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.
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?
- This hotel brand is everywhere in the U.S.
- It’s clean, economical and comfortable.
- 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.
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.