Are you planning a big trip and wondering whether you should bring Fido along? You should. Not only will the trip be more fun with your dog by your side, but you also won’t have to deal with the nagging guilt that comes with leaving them behind. By including your canine companion on your adventure, you’ll be able to truly relax and explore new sights together. For the dog owners out there, here are five travel planning tips to keep in mind that won’t ruin your budget.

Purchase Any Gear You Need

First things first: You want to make sure you have everything you need for your pup to be comfortable on the trip. For instance, get their travel carrier, collar/harness, leash, and food ready. Also, collapsible bowls work great for trips with your dog. If you think your pup will deal with anxiety, it can help to bring some of their bedding, toys and other belongings along. When you’ve found the perfect products for your pooch, look for coupons and promo codes for stores and online retailers so you can earn cash back on your purchases.

Consider the Beach or Mountains

The destination you choose also matters when you have Fido in tow. You can really go anywhere that has dog parks and dog-friendly establishments (e.g., restaurants, stores), but if you want the ultimate experience, go to the beach or mountains. Beaches are perfect for giving your dog plenty of room to play and run (at no charge); plus, a lot of dogs love the ocean. The mountains are also a great, cost-effective option — especially if you like to camp and/or hike.

Be Choosy About Lodging

If you’re camping or taking an RV, you’re covered on this front. However, if you’re staying at a hotel, it requires a little more preparation. There are now more hotels that accept pets than ever before, but you have to make sure you understand the hotel’s pet policy and play by the rules so that others can enjoy their stay as well. You could also search online for dog-friendly hotels that actually love dogs; some even offer dog beds, toys, doggie daycare, and other amenities. Also, consider any additional pet fees when you’re budgeting for lodging.

Look for Dog-Friendly Restaurants

If you plan on experiencing new cuisine on your trip, research dog-friendly restaurants. A lot of restaurants have patios specifically with dog owners in mind — some even welcome them indoors — and there is usually no additional fee. Look online for some of the most dog-friendly restaurants in the country, and see if any of them are located near your destination.

Get Their Exercise In

Finally, make sure your pup gets some exercise while you’re away. It’s essential for them to release their energy each day, and it can help them with any anxiety they may feel from being in a new environment. Take them for walks when you can on your way to your destination, as well as at the hotel. Also, try to maintain their routine; for instance, take them for their morning, afternoon, and evening walks if that’s something they’re used to.

Bringing your pup along for the adventure makes it all the more special. Be sure to get any items your dog needs ahead of time, and consider the beaches or mountains as your destination. Be thorough when picking out your lodging, and search for any dog-friendly restaurants in the area. Lastly, keep your dog’s exercise routine intact. By doing a little preparation, you and your pup can have the time of your life without spending a lot of money.

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