Showing posts with label dog friendly hotels in California. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dog friendly hotels in California. Show all posts

Monday, October 8, 2018

Cross Country with Three Dogs: Day 2

 Day Two: Redding, California to Bakersfield, California


Day two was an easy drive to Bakersfield.

We left Redding around 9:40 AM and arrived in Bakersfield at 4:45 PM, just under six hours. We stayed at Residence Inn Bakersfield. We had to pay an extra $100.00 for pet fee (ouch!)  Before booking I highly recommend reviewing my original blog Cross Country with Three Dogs where I explain all the necessary steps to make reservations when traveling with pets.

We had a  nice large room with a kitchen and separate bedroom.

Continental breakfast was pretty good. The one downside was we didn't have a window overlooking the parking lot and we like to keep an eye on our vehicle. Dinner that night was pizza because we were still afraid to leave the pups alone.

There are several grassy areas that were clean for walks. The property is also entirely fenced and adds an extra sense of security.

The pups were enjoying the road trip!

Check out my day-by-day posts for pricing and details about each hotel and area.

Cross Country with Three Dogs: Day 1

Day One: Tacoma, Washington to Redding, California
Starting out the first day, December 16, 2016, we left the empty house at 7:30 am. We loaded three dogs, five dog beds, tons of blankets for cushion, a container of dog food and bowls and four suitcases in the Durango Mauricio bought two weeks earlier. On the back, we had a basket cargo carrier with a specialty cover full of plants that I couldn't bear to leave behind and the movers were not allowed to transport. We didn't know if we would be able to cross California with plants but we decided to take the chance.

In preparation, I had started giving the dogs Bach's Rescue Remedy  for pets as a calming supplement and a supplement called "No Toot" about a week ahead of time. Both worked really well. I've included the links to both on Amazon. I have not found anything that really results in no tooting, but anyone who has ever spent time with a bulldog can understand the beauty of toot reduction! I still use no toot daily.

In Oregon, we drove through the remnants of an ice storm from the night before.

Driving through the passes in the Shasta Cascade Region was making us a little nervous. Thankfully, the ice storm didn't go that far south so we had clear and dry roads.

We made a lot of stops the first day, about every 3 hours, and realized about half way through the trip the dogs didn't need as many pottie breaks as we anticipated. That made the drive almost 10 hours and our arrival was at 5:15 PM. We stopped for the first night at Fairfield Inn and Suites in Redding, California. We paid a $40.00 pet fee. There is a nice large field for walks and stations with doggie bags set up around the property. They also had a nice breakfast. Before booking I highly recommend reviewing my original blog Cross Country with Three Dogs where I explain all the necessary steps to make reservations when traveling with pets.

Close by there was a BBQ place and I stayed with my nervous pups while Mauricio scored some dinner. Ok, in this photo they aren't so much nervous as tired.

We used carry-on size bags. Leaving Tacoma, we had our bags organized like this: 1 for Mauricio; 1 for Nisha; 1 for the dogs (meds, treats, sweaters, etc.), 1 for important documents and files that we didn't want to put on the moving truck. 

I tend to be a worrier and over prepare. We each also had a backpack with some emergency supplies. In mine I put a first aide kit, emergency blankets, and various medications. A pack of 10 emergency blankets is less than $10 on Amazon and takes up very little space. Mauricio had our laptops and any tools we  might need. Plus we each had a flash light. As a safety tip, if you own a pair of walkie talkies, they are a good item to have on hand. Cell phone service is not always guaranteed and it is best to carry one every time you are separated by dog walking or making pit stops. 

The first night we reorganized and combined our suitcases so we each had half of one suitcase and three days of clothes. That way we didn't have to unload both every night. Also, when we arrived at a hotel, Mauricio would check-in while I stayed with the pups in the car. Then we took the pups to the room and I stayed with them while Mauricio unloaded the bags. We realized that was not the most efficient way to debark in Tucson and changed our routine.

All in all, the first day was a success. It started out the scariest because we didn't know what to expect but we started getting our routine for stops and walks ironed out and make it safely. That's all that really matters!

Check out my day-by-day posts for pricing and details about each hotel and area.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cross Country with Three Dogs

Wow time flies! It has been almost two years since Mauricio and I had to pack up and move back across the country. The first time was from Atlanta to Oregon in 2013. Then back to east coast in December 2016.

That's stressful enough but to do it with three dogs? That is another thing entirely!
We had two dogs when we made the journey to the West Coast and for that move, we hired someone from Uship to bring them along. I was a nervous wreck the whole time afraid one might get off the leash while walking and not come back to him. They made it safe and sound, after 10 long days due to a blizzard! He was worth every penny but I wasn't willing to do that again. The dogs were older (8, 8 and 9) and now we have three. Flying them wasn't an option either. Due to their ages we thought it would be too stressful.

Plus we have two with bulldog and one is 120 pounds so they all have to be shipped on cargo planes for thousands of dollars. That ain't happening.
We had to start the complicated process of planning a drive from Washington to Florida. The first thing we looked at was renting an RV. Perfect right? We load up the critters and head out and maybe get some sight seeing in, not have to worry about a hotel, have our food right there in the rig. Sounded kind of fun! Well, there is some kind of limit on how many RVs can be dropped in Florida. Who knew!? Something about everybody in the country driving an RV to Disney for the holidays. Every place we called refused to rent to us if we dropped off in Florida. We even tried to do multiple RVs and say pick up in Washington, drop in Arizona, then pick up from another company in Arizona and drop in Florida. No go. Camping was out because it was December and we're not really skilled campers. Plus with three dogs in a tent and potentially having wild animals about, no thanks! The only option we had left was to drive with a van or SUV and find hotels.

My husband loves cars is an understatement and a topic for another post. In the middle of all this, he decided the smaller SUV we owned wasn't big enough. We looked at renting a large SUV or van but for $2000 - $3000, it seemed like a bad choice. Plus, we had a cargo basket we were bringing on the back so I could transport some plants I loved that the movers wouldn't bring. He went ahead and decided to buy a new Dodge Durango. I know that option isn't feasible for everyone but he had his eye on it a while and just didn't tell me. In the end it was the perfect vehicle and size for us. The passenger mid-row bucket seat rolled forward so our big girl could easily get in and out.

The next, and major, step was planning the drive and finding hotels.  That's the main purpose of this series of posts. Hopefully I can help someone who is in a situation where they have to drive cross country with their pets and don't know where to start planning. Because it was winter, we decided to play it safe and drive south on I-5 to Los Angeles and east on I-10 to Florida vs. the shorter route through what's called the "ice box". To be on the safe side regardless and made sure we had snow chains on board. You can get the correct size for your vehicle on Amazon and save quite a bit of money.

We planned to drive up to 10 hours a day but avoid driving after dark. I measured the distance from city to city to lay out a time line so we could find hotels.

The stops were:

1. Redding, California just under 10 hours driving.
2. Bakersfield, California - 7 hours driving. This was a shorter drive because pushing to 8 - 10 hours would land us in the middle of no where with no hotels.
3. Tucson, Arizona - almost 12 hours driving because we detoured through Joshua Tree National Park.
4. Fort Stockton, Texas - 8.5 hours driving.
5. Houston, Texas - 7 hours driving.
6. Mobile, Alabama  - 7 hours driving. Mobile to home 11 hours.

Total miles = 3,753.

Normally, we like to travel loose and stop when we're tired or see something interesting. That's not really possible when you're on the road with pets. You can't run the risk of deciding to stop for the night and no hotels allowing you to stay.

I did quite a bit of research on websites that offer lists of pet-friendly hotels. What I found was discouraging. Most hotels only allow small pets (under 25 pounds), or up to two. I was leery of hotels advertising "pet friendly" but no specifics. A lot of hotels are under the umbrella of a corporation but are privately owned and the owner, not the company, makes the decision about how many pets and what size. So, once we had a list of hotels advertising pet friendly, we had to call each and every one to confirm they would let us stay. A lot of them said no, only allowing one or two dogs, or no dogs over 25 pounds, or no bully breeds.  It's very important to actually make that phone call and not assume what is on the website is the true policy. Almost all hotels have an up charge for pets. Some are $25 some are $100, meaning that is what you pay above the advertised price for the room. Be prepared to pay double what you expect when looking at the website.

Here is a list of the hotels where we stayed:

Redding, California - Fairfield Inn and Suites

Bakersfield, California - Residence Inn Bakersfield

Tucson, Arizona - Radisson Suites Tucson

Fort Stockton, Texas - La Quinta Inn Fort Stockton

Mobile, Alabama - TownePlace Suites Mobile

Check out my day-by-day posts for pricing and details about each hotel and area.