Friday, January 26, 2018

Motels and pets

Pet friendly motels, now there is a subject I know a lot about. Fifteen years of traveling with animals, I know about every pet friendly hotel in the country.

Since we transport pets around the country via ground, our larger vans are ideal for travel. Their are outfitted like a motor home with perks for ourselves as well as the pets. It's equipped with extra generator, ac/heat, electricity, bed, like a mini hotel room with lots of kennels.
Good thing about trips with the big van is all my own personal stuff stays put. No need to drag my bags, kennels and pets into a hotel after a log day of driving.

There are times when the large van is not the right fit for the job. So we utilize mini vans to keep expenses down. Of course by keeping expenses lower we can keep the price of our service down. Problem with using a mini van is we loose the comfort and ease of traveling.
Yes, we transport peoples pets but we also have to remember its a round the clock kind of job. Which means at the end of the driving day, after the dogs have been walked and fed, cats have their little boxes, we still have to finish with taking care of our own personal needs. Mini vans just don't give any kind of amenities needed for personal care. So off to the motels we go.

Everyone knows there's a fat line between pet friendly hotels and "pet friendly hotels"
Anyone ever make a reservation at a motel that listed themselves as "pet friendly", is told at check in by the front desk about your pet. "Oh, there's a $50 pet fee non-refundable fee". LOL!!! That is NOT pet friendly. That is buying a room at a hotel for your dog.

Kiki, my dog and I were heading up I 95 one night after finishing a job. It was late, and I had enough of pounding up the race track trying not to play bumper cars. Pulled off to a hotel that offered rooms for $59 dollars a night. Not bad, was only spending six to seven hours there. I walked into the front lobby asked if they allowed pets. Yep! Room was $59, pet fee was $100. That was not a deposit, that was the actual charge for Kiki that night. So for me to sleep its sixty bucks, my dog to sleep a hundred. I think that fool behind the desk thought he was either funny or thought I was an easy mark. I would sleep on the ground before I would put up with that kind of scam.

I'm not exactly the smooth talking kind of person. I tend to call a fool a fool when I see one. They say if you hold in your anger it will give you heart problems. Well no heart problems that night.

Typically we have more than one pet when we are going into a hotel, some of the chains will say oh yes, we will accept your reservation, but its $10 for each pet. Well again for us that racks up to almost as much as the room cost. Kind of defeats the low cost expenses. Its usually when we end up on a one horse town, where there are little to no major chain hotels where we run into the take out a second mortgage to pay for the hotel room for the night to accommodate the pets.

These are my favorite. The hotel was built when I was born. The furniture in it looks like something that came out of my parents home. The carpet is so thread bare you can see the flooring underneath. The comforter on the bed is orange. Seriously who using orange, my great grandmother.  They charge me more than the value of the entire building, then on top of that give me attitude about "having pets with me" Like the pets are going to destroy their chic retro dump.

After fifteen years we've been able to find the various chains that are true pet friendly hotels. They set aside rooms specifically for families that are traveling with their furry family members. They don't charge a pet fee. Its one price for the whole family. That is a true "PET FRIENDLY HOTEL".

All chain hotels have a pet policy. Most are pretty standard. Don't leave your pet in the room by itself it the biggest one. Which unless you bring your meals with you or you can cook in your room pretty much means you starve because you have a pet with you. Feel like your chained to your room might as well stay home.
I've been to a few that ask that you crate your pet if  your going to be out of your room. This hotel is a true pet friendly hotel. They understand if your in a motel, you have to go out for food, some times you have to go to the store, and sometime you are going to a local attraction. They are asking you keep your pet secured, while keeping the hotel safe also.

In my eyes this is a proper deal. I have the means to go out and get done what I need to without the worry of my pet sitting in the vehicle. The hotel staff can do what they need to do without worrying about my pets running out the door. As much as you want to believe that when you tell hotel staff not to go into your room the language doesn't always transcend.

On one particular trip, we had put the no service sign on the door. We came back to find our hotel room door hanging wide open. We had let our cat Zoe out in the room believing no one would be entering the room.
When you spend you life traveling you begin to run you life around the idea people and companies will pretty much ignore anything you say or ask.

There is one other major thing pet friendly hotels do that trips my trigger. The thought process that goes behind this, well there is no though process. These are the hotels that insist on booking all their pets onto the 4th floor or top floor in general.

I was moving a few senior dogs across the country. One was being delivered into Roswell, NM. The other older dog going to CA. The dog was so incontinent, as soon as he stood up the dribble started. Getting him out of the mini van was simple enough. I just put potty pads on the floor and he dribbled going out the door. Changed the pads every day. The issue was getting him out of the motel in time.
I delivered in Roswell after dark. This was my stopping point. The main office booked me into the local Motel 6. Not my favorite hotels but cheap. At check-in I'm informed we are on the 4th floor. Now, I've been driving all day, dealing with a dog that needs to stop every two hours, its cold, late, windy enough to keep the flags straight. Just a long miserable day, I was finished, then I find out I have to cart two #500 kennels, compute pack, luggage, and pet bags to the 4th floor. That would be the easy part, in the morning I would need to get this incontinent dog from the far reaches of the hotel, down the hall, into the elevator, down to the first floor and out the back door. And he is suppose to hold it.

I have trouble holding it in the morning and the bathroom is less than ten steps away. I'm going to ask this senior dog to hold it while we walk for 15 minutes to get him outside. NOT! I think its the first time I was so upset I walked out. Reservation or not, I was not dealing with the stupidity of the hotel policy and trying to get this poor dog outside in time.
That night I ended up down the road at a LaQuinta. My first question was, "Do you have a downstairs room?" I explained the situation with the dog I was moving and needed to be as close to a door as possible. That beautiful woman put us right beside the back door. Stated she understood that putting a senior dog upstairs didn't make any sense at all.

For some reason beyond explanation the new trend is to put the dogs up on the highest floor, and charge a major deposit. I walked into a room the other night with at least a dozen pee spots. Like I'm suppose to prove one of those pee spots wasn't caused by my pet. The hotel decides to keep that $100 deposit. Good thing I take pictures on every room I enter and leave.

Point of this blog, if your traveling with your own pets ask questions when you make that reservation. Is there pet charge? How much? Is that charge a deposit or is it non-refundable? Listen carefully, as some will say, " its a $50 non-refundable deposit."  Ask what floor will you be on. If you have a senior dog that requires help getting out of the hotel in the morning you don't want to be anywhere but on the ground floor.
Also remember to take pictures upon entering your room. If there are stains on the carpet, chew marks on the furniture then go immediately downstairs and report the issue. Tell them you will not be held responsible for the conditions already existing. TAKE PICTURES, TAKE PICTURES, TAKE PICTURES, make the front desk aware you have pictures of the conditions.
Protect your pet, protect yourself. Safe Travels!!!
#movingwithpets, #petsinhotels, #travelingsafelywithpets, #travelingpets

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