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Traveling with pets can be a nerve-racking experience. Stopping to let them stretch their legs at every rest stop, dealing with nervousness and car sickness, having to separate yourselves before boarding your flight, and all that on top of the normal stress of traveling…
At the end of the day, you just want to get into your home-away-from-home and relax with your fur baby. But what happens when you get there and the host tells you pets aren’t allowed? What do you do then?
Luckily, you can save yourself the headache by locking down a pet-friendly lodging option before your trip. With a ton of different choices at your disposal, however, it can be hard to pick the one that is just right for you and your furry friend.
As a hospitality provider and leader in the corporate travel industry for over 30 years, ExecuStay Midwest has worked with many furry, scaly, and feathery travelers all across the Midwest. We know there are special accommodations you and your family need, and it’s our goal to help you figure out which lodging option is going to be right for you.
Ready to get started? Let’s go!
For most travelers, hotels are the go-to for short term stays. And luckily for pet owners, hotel chains have really stepped up to become more accessible for pets of all shapes and sizes over the last couple of decades.
While there has been a major improvement in accessibility, there are still some things to be aware of when looking at a hotel for you and your pet. For starters, hotel rooms are typically the smallest room size from the options mentioned in this article and things can get cramped fast, especially if your fur baby is a larger breed.
Many hotels also lack green space for pets that need to be walked, but there are specialty hotels out there that have added cool features like dog play areas, indoor dog bath facilities, and more.
Speaking of breeds, another thing to keep an eye out for are breed restrictions for dogs, and weight and number limits. These two limitations are a common feature for any lodging provider, whether it’s hotels or otherwise. For hotels, breed restrictions will vary depending on the brand and location. Weight limits can be up to 80 pounds in select hotels, while most limits are 40 pounds or less.
Many hotel chains advertise as pet-friendly, though this distinction varies based on location. You could stay at an ABC hotel in one city, and your pet will have a wonderful time! Then you travel to another city, thinking you’ll stay in another ABC hotel and have the same level of pet-friendliness, only to find this location doesn’t accept animals of your pet’s size or doesn’t accept pets at all.
Additionally, almost all pet-friendly hotels charge a pet fee and some may charge a pet deposit. Many charge both. This pet fee can be between $30 and $50 a day and deposits can range from $50 to $125 per stay.
Hotels really can be a great option for short term stays, even when traveling with pets. Before you book, ask the hotel if they accept pets and if they have any breed, size, or number restrictions. Also ask about pet fees and deposits, especially for multi-night stays. If the hotel checks off all your boxes and you’re comfortable staying in a smaller room with your pets, you can feel confident in booking a hotel for your stay.
For many travelers, however, hotels are not the best option for stays with pets.
As one of the newest lodging options, peer-to-peer housing like AirBnB and VRBO hit the ground running as one of the most pet-friendly options for travelers.
One issue that comes to mind with peer-to-peer housing is a lack of consistency between hosts. One 1-bedroom apartment may be a glorified basement studio apartment while another may be a large open floor plan home with amazing amenities. It may not make a huge difference for smaller pets, but large dog owners will definitely want to get in the larger option, not the smaller one. Finding the difference will require a little bit of digging on your part every time you travel.
On the plus side, peer-to-peer housing is typically found in houses and apartments where pets have access to a number of amenities, especially in apartment communities. Houses typically come with the benefit of having a yard and fenced-in yards will be mentioned on the peer-to-peer listing. Apartment communities feature amenities of their own, with some offering dog parks, walking trails, and grooming stations on site.
Another consistency issue lies in the pet restrictions for each host. While AirBnB, as a company, does not have a pet policy, each host must set up their own policies when it comes to which pets they allow, or if they allow any at all. The host will also set breed age, weight, and number of pet limits. VRBO offers its hosts guidelines for how they can customize their pet policies. These policies can include not only the normal breed and size restrictions, but also age, spay/neuter, and vaccination requirements among others, and will vary from host to host.
One advantage this inconsistency does provide is it allows travelers a wide variety of options as far as pet-friendliness is considered. Whether you’re traveling with a large dog or a pack of chihuahuas, chances are you will be able to find at least one host that will fit your needs. Peer-to-peer websites help to at least get you started on your search by providing filters to search through pet-friendly options only.
It’s hard to lock down how much extra guests will pay for having a pet stay with them in a peer-to-peer home. Neither AirBnB nor VRBO have guidelines for how much should be charged for pet fees, rent, or deposit. Instead it is up to the host to establish how much they will charge.
VRBO is slightly more transparent as they provide pet fee and pet deposit options to their members while AirBnB instructs their hosts to increase their cleaning fees or security deposits or to file for compensation after the guest leaves through their Resolution Center if they want to charge more for pets. In both scenarios, hosts create their own pet fees and each one will vary from another.
To find out how much the pet fee will be, as well as any restrictions that may apply, you can contact your potential host for a complete rundown of all the pet-related information.
Extended-stay hotels are a common choice for travelers on extended vacations or long-term deployments to new areas. With larger rooms than hotels and pet-friendly facilities, it can also be a great option for those traveling with pets! But let’s see just how well they stack up against your other hospitality options.
As mentioned above, extended-stay hotels generally offer a larger sized room over traditional hotels. While they are larger, these rooms are situated in the same layout as hotels, with one room holding the living and sleeping space with a separated bathroom. Extended-stay hotels add a small cooking area into the main living area so guests have all the necessities for living available to them.
The added living space also makes staying with your furry family a little more bearable!
This type of hotel is sometimes situated on the edge of the town, offering more yard space for walking pets than many traditional hotels. Some extended-stay hotel chains go the extra mile, providing information on nearby pet-friendly restaurants, parks, and other fun for guests of all species.
While you will find easy access to walking areas for pooches, there are not many more amenities at most extended-stay hotels.
Similarly to traditional hotels, pet restrictions will apply for pets that stay in extended-stay hotels. Breed restrictions for dogs are common but may vary from hotel to hotel. It is also common for there to be weight limits and limits on the number of pets you’re allowed to have in your room.
Because each extended-stay hotel may have a different pet policy, it’s a good idea to check the hotel website and give the hotel you’re interested in booking with a call to be sure the pet restrictions fit your needs before purchasing a room.
One area that extended-stays excel in is the accessibility for guests to stay in a truly pet-friendly environment. While it’s impossible to say every extended-stay hotel is pet-friendly, the vast majority of extended-stay hotels do offer housing for every member of your family, including the furry ones!
How much you’re charged for your pet to stay with you comes in all shapes and sizes. Some hotels charge a pet fee, some a deposit, and some do both! Typically, you’ll find a pet fee lie somewhere in the range of $25 to $50 a night and pet deposits can be found for between $75 and $150.
One common factor that’s found in most extended-stay hotels is a monthly cap on how much your pet fees add up to. This cap is usually around $150 a month. For those staying several months, you will usually pay the pet fee the first week of the month, until you reach the cap for that month.
For pet travelers staying for a week to several weeks, extended-stay hotels are a common choice that checks off all the basics. For those staying longer or want an upgrade, they typically find it in a corporate apartment offered by a corporate housing provider.
Corporate housing is probably the least-known hospitality option out there, but it takes the cake as being one of the most pet-friendly choices for travelers! With more pet and people amenities than any other travel option, corporate housing is a great choice for the whole family. There are, of course, some things to be mindful of before booking an apartment with a corporate housing provider.
One of the biggest upgrades you’ll find in corporate housing is the size of your temporary home. Because it is an apartment, the space comes complete with a full-size kitchen, separate bedrooms, and unique features like private balconies or patios.
Much like peer-to-peer housing, not all apartments are the same, and a one-bedroom apartment at one property won’t be the same as a one-bedroom apartment at another. Most corporate housing providers list the square footage of each apartment on their website, so you can feel confident in your apartment choice.
On that same note, just like peer-to-peer housing, corporate housing guests reside in apartments. These, often luxury, apartment communities provide some of the most advanced pet amenities available to pet owners.
Dog parks with agility courses, pet spas, on-site groomers, and treat dispensers in the clubhouse are just some of the ways apartment communities work to spoil their furry residents, including corporate housing guests!
Just like the other hospitality options mentioned, pet restrictions will almost always apply when staying in corporate housing. These policies are set by the properties themselves, and the corporate housing provider will work with you to find a home-away-from home that fits the needs of you and your fur babies!
If you’re traveling with a dog that typically would fall under the breed restrictions of a hotel or apartment community, it may be easier to start your search with properties that have no breed restrictions at all!
My Pitbull is Family is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping find housing for families with breed restricted dogs. To make your search easier, they even have a handy-dandy map listing properties throughout the U.S. that do not have breed restrictions. You can check out the map then see if your corporate housing provider works with any of the breed restriction-free properties in your desired city (like Muse at Museum District in Houston).
One thing that corporate housing does very well is providing access to pet-friendly apartments. We know that when the family is traveling long-term, you can hardly imagine leaving your pet behind! Many of the corporate apartments in the United States are pet-friendly, and corporate housing providers are happy to help get you into a home-away-from-home every family member will love.
Most corporate housing companies list the pet policies of each apartment community on their website, so you can quickly find out which properties will work for you.
Just like the other options on this list, if you want a pet to stay in your corporate apartment with you, you will most likely face a pet fee, deposit, or rent for Fido. These fees are set by the apartment community and will vary depending on where you choose to stay.
Because apartment communities typically charge a single non-refundable pet deposit, you won’t face daily pet rents each month that can really add up for longer stays at other hospitality options. These pet deposits typically start around $200 for the upscale communities corporate housing companies utilize, though some can be higher. The amazing amenities you’ll have access to during your stay, however, usually make it seem like a steal!
You can ask your corporate housing provider to find you the property with the cheapest pet deposit, the most amenities, or anything else you may need and they will do all the heavy lifting to make it an easy move-in process for you.
Grab a Doggy Bag for the Road!
Every traveler and every pet is different, and we all have different needs! Luckily, everyone has a choice in where they’re staying with their pet while traveling.
Hotels and peer-to-peer housing are great options for short-term trips, though the lack of space and consistency make it hard for longer stays and repeat business. Extended-stay hotels are another common choice, though the shared space can be difficult after a couple of weeks and the lack of amenities can be underwhelming. Corporate housing offers the most comprehensive service for pets and their owners, but pet fees may be higher than those found at the other hospitality options.
If you do decide you’d rather stay in an apartment with access to those amazing facilities and you don’t want to do the hard work of sifting through hundreds of vacation rentals to find the one that works for you, corporate housing may just be the perfect choice for you and your pet to rest your head!
At ExecuStay Midwest, we help dozens of travelers each month find a home-away-from-home with their pets in 15 cities across the Midwest. From booking to check-out you know you have nothing to worry about when finding a corporate apartment for you and your family. 100% of properties we partner with are pet-friendly communities, including several with no breed restrictions.
The pet policies vary from property to property, but we make things simple for you with one easy monthly payment, including pet fees. We’ll do the searching for you in our network of properties to find the perfect fit for your pet and budget needs.
ExecuStay Midwest also makes things easy for you, the owner! With a local team of employee owners at your service, we know all the best pet-friendly spots for you to grab a bite to eat or go out and enjoy the nice weather with man’s best friend. You’ll work with the same team throughout your stay for maintenance requests and any other need that may arise.
Our goal is to make your stay easy. Select your city to get started.