Traveling with Pets: America’s Newest Phenomenon‏


We invited Lisa Porter to share about this new pet travel phenomenon. George and I were shocked at a hotel when nearly everyone was there with their dog! We are seeing more and more pets on planes and in restaurants. Lisa Porter, founder and CEO of Pet Hotels of America,  is an advocate of traveling with pets and works with companies and organizations within the hospitality, travel and pet industries to improve amenities and policies, and increase public support.

More than 35 percent of all Americans own a pet and these figures are on the rise. Of those, nearly 50 percent consider their pets as family according to the American Veterinarians Medical Association. So, as the snow melts and people begin making summer travel plans, many are including their four-legged family member. This is something Pet Hotels of America surmised would happen a year ago when it launched, with the simple goal to make traveling with pets in America easy and fun.

Pet Hotels of America serves as a one-stop travel website for people to reserve at any of its 25,000 pet-friendly hotels, book a car that allows pets, and view airlines’ pet policy pages and reserve a flight. Travelers also can find kennels, pet sitters, pet-friendly parks and beaches, restaurants, veterinarians, groomers and everything else that is pet friendly in any U.S. city.

“We found that most travelers are a bit nervous the first time they travel with their pets because it used to be such a hassle to find a hotel or even a place to eat,” said Lisa Porter, CEO, Pet Hotels of America. “Those days are gone. Now they can travel with ease.”

As a second incentive to take Sparky along, many are finding traveling with pets to be less costly. The price tag for boarding a pet ranges from $25 to $60 per day, depending on the amenities and services the facility provides. Pet-friendly hotels however charge only a $25 to $100 fee for the entire stay and some don’t charge at all.

While on the road, travelers may find facilities and activities that don’t accept pets, such as most museums and indoor-only restaurants. Additionally there may be times when travelers need some alone time. In this case, travelers will be relieved to know that dropping Sparky off for the day isn’t so bad at such facilities as Pet Suites in Aliso Viejo where she’ll be munching on frozen peanut butter toys and enjoying a therapeutic spa treatment while they are reliving the famous “Checker’s Speech” at the nearby Nixon Library.

In researching nearby kennels and doggie daycares as listed and mapped on Pet Hotels of America, travelers will soon find that not only are hotels vying for their pet-friendly business, but so too are kennels and daycares offering increasingly more and better amenities.

“We began our website thinking that finding a pet-friendly hotel was all people traveling with pets needed,” said Porter. “We learned quickly though that they also want to find pet-friendly parks, beaches, restaurants, pet events, veterinarians, pet shops and everything else that’s pet friendly without having to scour multiple websites, newspapers and magazines.”

Wanderlust types unsure of where to vacation will discover that Pet Hotels of America presents myriad places to go that are perfect for pet travelers. Take Tampa for example. There are 65 dog parks—some at fence-enclosed beaches. After a day of running with the big dogs, Sparky and his owner will definitely want to enjoy happy hour with a $5 martini and a plate of Voodoo Shrimp at the GrillSmith.

Or, for those who want to enjoy the Southern California sun, Huntington Beach is a prime vacation destination. Huntington Beach Dog Park, Huntington Beach Central Park, Bolsa Chica State Beach Campground, Alice’s Breakfast in the Park and The Park Bench Cafe are just a taste of what this pet-friendly beachside community offers pet travelers.  Travelers can even wander down the coast to Imperial Beach where they may be able to catch the Loews Coronado Bay Resort’s Surf Dog Competition, featuring such surfing dog celebrities as Nani and Ricochet.

While America is becoming increasingly pet-friendly, travelers still need a helping hand on what places will accept pets and their policies, where to eat and what places and events allow pets. The good thing is, now more than ever, pet owners have a choice.

To make hotel reservations via phone: Call 866-676-7078 Use promo code HBC3456 to take advantage of special offers from Pet Hotels of America.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. She sailed the seven seas by cruise ship for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one and a quarter million views (1,250,000) on her YouTube channel. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries, named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blogs and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and has over 160,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and also ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on her own site, We Said Go Travel. From 2017 to 2020 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won three times and been a finalist fourteen times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards. She was also a finalist for four other categories including online journalist of the year, digital story for activism journalism with Ms. Magazine, educational reporting for Wharton Magazine and a broadcast lifestyle feature for KTLA TV in Los Angeles.    Niver won a 2019 NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award for one of her KTLA TV segments and was a finalist for articles published in both Ms. Magazine and Wharton Magazine. In 2018,  she was a finalist for stories in Smithsonian, PopSugar Fitness and the Saturday Evening Post. Niver won a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal and was a finalist for travel reporting. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, TODAY, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.

4 responses to “Traveling with Pets: America’s Newest Phenomenon‏

  1. Great article (and the photos are adorable)! You’re right – a lot more hotel chains are getting on board and offering pet-friendly accomodations. Sure, you sometimes have to pay a little more but the rooms often come with benefits – treats for your little one, a special bed, towels for washing them with, etc. I’d say the price is worth it to have the whole family there on vacation!

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