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 is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. Look for her memoir in Fall 2023 from Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.7 million views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.7 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

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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