, Six Flaggs, and nearly every other theme park and attraction are just a short (ok, maybe not in the summer traffic) drive away. Or pay a visit to something different like the OC Fair, or one of the many museums.
Unless you're Doug the Pug, most theme parks and attractions do not allow pets. However, they do have nearby kennels, day-care and boarding facilities. Disneyland has a kennel on-site and right next door to the park entrance. The kennel is typically open both one hour prior to the park opening and after it closes. The great thing is it's highly rated, clean and safe. It's convenient, and you have flexibility to go visit, play, or walk your pet during your day. -In fact it's encouraged as the kennel does not provide care or play. They do not feed, exercise or engage with pets in the kennel. If your focus is Disneyland and getting the most of your visit there, I recommend leaving your pet with a nearby pet-sitter or boarding facility that provides play and interaction. Consider Camp Bow-Wow or PetSmart PetsHotel where your dog can socialize, get exercised and have some fun. You'll also find local daycare/boarding options on bringfido.com
(The Disney resorts do not allow pets so you will have to make other arrangements if you are staying at a Disney property. The trams allow dogs to ride from the parking lots to the theme parks.)
Once you've checked the happiest place on earth off your list don't leave before visiting LA. Walk down Rodeo Drive. See the stars on Hollywood Blvd. Dine outdoors in a beautiful cafe, spot celebrities at the Grove then go see a taping of your favorite TV show. You can take a studio tour, max out your credit cards at the world’s best boutiques from Robertson to Melrose to the garment district downtown. Do something off-beat and unique, check out my homepage: The Weekly Runt for fun activities like a free DOGA (yoga with your Dog) class, Yappy-Hour or an outdoor hike.
Should you find yourself in a situation where you want to enjoy an outing or overnight sans dog, I recommend Doggie Day Camp or the PetsHotel at select PetSmart locations. A loving, trained staff offers excellent care at affordable prices and can be readily found throughout the nation.
If you want to get-away from the city, some of my favorite destinations for dog-friendly vacations just outside LA are:
Ojai Valley Inn and Spa is a beautiful, relaxing paradise for all of us. We enjoy long walks, popping our dog in the basket and going for bike rides, and then the dog often joins us for al fresco meals. We've brought our dog out golfing, to the driving range or let them nap in the room while we hit the amazing spa or pool. There's a fun kids camp and family friendly events like dive-in movies at the pool and making s'mores over the fire.
Although it can be far too sweltering hot during the summer and fall, another favorite dog-friendly destination (November-May) is La Quinta Resort and Spa. I love the beautiful Spanish-architecture and historic grounds. The expansive property features numerous pools, world class golfing, tennis, and spa treatments. There are several quaint restaurants with patio dining and nearby you will find wonderful shopping destinations where everyone is happy to see a well-behaved dog. There are numerous dog-friendly parks, and outdoor piazzas for quaint shopping and dining.
If you want to escape the heat, head to the snow. I've have had some fun adventures up in the local mountains. Playing in the snow is a perfect change of pace for my "beach-dog." Even during the summer months, you can get out on the lakes, hike in the great outdoors and enjoy the fresh mountain air.
Try not to feel bad if you don't have the time, budget or adaptability to do a full-blown getaway with your canine. On my Homepage I have listed some fun local events going on. You can have a ball on a free "stay-cation" right in your own neck of the woods. Not from this area? Check your vet's office, groomers, pet stores, Facebook, Meet-Up sites and local news for fun things happening near you. Or better yet: start your own. I hope you have an unforgettable and wonderful summer filled with happy memories.
I would 💝💝💝💝 to see your great getaway photos and to include them on this site.
🐾🐾Happy Tails to you!🐾🐾