Home » Here’s 5 Hacks On How to Travel With Your Dog On A Budget

Here’s 5 Hacks On How to Travel With Your Dog On A Budget

how to travel with your dog on a budget

We get it… traveling is expensive. Some of us may not have hundreds or thousands to shell out on one vacation, but we still deserve to treat ourselves (and our furry friends) every so often! Believe it or not, bringing your pup along on your trips can actually save you more money than leaving them at home, especially if you need to book a pet sitter. Traveling with your pup can help you discover all the exciting, free (or cheap) dog-friendly activities that locals and tourists enjoy. The pandemic has also changed the way we travel with our dogs, and at Romingo we’re committing to making dog-friendly travel easier and more accessible! Looking for a great, budget-friendly starting point for traveling with your dog? Here are 5 tips on how to travel with your dog on a budget:


1. Find the best mode of transportation


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Just getting from point A to point B can take up a large cost of your trip. One of the best ways to reduce costs is by finding the best routes and most effective mode of transportation for each route. You can choose between public and private transportation, and narrow it further to ground or air travel. When traveling with your pet, you’ll also have to consider pet policies, regulations, and travel costs. For more detailed information on different modes of pet-friendly transportation, read our e-book and check out these following articles:

Dog-Friendly Private VS. Public Transportation – Which Is Better?

Flying With Your Pup For The First Time? Here’s The 411

Plan A Perfect Road Trip With Your Dog With This Guide

Although traveling by car is typically the most economical, gas prices can especially add up depending on how many miles you plan to go. Traveling with your own car may be the most pet friendly for several reasons: you don’t have to worry about pet restrictions, you can make as many stops as you need to, and you can go at your pace making it much easier to accommodate to Fido’s needs. However, how much gas you may spend on a longer road trip may not be significantly cheaper than a $200 airfare ticket depending on the airline and duration. Traveling by bus offers a cost-efficient option as well, if your dog weighs less than 20 or 30 lbs.

Do ask yourself: Is my dog comfortable riding in the car for hours? Are they small enough to carry with me in-cabin if I fly? How many hours am I willing to drive or fly for? Can I save money elsewhere on my trip?

2. Your destination matters

Perhaps going to the snowy mountains of Utah in the winter may not be the most economical destination, considering the cost of winter wear, snow gear, and winter sports and activities. Unless you already own much of the gear that’s needed to properly enjoy colder, snowy climates, traveling somewhere with milder climates and lots of free activities to enjoy will make budgeting much easier. There are so many hidden gems to explore in the United States… from botanical gardens, dog-friendly beaches, to monuments and museums. Some of our favorite budget-friendly destinations perfect for pups and families include San Francisco, San Diego, Orange County, Austin, Dallas, and Denver. You can enjoy mild weather during most times of the year and plenty of free activities in these cities, including a great selection of dog-friendly lodging at various price points, dog-friendly restaurants with amazing eats, hiking and camping options, and an overall dog-welcoming atmosphere.

Browse through our destination recommendations here:

Wine Down At These Dog-Friendly Wineries in Santa Barbara

You Need To Visit These Underrated Dogs Parks In Orange County

These Are The Top 5 Dog-Friendly Cities in the United States

These 5 Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Los Angeles Are Dog-Owner Faves!

3 Dog-Friendly Hikes in San Francisco Every Dog Calls Heaven

Coffee Lovers, Bookmark These Dog-Friendly Coffee Shops in Orange County

Your Pooch Will Beg To Visit These Top Dog Beaches In San Diego

7 Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Orange County To Bark About

These Underrated Dog Parks In Los Angeles Will Be Your New Favorites

You Won’t Believe All The Dog Friendly Things You Can Do In Texas

You’ll Want to Check Out These 7 Restaurants With Attached Dog Parks

3. When you travel also matters

When thinking about how to travel with your dog on a budget, choosing when you travel may actually be our #1 hack. Just a quick search on Google flights will show you how much airfare tickets vary depending on the season and length of your trip. You may also find a significant decrease in hotel and transportation costs during off-seasons (which are usually during the months of February, April, May, October, and November). Not everyone has the flexibility to travel during the off-season because of work, kids, or other obligations but maybe consider doing multiple smaller weekend trips during these off-season months so you can take advantage of cheaper travel costs. Here’s a tip:

“In terms of booking airfare, doing so at least three weeks in advance for domestic trips is your best bet, Hopper says, noting that prices tend to spike by about a quarter two weeks out, and by another 30% in the final week.”

If you decide to travel during a holiday weekend, try to plan the trip weeks in advance and do some research on holiday discounts that may be offered at certain establishments you wish to visit at the destination of your choice. You may also find fun and free events that are hosted by different cities during holiday weekends (check company websites or social media accounts).

4. Should you stay at a hotel?

For many, one of the largest expenses of a trip is lodging. You will save a lot of money if you can keep this part of your vacation as cheap as possible. Many travelers recommend avoiding a hotel if possible, and turning to rentals instead. However, with the popularity of Airbnb and other rental sites, many travelers have experienced an increase in the cost of these stays without some of the perks you’ll get from staying at a hotel such as housekeeping. Rentals typically offer lower rates, but we recommend you check the final cost after fees and compare that to a pet-friendly hotel. Most pet-friendly hotels will charge pet fees, ranging from $50-$200 a night with weight restrictions.

However at Romingo, you can browse through a growing list of properties and pay $0 in pet fees at all our partnered hotels! We make it hassle-free to book through our site by offering a flexible cancellation policy, along with other perks. So should you stay at a hotel?  Unless you are hiking and plan to stay on pet-friendly campgrounds,  hotels may be the best option if you are traveling with a smaller group on a shorter trip. You may also get better overall value for what you pay for compared to other lodging options.

5. Pack (and shop) smart

There can be a lot to prepare before taking a trip! Packing for your dog can be like packing for a child. You want to be sure you have everything they’ll need to be healthy and comfortable. Costs can add up if you are ill-prepared and end up having to buy some items during your trip at higher prices than you’d like to. Bringing the right stuff can save you loads of time and money. For example, if you run out of dog food from home, you may not be able to find your dog’s favorite brand of food during your vacation which may cost you more to buy a replacement with the risk of your pup getting an upset stomach. Having a travel kit on deck (one for short trips and another for longer trips) may also be more cost-efficient than buying individual items.

We recommend these airline approved travel bags that offer plenty of organizational storage space:

Essentials Dog Travel Kit
Weekend Organizer Dog Travel Bag

Planning an enjoyable, dog-friendly trip does not have to cost you an arm and a leg! We hope these tips give you a good starting point on how to travel with your dog on a budget. What are some of your dog-friendly travel hacks and budget travel tips? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Browse through Romingo’s partnered pet-friendly hotels HERE. Save up to $150 in pet fees when you book with Romingo today!

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