Welcome to The Red Roof 9 Day 5 State Road Trip with the Dog

Dog at Red Roof Inn

Almost on a whim, I planned my next adventure: The Red Roof 9 Day 5 State Road Trip with the Dog. Victor and I will hop in the car and drive from one dog-friendly site to another in the U.S., covering an arc of 2,000 km of highway from Ohio to Pennsylvania via Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia.

Why a Road Trip?

Because sometimes I impulsively design trips that look good on paper – or in this case, Google Maps – and don’t always think it through. And sometimes I over think things, finesse every detail and plan to a fault – but not this time. This trip proved the former, and a good thing.

Maybe you can relate.road trip flower

I’m restless, especially in the face of change. Sometimes moving is the answer to staying still and driving – a lot of driving – is meditative and therapeutic.

So, I combined this reality with the fact the summer affords me time away from a challenging job and embarked on a journey of healing or distraction, whichever works.

I’ve recently lost my cat of 17-years, and my home and heart is remarkably empty. My schnoodle Victor’s been doing his best filling an increasingly throbbing void, but being an awesome travel companion proved to be his best contribution.

He didn’t even try. He always jumps in the car willingly and hunkers down in the back seat glad to be taken along. No moving, standing or head out the window. He’s an ideal car canine.

Fueled by restless anxiety and a full tank of gas, we hit the road.

Why Red Roof Inn?Red Roof Inn image

Three reasons:

  1. This hotel brand is everywhere in the U.S.
  2. It’s clean, economical and comfortable.
  3. Best of all, it’s pet-friendly at no extra charge.

Never mind ‘doing your homework’ and researching pet policies at each hotel you plan to stop, the dog rules are the same at every Red Roof Inn. Book ahead – even a day ahead – and when you get to the check-in, they accept your dog.

Full disclosure: Red Roof is also an affiliate on this dogtrotting.net, and they sponsored accommodations on my trip. (Please book your next Red Roof stay using the icon on this post)! However, I’ve been a fan of this brand for years, which is why it’s an affiliate in the first place. I use them. A lot.

Why the Dog?

Dogs are the best travel companions. They don’t complain like husbands and they listen better than kids. Plus, Victor is also a conversation piece. Travelling alone, I’m an oddity and not approachable. But accompanied by a cute schnoodle in a bow tie and matching cartoon-print collar, I’m suddenly a fountain of mixed breed dog expertise and curiosity.dog at Red Roof Inn

Travelling with a dog, you meet all the other dogs and pet parents, whether you want to or not. Victor has a magnetism I lack.

So I plan an arguably challenging road trip to dog-friendly sites with stops in Toledo, Ohio; Lexington, Kentucky; Asheville and Cornelius, North Carolina; Troutville, Virginia; and Danville, Pennsylvania. Stops are selected based pet-welcoming sites, driving distances, and proximity to friends. In other words, arbitrarily.

Please follow along – and maybe plan your own list of dog-friendly activities near or far from your home.  Then tell me your suggestions in the comments below. Let’s build an awesome list of Fido-friendly escapes located, no doubt, near a Red Roof Inn.

Next goal: Canada. We’ll see it coast-to-coast, eventually, after we recover from this trip. Give us some time.

One of the best dog travel guides I’ve read, and used on my trip, is The Dog Lover’s Guide to Travel by Kelly E. Carter available on Amazon (where I found it).

Here’s some great dog car travel advice from dogtrotting.net  AND from Fidose of Reality, another great dog site. Also, TAILS magazine includes some great advice in this article

Thanks to Red Roof Inn, where pets stay at no charge, for providing accommodations during our journey.


  1. […] the previous stops on our Red Roof Road Trip with the Dog? Don’t fret. Checkout our start and our adventures in […]

  2. Oh, I hope you have lots of fun on your road trip!

    I just got back from a long road trip. We had a great time and it was SO nice to be able to take a break for awhile. Unfortunately, the pup didn’t get to come with us.

    1. Unless I fly, I’m going to try and take Victor everywhere. I hear people travel with their kids, so I’m sure this won’t be much different. Right?

  3. I’m so sorry you lost your elderly cat. Mine is 19 years old and I dread the day … Your road trip sounds so fun. I’m envious. I love road-tripping with a dog. It gives me a special thrill. If it were my trip, I’d probably wing it, with just general destinations. I love your idea of a coast-to-coast trip to Canada. Can I come? (I’m from Nova Scotia, but I live in the States now.) Anyway, stay safe! Woof!

    1. Thank you. My cat was battling kidney disease for 2.5 years. If I could get away for a month with the dog, I would. Or maybe I should say … I will!

  4. lunalupus93 · · Reply

    Dogs are the best road trip companions!! We love going on adventures together! But this is the first time that I hear about a place not charging extra for dogs! That’s AMAZING! More companies should follow the example!! 🙂

    1. No extra fee is a big part of their marketing strategy. And at every stop I met someone with dogs – it’s easy to when you have to go out for pee breaks.

  5. I love that there’s no extra charge for dogs to stay at Red Roof Inn. It’s hard enough to find pet-friendly accommodations, but when you do, it seems like there’s always a hefty upcharge. I’m definitely keeping Red Roof Inn in mind for our next road trip! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I think that’s for two dogs (or two pets) too. I’ve been charged anywhere from $25 to $75 flat fee at other places. One place wanted a $100 deposit that would be refunded if there’s no damage. I didn’t stay there. ”
      “Damage” is subjective and no way to prove who and when. If figured I could easily be out $100 on a inn keeper’s whim.

  6. It sounds a wonderful adventure to us in far away New Zealand. It’s good to see a hotel chain that loves dogs!!

    1. Anything equivalent in New Zealand? Are many hotels dog-friendly there?

  7. I look forward to following you on your trip. You’ll probably be passing within an hour of my place, as you go from Kentucky to NC. I didn’t realize that Red Roof Inns for dog friendly. This is great to know. Eventually, I do plan to travel with Tippy.

    1. I didn’t know you were in NC. Yes all Red Roofs are dog-friendly and there’s been at least one other dog at each I’ve stayed at – even a white schnoodle.

      1. I’m in East TN, not NC. You’ll probably drive through Johnson City on your way to Ashville.

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