Traveling from park to park this season with your four-legged friend? Here are some tips for making sure they’re all-set while you hit the coasters!
(1) Do your research.
- Verify that any hotels listed as “pet-friendly” actually are, and make certain they’re aware you’re bringing the extra guest. This is especially important when booking through a third-party site as hotels have turned guests away with pets when a pet-friendly room wasn’t actually reserved. This is a surprise you don’t want after a long drive!
- Find out as much as you can about the theme park’s kennels. Just drop them off and head into the park, right? Wrong. In my experience, I’ve boarded my pup in park kennels that were anything from free to $40, located anywhere from the other end of a parking lot to right at the gate. Additionally, some kennels only accept cash. Find out where the kennel is located, the cost/what methods of payment are accepted, if shot records are necessary, and if you’ll need to provide your own water bowl. You should always reserve a few extra minutes to sign a release and to make sure your pooch doesn’t need to relieve themselves one last time.
(2) Pack for Fido, too! Sometimes in the excitement of all the face-peeling fun ahead of you, a few items don’t make it into your luggage. Make a checklist for your furry companion, too:
- Dishes (for food and water)
- Collar, tags, and leash
- Waste bags
- A comforting toy/teddy bear
(3) Anticipate Food Stops. Do you plan to stop for food along the way? Anything more than a drive-thru should be pet friendly. I, for one, have dined on the patios of Chick-fil-a and Cookout with my dog right next to me on a short length of leash secured to the patio gate. Restaurants like Marlow’s Tavern even welcome dogs on their dining patio with a bowl of water and treats. As with hotels, confirm “pet-friendly” status with a quick phone call on the way. Sites like bringfido.com and dogfriendly.com are also helpful.
(4) Have Fun with It! Despite this short to-do list, bringing man’s best friend along on a coaster trip – or any road trip — is actually pretty easy and a lot of fun! As any dog-parent knows, dogs are just happy to be wherever we are. Talk to them during the drive, play with them at the hotel, and maybe even snag a photo-op at the park! Do you have any tips or fun pics from coaster trips with your dog?