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The Ultimate Travel Guide for Dog-Friendly Living Accomodations

The Ultimate Travel Guide for Dog-Friendly Living Accomodations

Travel with Your Dog: Finding Pet-Friendly Accommodations

You have finally pulled that trigger, booked your ticket, and ready to start living your best life with your best friend. Your first step is your biggest step. Now comes your next obstacle, which is finding dog-friendly living accommodation. Well, I have good news for you. There is no need to overstress because it's quite simple.

The first thing you should know is that Latin America is much more dog-friendly then the United States. Yep, you heard that right. Latin Americans are crazy about their dogs. They may not go overboard by dressing them in fancy outfits like some do in the United States, but make no mistake about it, they are very dog friendly. It is not uncommon for countries to permit them into restaurants, malls, and even doctor offices. It is quite common for stores to offer treats when entering or they might have water a station out front for your dog to have a quick drink during their walk. There are restaurants in Colombia, for instance, which have healthy menu options for dogs. If you have not read Sophie's guide to the most dog-friendly Latin American countries, I encourage you to do so.

Before you start looking into your living accommodation, I would highly suggest that you join any Facebook Expat Group for the location you're interested in moving to. Browse the posts for recommendations for the best streets/areas to live in. In Latin America, a couple of blocks can make an enormous difference between staying safe or always having to be on guard. Since you will be traveling with your dog, their safety is also important. I also always ask in the groups for an area where fun things to do with your dog might be. Personally, if it is difficult for Sophie to have fun in a certain area and she is not happy, no matter how great the location is, I will not be happy.



If you are planning a medium to long-term stay, then Airbnb would be your best option. Over the last 4.5 years, with few exceptions, Airbnb has been our go-to place for a variety of reasons. We have stayed in over 60 Airbnb's during the last 4.5 years of traveling Latin America with an average stay of about 1.5 months in each Airbnb. The first reason is because of convenience. Airbnb has a vast selection of listings for every traveler's budget, and they have listings in even some of the most remote locations that make for a unique experience. The booking process is very straight forward and the ability to read reviews adds a nice layer of comfort. Airbnb has also recently posted on their website their Pet Policy which should answer any question you have with regards to staying at one of their listings. If you have a registered Service Dog, you are not even required to notify the host. Although, out of respect and to not have any issues, I always send the host a message first to notify them to make sure they do not have any objections, which has never been the case. It also helps the longer you book the apartment. When I contact them, I usually also send them a link to my personal Instagram account so they can browse my posts and get familiar with Sophie. Her photos always win them over as they do everyone.



Airbnb Walk-Thru Tour (Jardim Paulista, Sao Paulo, Brazil)



I normally do not stay in hostels because sometimes it's difficult to find one that is conducive to working remotely. A lot of hostels are more geared towards a younger crowd of backpackers and partygoers, so they can become a bit noisy and distracting at times, but they are a wonderful way to meet people to do activities with. However, not all hostels are a big party scene, and you can find ones that have more of a balance. My favorite hostel that I have stayed in on multiple occasions is Selina. They are a bit more on the pricey side of hostels, but they are more like a co-work hostel with fewer backpackers and more digital nomads. All the Selina hostels also have very accommodating co-working spaces, are well designed, and have a mixed age group. The most important thing is that a lot of hostels also allow dogs, but they will require you to stay in a private room and not a dormitory to stay there, which is not an issue for me since I like my privacy. If you prefer the hostel way of traveling, then Hostel World is a good place to do some research. They have over 38,000 properties in 178 different countries.


Selina PocNa Walk-Thru Tour (Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico)


Private Apartments

If you are planning to stay in one area for a minimum of 3 months, then you might find some cost savings by renting a private apartment. I have done this multiple times when we were living in Medellin, Colombia. The best place to start your search is on a local Facebook Expat Group or referral from a friend. Your options might be limited since it will be more difficult to find a furnished apartment that has all the utilities and internet already set up, but there still are some. Most of the time the owner or manager will have you pay the first month, last month, and security deposit. In some countries like Medellin, they may even require that you have a local co-sign your lease agreement and provide proof of income. If you cannot find a local co-signer, then they might require that you pay all the months that you plan to stay in advance. There are a lot more hoops that you will need to jump through, which is why I prefer the convenience of Airbnb. Also, a big bonus with Airbnb is that you are insured and if anything happens you will always have a moderator to resolve the issue, so you are not taken advantage of.



I keep hotels as emergency backups for no more than 1 week, or otherwise I try to avoid them. They are much more expensive than the other options, they are only suited for short stays, and most of the time are not so pet-friendly even though by law, they must accept a Service Dog. The rooms are just single rooms and without a kitchen. They are usually in heavily dense areas without too much greenery surrounding them to take your dog out to relieve itself. If you find yourself in a situation to where a hotel is your only option, it is important to first check their pet policy in advance.