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TODAY Show: Travel with your pooch!

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Want to take your four-legged best friend on your next vacation? T+L Digital Projects Editor Sarah Spagnolo presents six hotels that welcome your pet. PLUS Don't miss the segment's two cutest stars: Ollie and Lola.

Save Money with Your Dog on the Road

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As much as I love a seven-star oceanfront suite in Bali or a perfect boutique hotel with 10,000-count sheets, I also have a fondness for the classic American motel thanks to a childhood road trip to Disneyland. The problem is, many of the motels that sit along America's highways look like they haven’t been updated since my family made that long drive from New Jersey to Florida in the '70s.

For several weeks, my wife and I have been driving cross-country with our dog. While we've been fortunate to find small owner-operated inns and B&Bs that accept our mutt, sometimes it's impossible to avoid the chain hotels. (By the way, they don't call themselves "motels" anymore. The hotel and lodging industry officially abandoned the portmanteau of "motoring" and "hotel" in 2000.) The results have been mixed. At a certain dog-friendly national chain in Beaumont, TX, we were greeted by an incompetent and rude front-desk worker. At a different chain hotel in Charleston, WV, our room was way too shabby for the $99 per night price tag.

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Attention Cat Lovers: Don't Book the Fourth Floor

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The New Yorker Hotel in Midtown Manhattan considers itself a pet-friendly property, but management is kicking it up a notch to coincide with the canine Oscars: the annual Westminster Dog Show. The hound-happy hotel's fourth floor will be transformed into a puppy paradise February 10–14. Guests will pay an additional $50 per pooch for access to doggie treadmills, a grooming station, and "a specially designed potty area," which I am pretty sure is just for the dogs, not the owners. A highlight of the hotel's Bowser weekend will be the Big City Little Dog Fashion Show and Cocktail Party on February 11 ($25), which is great if you like to get tipsy and watch poodles parade around in booties and berets.


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Smart Traveler Mark Orwoll is the International Editor of Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Jog A Dog.

Tail Wagging and Wine at Top Montana Resort

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Those who know me well, realize there’s nothing I like more than a little “wine and bitch” session.  That’s why if I had my druthers, this April I’d be high tailing it—along with my dog Max—all the way out to Greenough, Montana for the second annual "Wine & Bitch Weekend" at The Resort at Paws Up.

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Valentine's Day is for the Dogs—Really!

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For all you singletons out there, fear not that you might find yourself sitting home alone on Valentine’s Day sipping champagne and eating an entire pint of chocolate chip ice cream. But as anyone who has a pet knows, you're never really alone.

There are options—and good ones—that allow you and your dog to spend some real quality time together and get your respective paws pampered at the same time. While exploring spas for me and my dog Max, I came across a company called Specialty International Tours who offers a program called “Voyages with Dogs.” I’m already liking the sound of this.

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Top Tips for Driving With Your Pet

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Every Thanksgiving I pile my dog Max into my Toyota Land Cruiser and head south to visit my family.  The truth is I would never go without him—he’s my child, of course—and since my parents are crazy pet people too, they welcome both of us with open arms. 

Having traveled so much with Max over the years, I’ve learned that there are some very important ‘rules of the road’ that everyone should be aware of when traveling with your dog. While taking your furry friend along for the ride can be tons of fun, it can also present some real dangers—to both of you.

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America’s Pets Flying High with New Airline Programs

200910-b-dog-duffeljpg More and more pet owners in the U.S. are choosing to travel with their pets, and while the Travel Industry Association of America (TIAA) estimates that only 6% are doing so by plane, the numbers are on the rise.  And airlines are stepping up their game offering everything from frequent flyer programs for furry friends to “pet-only” airlines. Here are some of the highlights:

Frequent Flyer Programs
Midwest Airlines is the only airline offering pets free trips through their Premier Pet Program. For every six paid one-way flights, pets earn a free round-trip ticket. The cost to fly your pet is $300 round trip below the cabin and $250 for in-cabin travel.

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Fly the (Pet-) Friendly Skies

The first pets-only airline, Pet Airways—which takes off this month from five U.S. cities: L.A., Chicago, New York, D. C., and Denver—now tops the list of pet travel perks.

A safe and comfortable alternative to commercial lines’ cargo class, Pet Airways aims to ease both animal and owner stress alike, with an online flight tracking and individual carriers secured in temperature-controlled cabins. Doting attendants check up on “Pawsengers” every 15 minutes and walk them upon landing (unfortunately, there’s no in-flight snack service—vet’s orders).

Flights can be booked through the Pet Airway’s website which crashed when it opened for reservations in April. But your furry four-legged friends will have to wait in line. The airline is booked solid throughout the summer. Bone voyage!

Lisa Cheng is an assistant research editor at Travel + Leisure.

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