How do you find pet friendly hotels?
August 7, 2005 4:33 PM   Subscribe

In a few weeks I am going to be driving a moving truck cross country with 2 cats. I will need to find a hotel 2 different nights along the way. However, given the unpredictable nature of that kind of drive in a moving van, I am loathe to reserve places ahead of time. If there is any sort of delay or fortunate expedience the reservation could easily be missed. Searching the internet it seems that the pet policy is left up to individual hotels - even in the same chain. Does anyone know of any chains that allow small pets at all of their hotels or at least a resource that might compile a list of such places?
posted by aaronh to Travel & Transportation (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: does this. You can search by the route you are traveling and find hotels along the way. We did this when we moved across country with our pet gerbils and rats, and it worked out well.
posted by veronitron at 4:45 PM on August 7, 2005

When we did this(3 times now), we just left the cats in the car, got the room, drove round the back and snuck the cats in.

So long as it's your average interstate-side motel, it isn't all that difficult. Especially with cats, who don't make the noise dogs do.
posted by madajb at 4:51 PM on August 7, 2005

Best answer: Red Roof Inn does - which I learned while stranded during the snowstorm around Christmas time this year. I didn't tell the people at check in that we had a dog, because there was no way we were getting out of the parking lot. When we got inside the room, there was a pamphlet that explained that well behaved pets were always welcome! They aren't the fanciest places, but they're reasonably priced and clean.
posted by dpx.mfx at 4:58 PM on August 7, 2005

Best answer: Oh, and I just remembered that most Westin hotels do too - they'll even provide "heavenly pet beds" on request. But you have to call and check. For those of you looking for something fancier.
posted by dpx.mfx at 5:02 PM on August 7, 2005

Please don't sneak animals into hotels/motels which do not welcome them. People with severe allergies may stay in the room after you and if the establishment doesn't welcome animals they probably won't clean the room adequately. This can make someone with a dog or cat allergy miserable. If the allergy is strong enough it could seriously impact their health.
posted by FlamingBore at 5:16 PM on August 7, 2005

I did this very same thing about 12 years ago, and did stay at a Red Roof Inn with the cats. At another place (a local roadside motel, not a chain), I simply snuck them in under cover of darkness.
posted by briank at 5:19 PM on August 7, 2005

We also used a little over a month ago when moving from Minneapolis to Seattle. Found a nice motel in Billings, MT that would let us stay with our large dog and 2 cats.

I agree with FlamingBore, you shouldn't sneak pets into a place that doesn't welcome them. Someone with allergies shouldn't have to suffer for another persons unwillingness to take responsibility for their pets. That just gives pet owners a bad name.
posted by freshgroundpepper at 5:50 PM on August 7, 2005

Absolutely the Red Roof Inn.
posted by nj_subgenius at 5:51 PM on August 7, 2005

...crate your pets if you leave the room with them in it...chain policy.
posted by nj_subgenius at 5:53 PM on August 7, 2005

Best answer: I second the recommendation to, but as you've noted, some hotel policies do not hold for individual locations (though I am fairly sure that Red Roof's pet friendly policy holds across the board). For example, I know that some Holiday Inns permit pets while others do not. I think your best bet is to do a search on a booking site that will allow you to search for particular amenities (such as "Pet Friendly" or "Pets Permitted"); I know that has such search capabilities. Based on this, you can make a list of pet-friendly hotels for the major cities that you'll pass through.
posted by roundrock at 5:54 PM on August 7, 2005

Super8 almost always does. Ditto Ramada Limited.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:56 PM on August 7, 2005

Not just the Westin (I love the frickin' Westin, and Sheraton Four Points is my preferred mid-price chain), but any Starwood hotel, it seems.

It seems, however, that some individually-owned properties might not comply, since Starwood says that:
If you plan to travel with your pet, we recommend that You confirm directly with the Property that they do, indeed, accept pets. Starwood accepts NO RESPONSIBILITY for an individual Property's pet policy.
posted by Kwantsar at 5:57 PM on August 7, 2005

Best answer: We bought the AAA Guide to Traveling with your Pets. It's divided by state and city, and we were able to find numerous hotels that accepted pets even in smalltown USA. The book was enormously helpful and I'm sure AAA isn't the only one with a book like it. I think ours was $12 at Barnes & Noble.
posted by GaelFC at 6:10 PM on August 7, 2005

Response by poster: I definitely don't intend to sneak the cats in. That just reeks of bad karma to me (though the blizzard story above seems like a worthy exception to the rule).

Thank you for all the great answers. Once again, floored by the quality of AskMeFi.
posted by aaronh at 7:20 PM on August 7, 2005

Oh haha! No wonder this scenario sounds so familiar. I hadn't noticed that it was actually written by my traveling companion and BF!! I just thought it was a very useful coincidence! This is what comes from reading way too many blogs.
posted by abbyladybug at 8:33 PM on August 7, 2005

Best answer: I traveled across country last summer with FOUR CATS. In the backseat of a Lincoln Continental, no less. It was interesting, to say the least.

I never knew where I would be staying, so I took pot luck each night with hotels. I got lucky, and found places that accepted pets each night. Super 8 and Red Roof were good. The bad news was that every place had a two cat limit, so I did have to sneak in the other two.

1. Get your cats used to the crystal variety of kitty litter. It absorbs moisture like nobody's business! No smell, either.
2. Get a very deep litter box. Acclimate everybody to the litter and the deep box before the move. DO NOT CLEAN THE BOX THOROUGHLY before the trip. Rinse it out with water, but don't disinfect. You want some scent to remain.
3. Carry a can of Lysol. Hotel rooms are small, and cats trapped in crates all day are very "fragrant." Also helpful is a small whisk broom and dust pan.
4. Get two plastic jugs that have wide mouths to use for food and water. The wide mouth makes it easy to return uneaten food to the jug when you are packing up the next morning, and for filling with ice from the icemaker.
5. When you arrive at your hotel, take all the kitty paraphenalia into the room first. Get everything ready for the kitties. Bring your luggage and whatever you'll need into the room. Check the room for hiddy places when you first get there. Better you should know ahead of time where the cats might try to hide. Stuff a pillow or towel into the space between the headboard and the bed or spend twenty minutes trying to coax a cat out in the morning.
6. Bring the kitties in last. I assume they will be traveling in crates, so put the crates down next to the litter box. Let them sit for a minute or so, then open the crates.
7. Next morning, reverse the process. Pack up all your stuff, then pack up the food and water. Dump the lumps into the toilet (the crystal stuff flushes well) and return the almost pristine crystals to their container. Rinse out the box in the tub. Put all the kitty stuff into the box - easier to carry that way.
8. Herd the cats into the crates. Leave them in the hotel room while you pack your stuff into the truck. Take the cats out last.

I made a make-shift water bowl for each of the crates using plastic cups. I filled each one with ice from the icemaker, and refilled them periodically during the day with ice from my cooler. I did not put food in the crates.

My cats howled for the first twenty minutes each day for five days. I turned on The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers cd at full blast, and cruised on down the road. Good Luck!
posted by Corky at 6:39 AM on August 8, 2005 [9 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks, Corky! I wouldn't have thought of half that stuff.
posted by aaronh at 6:52 AM on August 8, 2005

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