Hi, I’m Savanna! Read my introduction to learn more about me and my spunky Chihuahua mix, Penny.

Do you travel with your dog? Personally, I like to call them “pupcations,” but we try to take Penny with us on trips as much as possible. I like to travel, so I was hesitant to get a dog just for that reason alone. We’ve always had someone check in on our cats daily when we went out of town, but dogs are different from cats and can’t exactly be left alone for long periods. So I was worried we wouldn’t be able to travel as much because we’d have to find care for Penny.

But that’s before I knew how many places are more dog-friendly than they used to be. It turns out that traveling with Penny is easier than I thought. Now, there are some instances in which we don’t take her with us, but if we reasonably can, then we will. Read on to learn about why we travel with Penny and some trips we’ve taken Penny on. Maybe it will inspire you to take your own pupcation, dogcation, whatever you choose to call it.

Why We Travel With Penny

There are a few reasons why we travel with Penny. The obvious one: I love her and want to spend every day with her. I want her to experience as much as possible, and it’s also good for her to get some socialization and mental stimulation that she can’t get at home. We all need a change of scenery sometimes, and I think that applies to dogs too.

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But traveling with Penny is also practical. A lot of hotels and vacation rentals are pet-friendly nowadays. Many of them have a small pet fee, but pets can even stay free at some of them. So in some cases, especially if we’re just going out of town for the weekend, it’s cheaper to pay a pet fee at a hotel than it is to board Penny for a couple of nights. Many Hilton hotels and Best Western hotels are pet-friendly, so that’s where we usually stay.

Of course, some hotels and rentals do request that pets be crated if they are to be left unattended. But Penny is crate trained and her crate is her safe place, so that’s a requirement we can easily follow. Plus, if she sees us packing her crate up, she knows that she’s about to go on a trip with us.

The last reason we take Penny with us on as many trips as possible is that Penny actually loves traveling. She’s always loved riding in the car, so when she sees us loading stuff into the car for a trip, she jumps up in the vehicle and is ready to go before we’ve finished loading. Then, she mostly just naps until we get to our destination.

I'm ready to go on pupcation.
I’m ready to go on pupcation.

Places We Take Penny

We pretty much take Penny to any place we can that is dog-friendly; any place that has a lot of pet-friendly hotels, outdoor activities that dogs can participate in, and dog-friendly restaurants so she doesn’t have to stay cooped up in the hotel the whole time. I like to use BringFido to research a potential destination before we go, to make sure there are a lot of dog-friendly activities.

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Since we live in Alabama, it’s easy for us to take weekend trips to other states in the southeast U.S. that are within a 4–5-hour drive or less. One of our favorite places to go is Pensacola Beach, Florida. Not only is it beautiful, but they have two dog-friendly beaches, and several of the restaurants in the area are dog-friendly as well. Being a Chihuahua mix, Penny isn’t crazy about the ocean or water in general, but she doesn’t seem to mind the beach as a whole.

Besides Florida, Penny has been to Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and North and South Carolina with us. Sometimes she does have to stay in the room if we want to do something or eat somewhere that isn’t dog-friendly. But the bottom line is that there are plenty of dog-friendly places out there if you take the time to research, so your dog doesn’t have to stay behind if you don’t want them to.

Wow, that's some really big water.
Wow, that’s some really big water.

What to Consider When Traveling With Your Pup

Traveling with a dog is fun and practical, but there are some things to consider. First, you want to make sure that your dog is up to date on their vaccines and that they have proper identification via a microchip or, at the least, a collar with your contact information. You may also wish to travel with a copy of their vaccination record. These things are necessary if your dog gets lost while on the trip. You may also wish to research vets in the area you’re going to ahead of time, just in case something happens.

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Also, many places have leash requirements, even if they are dog-friendly. Make sure you have a harness and leash for your dog, that the leash is the appropriate length (some places don’t allow leashes more than 6 feet long), and that you keep your dog leashed unless otherwise noted.

Don’t forget to bring everything your dog needs, including food, food and water bowls, treats, and comfort items such as a blanket and a favorite toy. Bring more food than you think you’ll need, just in case. You may also want to bring pet wipes or dog shampoo for those outdoor adventures. We have a backpack just for Penny’s supplies when we travel, and she knows her stuff is in there and she keeps a very watchful eye on it.

At a cabin in Ellijay, Georgia
At a cabin in Ellijay, Georgia

Traveling With a Dog Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

Traveling with a dog is actually really easy and fun with the proper preparation, and it can even save you money in some cases since you don’t have to pay for a pet sitter or boarding. Just keep in mind that some dogs don’t travel well, and the change in scenery and routine can stress them out. You may wish to speak to your vet first if you’re considering traveling with your dog. But if you have a dog like Penny, taking her on a pupcation can be an awesome bonding experience for you both.





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