Taking your pets along when you travel saves you money on boarding fees. And these tips will help you save even more!

Elderly dog looking out a car window with the text "Pet Travel Hacks To Save You Money"

Pets are family. It’s only natural then, that you want to bring them along on family vacations. Not to mention that they’ll make your vacation photos more complete and 1000% cuter! This can also be a good idea from a financial standpoint as it often costs less to bring your pets along than it does to leave them with a pet sitter or boarding service. Here are some pet travel hacks that will help you save even more money!

Save Money On Pet Travel


The first step when planning a pet friendly trip is to decide your mode of transportation. In addition to cost, it’s also important to consider flexibility, availability, and feasibility given your needs.

By Car

Traveling by car, if viable, is often the most economical option when traveling with your pet. Your pet might also find it less stressful than being cooped in a pet carrier for hours. The drawback, of course, is that it can be tiring to drive for an extended amount of time.

If you’ll be using a pet friendly rental car, you can save a lot of money by avoiding the costly additional cleaning fees. Get our tips for keeping a rental car clean.

READ MORE ⇒ The Ultimate Pet Friendly American Road Trip

A colorful map of the U.S. with pins locating pet friendly attractions

By Train/Rail

Traveling by train/rail is also a cost-effective option. While the pet fee will vary depending on the service, it’s usually reasonable, just $26 on Amtrak for example.

However, some services have limitations on the size/weight of the pet, and pets are not allowed on all lines. For options in your area, check out this guide to pet friendly public transportation in the U.S. and Canada.

Dog Friendly Scenic Train Rides | GoPetFriendly.com

By Plane

Most airlines charge approximately $100 each way for pets that are brought on board in a carrier. Also note that your pet’s carrier counts towards your carry-on allowance, so you might incur additional luggage fees.

Larger pets that don’t fit in a carrier would have to be checked in as cargo and restrictions apply. Please visit each carrier’s detailed pet policy on their respective web pages before making your reservations.

Alaska Airlines

  • $100 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • $100 Cargo Cost (each way)
  • Restrictions: Minimum 8 weeks old. No brachycephalic pets allowed in cargo.

Allegiant Airlines

  • $100 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • Cargo travel not available
  • Restrictions: Minimum 4 months old. No more than 2 pets in the carrier. Permitted on domestic flights to the contiguous 48 states within the US only.

American Airlines

  • $125 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • $200 Per Kennel Cargo Cost (each way)
  • Restrictions: Minimum 8 weeks old. No brachycephalic pets allowed in cargo. Flight is at most 11.5 hours long and temperature < 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Delta Airlines

  • $125 Carry-On Cost (each way) in US / Canada / Puerto Rico, $200 International
  • Varies, contact customer service for rates
  • Restrictions: Minimum 10 weeks old. Temperature < 80 degrees Fahrenheit and > 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
    List of accepted animals.

Frontier Airlines

  • $99 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • Cargo travel not available

READ MORE ⇒  U.S. Airline Pet Policies

Fluffy white dog waiting at the airport with airline cargo pet carrier and luggage in the background

JetBlue Airlines

  • $125 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • Cargo travel not available
  • Restrictions: Not permitted on flights to Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Cayman Islands, Trinidad, and Tobago.

Southwest Airlines

  • $95 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • Cargo travel not available
  • Restrictions: Minimum 8 weeks old. Not permitted on international flights.

Spirit Airlines

  • $110 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • Cargo travel not available
  • Restrictions: Minimum 8 weeks old. Not permitted on international flights.

United Airlines

  • $125 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • Varies, contact customer service for rates
  • Restrictions: Minimum 8 weeks old for domestic flights and 16 weeks old for international flights. Not permitted on flights to, from, or through Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand, and others.


  • $50 – $118 Carry-On Cost (each way)
  • $100 – $236 Cargo Cost (each way)
  • Restrictions: Pets must be at least 8 weeks old.

Of the above, JetBlue has the most interesting pet program. Called JetPaws, it offers members 300 reward points on each flight when traveling with a cat or dog.

Note that service animals are exempt from these fees. Airlines can’t charge a fee for service animals due to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

READ MORE ⇒ 9 Tips for Flying With A Pet

9 Tips for Flying with a Pet | GoPetFriendly.com

By RV or Adventure Van

If you’re planning a road trip – and you want to include your pets – renting an RV is a popular option. Complete with a refrigerator, microwave, toilet, shower, air conditioning, and heat – it’s like having a home on wheels.

Renting an RV might look expensive at first glance. But keep in mind that being in the RV allows you to keep snacks and beverages handy, and you can choose to prepare most of your own meals. Plus, many campgrounds have pools, nearby hiking, and other forms of entertainment that are included with your stay. When you combine gas, campground fees, and rental costs, RVing can still be a very economical way to travel!

READ MORE ⇒ Pet Friendly RV Rental Companies

Caucasian red-haired woman in a straw hat and striped sweater walks with a small dog in front of a mobile home. Travel in a camper van with your pet.


Pet Friendly Hotels

To save money on hotel stays, look for hotels where pets stay free or for a hotel with low pet fees. Higher nightly rates plus cleaning fees can quickly add to your bill.

Another way to save money on pet travel is to book a room with a kitchen. The room rate might be slightly higher, but purchasing and preparing your own food will save you big bucks!

Speaking of food, some hotels provide breakfast and/or happy hour snacks for their guests. When looking to save money on pet travel, don’t forget to factor in any hotel-provided meals you’ll eat.

Finally, choose the hotel chain that best meets your needs and join their rewards program. Joining can make you eligible for immediate discounts, and when you stick with one chain points accumulate more quickly. Those points can be used for free nights, upgrades, and more.

Here are some pet friendly hotels to consider:


  • Pets always stay free.
  • No restrictions on type, number, or size of pets (as long as they fit through the doors). Offers pet beds, food/water bowls, and will provide pet recommendations upon request.

La Quinta

  • Pet fees vary, but in some locations pets stay free. Others charge $20 per night with a maximum of $40 per stay per room.
  • Most locations allow up to 2 cats or dogs per room.

Motel 6

  • Pets stay free.
  • Most locations allow 2 dogs or cats per room with a combined weight of 150 pounds or less.

Red Roof Inn

  • Pets stay free + you receive a 10% discount on your room when traveling with your pet.
  • Most locations allow 1 cat or dog (weighing 80 pounds or less) per room.


  • Pets stay free.
  • Allows dogs with no restrictions on size or breed.

READ MORE ⇒ Hotel Chains That Welcome Cats

Siamese cat laying on a white comforter

Extended Stay Hotels

Another option to consider are hotels that charge a flat service fee for longer stays. For stays that are a week or longer, these chains can be cost-effective.

In addition, these hotels usually have kitchenettes or full kitchens in the rooms. This can save you

Candlewood Suites

  • $75 service fee for up to 6 nights; $150 for 7+ days
  • Most locations allow pets under 80 pounds.


  • Most locations allow pets for a $75 service fee
  • Call in advance as pet friendly rooms are limited.

Extended Stay America

  • All 600 of the all-suite Extended Stay America hotels welcome pets.
  • Up to two pets are allowed per suite.
  • Pets must be no longer than 36 inches and no taller than 36 inches.
  • If you wish to stay with more than two pets or pets larger than the restrictions, call the hotel to ask if they will make an exception.

Something to note is that many hotels, including some of those listed above, might require a deposit in case of damages. This deposit will be returned upon checkout if there are no such incidents.

READ MORE ⇒ Pet Policies For All U.S. Hotel Chains

Brindle dog laying on a hotel bed holding a stuffed puppy

Pet Supplies

One of our favorite money-saving pet travel hacks is to be sure you’ve packed well for your furry travel companion! That way you won’t be buying all the things you forgot along the way at stores in tourist areas where markups are higher.

A small list of must-haves for your trip:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Food and treats
  • Protective pet gear (especially if you’re going somewhere hot)
  • Leash
  • Waste bags
  • A couple of toys and a blanket
  • Vaccination records (some hotels ask for these)

Read more >> Pack for Your Dog

Read more >> Pack for Your Cat

Cat and dog resting on bed in a pet friendly hotel

Traveling with your pet is a great idea. You’ll make some amazing memories…and could potentially save a significant amount of money on pet sitting or boarding services!

And, as more and more places have become pet friendly over the years, there’s never been a better time to bring Fido or Fluffy along. We hope these pet travel hacks make your trip more cost effective!

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