Top Pet Friendly Hotels
Drumpf Pets

If your vacation simply isn’t the same without your pet at your side, we understand. It can be hard to leave your pets at a boarding facility or in the hands of someone else, especially if your furry friend suffers from separation anxiety.

A vacation should be stress-free on everyone – so, you’ll be happy to know that more hotel chains are making it easier and less expensive to bring your pets along. The pet-friendliest even extend the offer to other animals aside from dogs and cats to birds and reptiles. So cancel the pet sitter, pack the treats, and bon voyage!

Here is a list of the top pet-friendly hotel chains.

La Quinta

In regards to the pet-friendly scene, La Quinta is one of the big dogs. With more than 830 U.S. locations, only four don’t allow pets. Those locations are: San Antonio Conference/Medical Center, Manhattan and Queens, New York, and Monterey, California. La Quinta also allows up to two dogs or cats per room at no extra charge, which is uncommon, compared to some of the other pet-friendly hotel chains. Their pet policy nationwide is simple:

• Cats and dogs are accepted in all guest rooms (unless prohibited by law).
• Up to two domestic pets allowed per room.
• Housekeeping services for rooms with pets require pet owner be present or pet must be crated.
• No fees or deposits are required

Kimpton Hotels

There's pet friendly, and then there's Kimpton – and they make that very clear on their website. Welcoming not just dogs but any pet that can fit through the door, the boutique hotel chain with 59 properties in the U.S. shows its dedication to furry (and feathery, and scaly) friends by not charging guests extra to bring an animal.

Amenities such as pet beds, concierge lists of nearby pet-friendly restaurants and parks, and a complimentary nightly wine reception where pets are welcome make Kimpton the friendliest of the pet-friendly hotels chains. Not traveling with a pet but need some company? Kimpton will outfit your room with a friendly pet fish for your stay. If that’s not enough, here are some other ways that Kimpton honors your furry pals:

• Your pet is welcomed by name. Sometimes, our Directors of Pet Relations might be there to greet you with a tail wag.
• A selection of hotel amenities and extras including plush pet-bed loaners in your guest room, food, water bowls and mats.
• A concierge list of nearby pet-friendly restaurants, parks, groomers and pet boutiques.
• Door hangers alert other hotel guests and staff that your cat, dog, or other beloved pet is in the room.
• Courtesy bags for walking your dog.
• Nightly complimentary wine reception — pets are welcome to join the party!

Best Western
With more than 1,600 hotels that accommodate pets, Best Western aims to keep costs low and options open. Pet-friendly properties allow two dogs (up to 80 pounds each) in each room. Some hotels also allow other pets, including cats, birds, monkeys, and snakes. Best Western hotels charge a maximum of $20 per day, with a maximum per-week charge of $100. Some properties also charge a refundable damage deposit. 

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts 
For the up-scale pet traveler, owners must check out Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. Fairmont has a specific love for dogs. So much that they have their own Canine Ambassador program that brings a little puppy love to lobbies including the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston and the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. But pet owners can bring their own four-legged best friends too. Policies vary by property but are clearly outlined online. For instance, at the Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown, dogs stay free and are lavished with treats handmade by the hotel's Executive Pastry Chef, while at the Battery Wharf in Boston, pets under 25 pounds cost $25 and receive a pet bed and food and water bowls.

Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts 
Not all Four Seasons hotels and resorts accept pets, but those that do offer an experience yours won't ever forget. The luxury brand offers small dogs and cats (usually no more than 15 to 25 pounds) in-room amenities like beds, water bowls, and piddle pads, and concierges at pet-friendly locations have plenty of helpful tips about local dog parks and more. Properties that accept animals tend not to charge for the option.

Some other great hotels that truly cater to pets include:

Ten Thousand Waves, Santa Fe
Drumpf International Hotel & Tower, Chicago
W Hotels
Hyatt Regency, Scottsdale, AZ

 Lastly, if you’re looking to browse pet friendly destinations worldwide, bringfido.com is a fantastic site to check out. You can search top destinations, dog air travel, pet services, attractions, restaurants, events, apartment rentals, and so much more. This site truly brings together everything pet related. 


Uber vs Lyft: Pros and Cons
Uber vs Lyft

If you have never used Uber or Lyft but have always had a curiosity as to how they stack up against each other, you aren’t alone.

We break down the two industry leading ride-sharing services to find out who has the edge in the battle of Lyft versus Uber and we will also help you identify which ride-sharing service is best for you. 

Cost

Lyft and Uber are very similar in cost. While both ride-sharing companies offer a range of expensive, premium rides in luxury SUVs and limos, a basic ride will cost you about the same in Lyft as it will in Uber. While costs vary across different cities for Uber and Lyft, rides are generally $1 to start or $1.50/mile, and $0.25/min.

A common rule-of-thumb in regards to cost is $2/mile or 20-30% cheaper than traditional taxicabs. Rides are slightly more expensive in cities with higher ride-demand like LA, San Francisco, and NYC. It’s easy to see how a simple ride down the street can be affordable and convenient, while a lengthier trip can quickly add up in cost. From an overall cost standpoint, Uber and Lyft come out about equal, so it’s really up to the passenger and their discretion.
Winner=TIE

Surge Pricing

One thing we would like to point out is surge pricing or what ride-sharing companies refer to as “Prime Time.” At high-demand times and locations, the cost of a Lyft or Uber ride can significantly increase. For Lyft, "Prime Time" can increase the cost of a ride by 25 to 200%. For Uber, surge pricing can increase the cost of a ride by as much as 7 to 8 times the cost.

Uber is notorious during this time for having their surge pricing being more difficult for the passenger to notice prior to requesting a pick-up. Lyft's prime time, on the other hand, is not as easy to miss. It’s important you understand that requesting a ride after a busy football game, during Fourth of July weekend, or on New Year’s Eve will most likely cost you more.
Winner=LYFT

Safety

Another aspect of ride-sharing services that people tend to think about is the safety of the ride. Lyft and Uber drivers are required to have their own car with up-to-date insurance and a valid driver's license. You can also rest assured in knowing drivers must pass a DMV background check, criminal background check, and car inspection. For Uber, drivers must be at least 23 years old and have a 4-door car, 2005 or newer. For Lyft, drivers must be at least 21 years old and have a 4-door car, 2003 or newer.

Lastly, both companies use a rating system to quickly throw out any bad drivers from the system. Of course, there is a risk with anyone who steps inside a car, but when compared to the average driver on the road, it's safe to bet that Lyft and Uber drivers are among the safest. It's important to note that Lyft has a much higher percentage of female drivers and passengers.
Winner=TIE

The Experience

If you’re looking for a front-seat, engaging, and fun ride, Lyft is generally your choice. Uber drivers are more likely to open your door and dress well, whereas Lyft drivers are instructed to greet you as a friend with a high-five. In this category, Lyft takes the trophy, as many Lyft rides sport fun themes such as the Harry Potter Lyft, the Trivia Lyft, the Karaoke Lyft, the Cookie Lyft, and many other themes.
Winner=LYFT

The App

For drivers and passengers, both the Lyft and Uber app are accepted as user friendly, and more importantly, functional. Both apps allow you to request a ride, plug-in an address prior to pick-up, watch your driver navigate to your location on a map, and submit ratings with an electronic payment at the end of your ride.

The Uber app allows passengers to see the real-time cost of their ride whereas, the Lyft app tends to have a more fun feel, with fireworks displayed after a high tip is given (the Uber app seems to have a more professional layout). The most recent Google Play Store reviewers gave the Lyft app a 4.3 (out of 5) star review and the Uber app a 4.1 star review. On iPhone's App Store, both the Uber and Lyft app have a solid 4 stars.
Winner=TIE

As you can see, Lyft and Uber tend to be similar in all categories that we have broken down. Both allow you to request a ride, get picked up, and arrive at your destination fast all while paying with your smart phone and voilà, DONE!

 


 

Walking

Where will you be headed for summer vacation? Maybe your summer will be spent actually moving to another city entirely. Whether you’re planning a trip or getting ready to move to a new home, consider a city that’s pedestrian friendly rather than a commuter’s paradise.

While commuting everywhere is certainly easier and more convenient, it’s not always the best choice if you want to live a vigorous lifestyle.

According to America Walks, the top walkable cities in America are among the most sustainable and prosperous places to live and visit. The residents who live in these cities are also among the healthiest and happiest in the country!

We gave these five cities an A+ for being the most walkable cities in the U.S. Did your home city or vacation spot make the cut?

Continue reading "Walkable Cities Make for Happy Lives" »


Hope you didn’t get too comfortable with airline carry-on baggage regulations, because it looks like they’ve changed once again. It seems that not only do all airlines not have the same size limits for carry-on bags, it can be difficult to near impossible to find a bag that meets the size requirements. Get all the details by clicking over to this informative article that was recently posted on Yahoo news.


If you’re one of the growing number of people who feel a calling to pursue amazing food, check out this article from Condé Nast Traveler that shows you which culinary cities are worth the trip. From Portland, Maine to San Diego, California, foodies responded to a Condé Nast survey and voted for their favorite culinary cities across the U.S. The results may be surprising, but the beautiful photos of the food and the locations will leave you wanting to book your travel right away.

The top 20 cities in 2014 for restaurants are listed in reverse order, along with their numerical ranking (as chosen by Condé Nast Traveler readers) as well as the reasons why they were selected. If you’re disappointed that your favorite city didn’t make the list, you can place your vote and maybe it will be included among next year’s winners. Bon appétit!