Q: I'm driving from Chicago to Palm Springs, California, with my golden retriever. Whenever I travel, I always end up having to call each individual motel to ask whether or not they accept dogs, which can be a hassle. Is there a Web site where I can find this out without having to make all those phone calls?
–Debra Brinkworth, Northbrook, Ill.
A: I usually like to talk to an actual person if I have a unique service question, but that certainly would mean many phone calls for a trip across the country.
There are a number of Web sites where you can find out about pet friendly accommodations, but they vary in quality. My top dog—BringFido.com. Just visit the site, click on Lodging, and you can plan out your route on a nice, big map.
One of my favorite things about this Web site—it gives you more than just a list of dog-friendly places. You can read reviews, see how other pet-owners rated each hotel, and it tells you up front whether or not each hotel charges a pet fee. You can even use BringFido.com to book your room at no extra cost.
As much as I like the site, there are some things that I suggest you call to double-check. Find out the hotel's exact size and weight restrictions. It may have a different definition of a "medium-sized" dog than you do. You should also ask if your pet is allowed to stay in the room alone. While you have customer service on the phone, ask if the hotel offers any special amenities. You'd be surprised; sometimes you can find out about dog-walking programs or services the hotel doesn't advertise.
To get more tips on traveling with your pets, check out PeterGreenberg.com/category/pet-travel.