Upon learning I was planning a budget road trip from Seattle to San Francisco a friend in Portland offered for me to stay at his place. "Thank you so much but you should know that I am traveling with my dogs," I replied. There was a long pause and a shaky "oh..." at the other end of the phone. It was obvious my friend was not comfortable with this turn but was hesitating to rescind his lodging offer. "Is there room for me to put up my tiny tent in your back yard?" I queried quickly. A very different "oh" came from my friend this time. It was lighter, louder and followed by a "yes! Yes, of course." One night of free road trip lodging was secured. Hooray!
Seeking hotels and motels that are pet friendly let alone budget friendly is often an excruciatingly difficult task. I always prefer to tent camp but if I am left with no choice but to find indoor accommodations I begin road trip planning by considering a stay with friends. Obviously this is not the easiest task with pets in tow either, but it is more affordable. I am always willing to keep the pets in a safely parked car or to secure them in their crates and cages in a pet friendly part of the house like the garage, if it makes our hosts more comfortable. With this same flexible attitude, it is possible to couch surf or stay in hostels while traveling with pets. As long as my pets are safe, comfortable and not too hot or cold, cheap or free lodging works.