Traveling with your furry best friend
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
Traveling with your four legged best friend can be a blessing and a curse all in one. It's definitely a love-hate relationship.
Love; because you basically have a bestie with you who has to do what you want, when you want.
Hate; because not all places are so accepting of dogs. Plus, having to put on more than a hotel bathrobe to take your dog to do their business, can totally cramp on your style in the AM.
When Grant and I decided to get a dog about 4 years ago we agreed it made more sense that we get a smaller dog. With all the traveling and moving around we were already doing back then, we figured it would be easier to continue traveling in the future if our fur-child didn't take up a whole lot of space wherever we went. Enter our miniature wiener dog, Vienna. She's short and compact, and easy to haul around on all of our adventures.
When we fist got Vienna we were living in Florida and traveled back to California quite frequently. I knew I was going to have to get her used to people and new places real quick if I was going to feel comfortable traveling across the country with her.
When traveling with a pet, especially on a plane, it can get a little nerve wrecking for you and your dog. The biggest piece of advice I can give to those thinking of traveling with a pet is to start getting your pet used to all sorts of situations at a young age. Once they're adults (just like humans) they are more stuck in their ways, and it's harder for them to adapt to different environments. By the time Vienna was about to turn 1, she had already flown across country with me twice, taken long car rides, and sat with us at dog friendly restaurants and bars.
I would not have been table to do all these things with Vienna if I didn't have the right equipment. Here are a few things I bring with me almost every time I have Vienna come along on a trip, all of which you can find on Amazon.com !
The Sherpa Travel Deluxe Pet Carrier was probably the first thing I purchased after getting Vienna. This carrier is approved by most airlines to fit under the seat in front of you. Vienna can lay in there comfortably without having too much room so she flops around while I'm carrying her through the airport. The carrier opens up on one side and has mesh panels on three sides so your pet can take a look around. It also has a side pocket which I use to store some treats and a couple rawhides for Vienna to chew on during take off and landing.
The Prima Collapsible Travel Bowls are perfect for when you're on the go with your pet. Not only have we used these for all of our travels with Vienna, they also work well on hikes or at the beach. They collapse flat so they take up almost no room in your suitcase, and the clip attachment makes it easy to clip onto other bags or backpacks.
We bought the K9 Sport Sack more so for when we go on long hikes or walks. Vienna's little legs can only take her so far, so on our long hikes here in Lake Tahoe, the K9 Sport Sack is a great option for when she gets too tired to keep up with us.
Our road trip to Costa Mesa
Since Grant is taking a class down in Southern California, I decided to take Vienna on a little road trip to visit her papa as well as a couple friends and family! Grant's sister lives in Orange County as well as my brother and his girlfriend, so that narrowed my search to dog friendly hotels in that area.
I found Avenue of the Arts Hotel through my Marriott BonVoy App and fell in love. Take a look at their website and it's not hard to see why. From the eclectic lobby, to the walkway around the hotel with man made ponds inhabited with turtles and koi fish, this place was the perfect place to stay during our So-Cal road trip. If you're staying at the Avenue of the Arts in Costa Mesa I would definitely recommend their ground floor rooms with a terrace. Vienna and I stayed in the Terrace King room and it was the best option while staying there with Vienna. Even though we had a large outdoor terrace, we still had plenty of privacy, and the room and terrace were so spacious! If I wanted to I could have set up a yoga mat and had all of the room. The outdoor terrace not only had a area of green turf, it had a lounge chair AND two tables with four chairs each. One on the carpeted patio, perfect for breakfast time, and another on the green turf with an umbrella that totally gave me backyard BBQ vibes.
Other dog friendly hotels and restaurants that are Vienna approved in California:
Cambria Beach Lodge at Moonstone Beach
Portola Hotel and Spa at Monterey Bay
The Landing Resort and Spa in South Lake Tahoe
Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
The Farmhouse at Roger's Garden in Corona Del Mar
Willie's Seafood and Raw Bar in Healdsburg
Bravas Bar De Tapas in Healdsburg
Jaded Toad BBQ and Grill in Windsor and Cotati
Brewsters Beer Garden in Petaluma
Base Camp Pizza in South Lake Tahoe