A few years ago, I left my hometown and moved to California from New York for my husband’s new job.  My small Shih Tzu, Teddy, made the move with us.  We were excited by the plethora of day and weekend trips we could take, but we didn’t have any family or friends to leave our pup with in our new city.

I considered boarding my dog, but reputable kennels could be quite pricey and I would be worried about him, this was when I discovered Airbnb.  Did you know they have a pet friendly filter?  Once I find a listing that accepts pets, I’ll e-mail the owner/host on the website to inquire about the pet fee.  I occasionally find a place that will let me bring the dog for free, but a reasonable daily pet fee is anything around $20 or less.  I recommend reading a good number of the reviews on any Airbnb listing before booking.

Before arriving at my rental home, I like to try to wear my pup out so he isn’t too anxious.  I’ll bring a crate along for him, so if we do a non-pet friendly activity he has a place he feels safe.  Remember to pack dog food, treats and a pet bed too!

If you don’t want to go the Air BnB route, I would consider searching Kayak.com for pet friendly accommodations.  Once on the website, go under amenities and check off “pet friendly.”  I encourage you to call the hotel to verify the pet policy and if there are any fees to avoid any misunderstanding.

Once you have your place booked, it’s time for the fun part, finding pet friendly activities.  I recommend the website BringFido.com, this a great resource for finding things to do at your destination with your furry pal.  When we want to go to a museum, we will crate the dogs for a few hours.

Due to subsequent job relocations, we have had the opportunity to travel a lot in the USA, often with Teddy and our five pound dog Cujo.  Via Bring Fido, we have found some AMAZING places to bring the dogs!

We have brought our little dogs on a tour of Magnolia Plantation in SC,  Myrtle Beach Boardwalk (in the off season), the Santa Monica pier,  the Beaches of the Outer Banks in NC, wineries in Sonoma, breweries in just about any city, on the Subway in Manhattan, the Blowing Rock in NC, the Blue Mountain Parkway for a scenic drive, checking out graffiti art at Miami’s Wynwood District, the shopping mall in Boca Raton, FL, Fountain of Youth in St Augustine, FL, Forsyth Park in Savannah, various beach cities and boardwalks along the coast of California, Palm Springs, Pioneertown in CA, boat rides and more.

Our dogs are quite small, so we often use a dog stroller to transport them.

Another travel option is a shoulder bag for a small dog.  The stroller makes it easy to transport them around when we go to smaller cities  When we go someplace new I enjoy soaking in the atmosphere while we stroll around a new downtown.  I’ve found that a lot of shop owners are welcoming to small dogs that are carried into (non-food) shops.

Eating out with pets on a vacation can be tricky. We always look for a restaurant with an outdoor patio, of course, this will be tricky in colder parts of the USA.  Again, turn to BringFido.com for a list of pet friendly restaurants with seating outdoors.

Researching pet restrictions ahead of time will help make your canine friendly vacation go quite smoothly.

Author Bio: Follow Kara and her dogs on Instagram at @northcarolinadogs!