Four Tips for Airbnb Travel with a Dog

October 31, 2016 in Travel

Like a lot of people, I’ve wanted a dog ever since I could remember. For my fifth birthday I asked for “a puppy or a kitten.” I mean, I didn’t want to be picky. It’s good to leave your options open.

My parents were not pet people for reasons I couldn’t figure out until I realized how often we traveled and how expensive and time consuming it can be traveling with an animal. Almost every airline has a pet fee (if they allow pets at all) and it’s harder to find a hotel (pick two: clean, affordable, centrally located).

But since we adopted Charlie over a year ago, we’ve traveled up and down the west coast, from Sequoia National Forest to Portland to Port Angeles, Washington. Finding dog-friendly Airbnbs isn’t as much of a challenge as I expected. It just takes a little more searching and a lot more communicating.

Here’s a few things we’ve learned on our travels that have helped us connect with more hosts and stay in more cool, canine-happy houses.

Filter by “pets allowed”


This one is a bit of a no brainer. After you pick your dates and location, click “filters” and look under “house rules” for the “pets allowed” box.  Much easier than finding a listing you love and realizing they don’t allow your furry friend. From there, be mindful of stipulations that hosts write in the house rules. For example, some don’t allow you to leave your dog alone in the house, which can put a damper on things if you planned to eat out somewhere nice.

Take a little extra care


If something looks nice (like this leather ottoman), we try to cover it up with a towel. If there’s a room we won’t be using, we close the door so Charlie can’t track dirt in there. Being conscious of the little details makes it more likely that hosts will want to have you back again, or will write a review that reflects the care you’ve taken.

Speaking of reviews…

Ask for a review that mentions your pup


I was diligent in the beginning about asking our hosts to mention Charlie in their review and it absolutely paid off. Now, whenever I’m requesting to book and planning on bringing him along, I’ll usually add a line about how they can check out my profile for some more info on our dog. Social proof– you can’t beat it!

Kathie and her fiancé were very kind, easy to communicate, and friendly people! Their dog Charlie was a sweet little doggy who gave us no troubles at all.

Kathie was an excellent guest! Her dog was also a perfect guest! 

Their little dog, Charlie, is adorable and well behaved. They left everything clean and tidy.

Travel in the off season


Even though I’ve noticed more and more Airbnb hosts accepting pets, your options are still going to be severely limited during popular travel times or in less populated areas. We try to travel in the fall/winter on non-holiday weekends because the odds are better that we’ll be able to find a host that will let us bring Charlie. As an added bonus, the prices are usually lower, and we’re forced to get a little more creative with how we spend our time if the weather keeps us inside.

Bonus Tip

Always bring more towels than you think you need. Any less than two and you’re going to have a bad time if you run into sand, mud, snow, water, the carcass of a dead animal… you get the drift!

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  • Reply Dorothy November 1, 2016 at 6:35 am

    Great tips!

    • Reply kathie November 1, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      Thanks! And told you I had a Charlie post in the works 😉

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