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Vacation with your dog on a budget

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By Carol Bryant
 

Not only is it possible to enjoy a fun vacation with your dog, but it's also easier than ever to do so while being frugal. Finding deals and ways to save doesn't need to be a laborious chore. With gas prices on the rise and vacations in the forecast, here are a few tips to keep your change spare and your dollars intact:


Plan a picnic.


Plan the route and pit stops with a fun picnic basket–style lunch for ravenous road warriors. Save on fast food costs and carry pooch snacks, cool water and a "paw-nik" basket of sandwiches, fruits and beverages of the human variety.


Research gas savings.


Use GasBuddy, or a similar gas price checker, on your mobile device to find the lowest price on gasoline in any designated city.


Book midweek.


Many dog-welcoming hotels and bed-and-breakfasts offer midweek specials, particularly in the not-so-busy off-season. Call ahead and ask for deals.


Save on hotel fees.


Sometimes hotels have a per-pet fee. The worst they can say is "No," so ask if perhaps the fee can be waived for additional pets and/or in general. Clarify if fees apply per night, per stay or per dog.


Find local dog activities.


Many dog-friendly cities pepper key vacation times with dog-welcoming events at little or no cost. One such example is Provincetown, Mass., where each fall the Carrie A. Seaman Animal Shelter holds a fun day-long event for dogs and their parents.


Prevent dog disasters.


Avoid getting charged for dirty paw prints on furniture in the room, and pack old sheets and towels for use on the bed and in-room furniture while vacationing.


Find dog-friendly eateries.


Call the local chamber of commerce of your vacation destination to inquire about dog-welcoming eateries. Bring your dog's food for outdoor dining so that there is no sudden change in diet and no tummy upset when traveling. Serving your dog's usual food also saves you money while vacationing.


Using these time-tested tips and cost-saving suggestions, you improve the chances of your dog having a great, memorable time on the next family vacation. 




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