‘What I learned in the search for pet friendly accommodation’

Feb 02, 2020
What should you consider when wanting to take your furry friend on holiday with you? Source: Getty Images

Years ago, there were no motels where one could take Fido, the family pet. On a recent trip from Victoria to Queensland I needed to find motels that were dog friendly. This proved to be quite a task, but eventually I had it sorted.

Usually I travel with a caravan so there is no need to worry about where to stop for the night. Most caravan parks are pet friendly as long as one has one’s own van, the pet is kept on a lead and the usual pick-up the pet’s mess applies.

Few caravan parks allow pets in their on-site cabins, even if the pet has his own sleeping arrangement in the back of a ute. They do not trust that the person/s renting the cabin, will comply with the rules and keep the said pet outside. (I guess a small number of cabin renters disobeyed the rules and spoilt it for those who do do the right thing.)

However, getting back to the motel side of things, I really had a search on my hands. I only travel between 300 and 400 kilometres a day and I discovered that there was not much in the way of pet friendly accommodation in the towns I would usually stop at overnight. I went online, planning my trip around where I could find suitable accommodation (i.e. where the pet was welcome).

At Wyalong, New South Wales, out of roughly 20 motels I looked at only one was pet friendly. It was also very cheap. Cheaper, in fact, than a van park cabin. Curious about what it would be like, I booked and set my course.

It was perfect! A lovely old woman greeted me and told me she had already put the air-conditioner on for me, as it was 43C outside.

The room was lovely and clean. There was a nice rug for the dog to lay on and a bowl for his water. The woman told me there was a little grassy block out the back where I could walk the dog.

That first night was a success.

My next port of call was Coonabarabran. The motel I stopped in at was not so cheap, but once again it had all the comforts required. A rug provided puppy a place to sleep, there were dishes for his food and water and plenty of room to walk him.

The bonus (for me) was room service pizza at night. It was delicious!

My final overnight stay was at Dalby in Queensland. The motel was a bargain price and included an ‘all you can eat’ buffet for breakfast. The room had air-conditioning, which was welcome given the 45C heat. The dog and I slept in comfort all night!

While the route added a few more kilometres of travelling to my journey, it was worth it because of the excellent accommodation that was provided for both me and the dog.

Travel at 60’s top tips for finding pet-friendly accommodation

  • Explore all your options. With so many accommodation options these days, you have your choice of apartments, hotels, tents, campers and caravans, bed and breakfasts and resorts
  • Be honest. Choosing to be up front with a host or accommodation venue will ensure you have a better outcome, so be sure to accurately describe your pet (including if there’s something less than positive they should know about, such as excessive moulting, but express how you attend to such issues)
  • Don’t restrict your search to ‘pet friendly’ listings. Of course, start there, but if you are at a complete loose end, expand your search to spaces that can accommodate your needs and contact them regardless. If you’ve travelled with your pet before and have reviews to state that your furry, feathered or scaly friend is well-behaved, it’s good to have these available
  • Check fees and other limitations. Some pet friendly accommodation might have a fee, while others may restrict the type of pet or the size of your pet. Be sure to check these things before confirming your booking
  • Confirm what’s included. Some pet friendly accommodation may require you to bring your own pet bedding or other accessories. It’s important you do your research when you’re preparing for your adventure.


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Do you travel with your pet? What tips do you have?

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