As we embarked on this journey of setting up CollarFolk – a pet friendly vacation portal (www.collarfolk.com), we were not certain whether we would find a sizable number of pet friendly hotels, resorts and home stay locations worthy of forming an option pool on a portal. Now, having been operational for a while, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of such places that exist across the country.

For us, each new find of a pet friendly resort has brought with it a sense of discovering yet another hidden gem be it a quaint cottage home stay amidst the hills, a spa on the outskirts of a bustling metropolis or a lavish resort by the beach.

However, it still remains far from convenient for you and your pet as a holiday seeker to discover such pet friendly places and proceed booking them with ease. Set apart finding these places, the services offered vary dramatically, although all will highlight their property as “Pet Friendly”. The challenge then is that of categorization. How does one tell with a degree of certainty the level and type of service on offer at a first time location?

Today the term “Pet Friendly Hotel” is a vastly encompassing term and ill-defined in the hospitality space. For instance, this could mean allowing pets into the compound garden and garage and nowhere else or could mean unrestricted access (including the rooms) to your buddy. This vagueness is a recipe for disaster leading to gaps between expectations vs on ground reality.

How does one overcome this? What is that one standard yardstick that all stakeholders can use to compare pet friendly hotel options across locations and formats? The options ranged from generating a contract for each pet parent and the hotel. Frankly the last thing you want to do is go through the fine print as you plan your break.

I believe a hotel that promptly presents its pet policy is likely to be better prepared to host you and your pet. After all they have taken the trouble to frame a policy around it! This also happens to be by far the most reliable information at hand and can uniformly be applied to pet friendly resorts, hotels and home stays. A “you get what you see” approach is a fool proof approach for any holiday planning. So each time you book a pet friendly resort do check their pet policy.

Coming to personal choices and preference, I tend to never go wrong with quaint open spaced home-stays ensconced up in the hills. Even more so during off-season. My two labs and my golden retriever are a delight to watch as they bound after birds and squirrels against the back drop of thickly wooded surroundings. The weather adds to the charm and in no less measure to their abundance of energy. To watch them exude unlimited joy in this new found freedom is priceless.

Most pet friendly resorts/hotels/home stays during off-season weekdays are pretty much yours and your pet’s for the price of just your rooms(s). There’s my traveller tip for those seeking undisturbed holiday time with their pet!

Hope you have a hassle free booking experience and a very happy (truly) family vacation to you!