12 Pet Friendly Staycation Ideas That Are Better Than Traveling

Do you have vacation days to come, but a limited travel budget? Carefree! A pet-friendly staycation can be just as much fun as traveling!

Couple drinking coffee on sofa with white dog

When we start planning our vacations, most of us imagine hitting the road. Although traveling is fun and a wonderful way to explore new places, it can get expensive. If you’re looking for a way to maximize your vacation budget, consider a pet-friendly vacation instead!

What is a stay?

In the midst of our usual routines, we rarely take the time to really explore our own backyards. Human nature apparently causes us to do massive amounts of research when going somewhere new, while discarding all sorts of fun things to do close to home. A staycation allows you to remedy this situation.

Couple sitting on a couch with a smiling dog in their lap

Staycations can take many forms, but it usually means taking time off from work and not traveling far from home. However, this does not necessarily mean that you have to sleep at home!

Becoming a tourist in your hometown (or somewhere nearby) frees up funds you would otherwise spend on accommodations, gas for a road trip, or plane tickets and a rental car. You can create some great vacation memories by reallocating some of those savings to splurge on a few things you’ll really enjoy!

Things to do during your stay with pets

No matter where you live, there are almost certainly fun things to do that you haven’t – until now – made the time for. This is your chance to truly appreciate where you have chosen to live!

When you start planning your stay, stop by your local visitors office and pick up a travel guide. See what attracts tourists to your area and make a list of things that seem intriguing.

In addition to local attractions, here are some ideas of things you can do during your stay with pets:

1. Stay at a nice hotel, resort or vacation rental

If staying somewhere really nice is a treat for you, plan to spend a few nights at a top-notch hotel. hotel, resort or vacation rental near you.

It can also be great practice for pets who are just learning to be well-behaved travel companions. There’s not as much risk as starting with a big road trip, because if it doesn’t go well, you’re not far from home.

LEARN MORE ⇒ Train your dog to travel

Brindle dog laying on a hotel bed holding a stuffed puppy

2. Go camping

Camping is a wonderful way to spend a few days when you want to get away from it all. And more campgrounds accept pets! Whether you’re camping in a car, tent, RV, or renting a pet-friendly cabin, the opportunity to relax in nature is good for the nerves.

Camping has become extremely popular, so try to make your reservations well in advance. If that doesn’t work, opt for a mid-week booking when there’s more availability, or pitch the tent in the backyard!

LEARN MORE ⇒ Camping With Dogs – A Beginner’s Guide

6 affordable vacations to take with your pet

3. Plan a day at the spa

Are you and your pup both due for a pedicure? Maybe you don’t normally treat yourself to this kind of treatment, but this is your stay! Planning a day at the spa can leave you feeling both relaxed and rejuvenated.

Two happy corgi dogs cuddled up in a bed with a cup of tea.

4. Plan brunch, lunch, and happy hour

Our busy schedules sometimes make it difficult to spend as much time as we would like with our friends and family. During your stay, you will have the opportunity to meet your friends or family when it suits them.

Plan brunch, lunch or happy hour at a pet-friendly outdoor terrace where your pet can join you!

Brindle dog, woman and two men on the pet-friendly patio at Custer Wolf in Custer, SD

5. Go to the movies

Most drive-ins are pet-friendly, and seeing a movie is a fun way to spend time with your best furry friend. Grab a bucket of popcorn and sit back and enjoy the show!

We’ve put together a list of pet-friendly drive-ins across the country. Check if there is one near you!

Drive-In Theaters Across the United States |  GoPetFriendly.com

6. Pack a picnic

Pack a picnic with all your favorite foods (and your pet’s favorite treats) and spend an afternoon by a lake or in a park. Before you go, take a few minutes and zip line for your pup. Both of you will enjoy your time even more!

LEARN MORE ⇒ Make a zip line for your dog

Ty the Shar-Pei and Buster the German Shepherd from GoPetFriendly.com relax at a campsite on their dog zip line

7. Visit a sculpture park, botanical garden or museum

Museums might not come to mind when you think of things to do for pets. But many museums that have outdoor exhibits welcome pets. And these pet-friendly museums can be found in a wide range of settings!

Here are some types of places you can check in your hometown to see if they allow pets:

  • neighborhood historic districts
  • sculpture gardens
  • ghost towns / abandoned mining towns

  • transport museums
  • botanical gardens
  • historic estates
  • living history sites
  • state parks with historic sites
  • maritime museums
  • educational farms, and more
Dog sitting on a rock in the grounds of the pet-friendly Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, OK

8. Take a class with your dog

There’s no better way to bond with your dog than learning something fun together! Whether it’s agility, nose work, tricks, or obedience, scheduling a class or sessions with a trainer can also make your pet-friendly stay productive!

Pet owner training dog using clicker

9. Enjoy a local tour

You can learn something new about where you live by taking a tour of your hometown. Walking tours can be guided or self-guided. For self-guided tours, check your local visitor center for maps.

Your visitor center can also tell you about guided tours in your area. Just be sure to ask before booking if your pet is allowed to join you! There are many types of guided tours available. Depending on where you live, you can find historical tours, architectural tours, or ghost tours.

Pet Friendly Lavender Jeep Tours in Bisbee, AZ

10. Check out local breweries or wineries

The craft beer and wine industries have grown rapidly in recent years, and local breweries and wineries have sprung up across the country. Many of these establishments are pet-friendly and love that you bring your dog. But it’s always a good idea to call ahead and ask before you go.

12 Pet Friendly Staycation Ideas That Are Better Than Traveling

11. Take time to treat yourself

Whether it’s ice cream, funnel cakes, taffy, or chocolate concoctions, no vacation (or staycation) is complete without a few special treats. We encourage frequent trips to the ice cream shop, bakery or wherever you get your favorite special snacks.

Ty's Ice Cream Cone - Tombstone, AZ

12. Rest and relax

After a busy stay, set aside a day to rest and relax before resuming your normal schedule. Make your favorite room cozier by lighting candles, ordering food from your favorite restaurant, pulling out a soft blanket, curling up with a good book, and staying in your loungewear all day. It will be the perfect end to an excellent stay.

I hope you agree that a pet-friendly vacation can be just as fun as traveling with your pet. You can still see and learn new things, without the challenges of being away from home.

Do you have other holiday ideas? Please share them in the comments below!

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