It used to be that staying in a hotel with a pet bird was virtually impossible. Occasionally you could find an out of the way place that would let you in, but the major hotel chains wouldn’t even have considered it! Now, it is much easier to find bird friendly hotels. Thankfully increased competition has made hotels reach for any advantage they can get, and many hotels and major brands have updated to being pet friendly and even catering to pets! That said, “pet friendly” often comes with a set of restrictions and a steep price tag, so we’ve come up with a handy little list of tips for when you’re looking for a parrot friendly hotel! If you're planning on holidaying by camper-van or RV then we've got you covered here.
1. There are some great website directories for pet friendly hotels. Start your planning by jumping on the internet and doing a couple of searches for “bird friendly hotel” and you’ll be surprised how many sites come up. The hotel industry really has changed a lot! Regardless of what it says on a hotel’s website, however, make sure that you call to verify that their pet policy is still the same and that they do, in fact allow birds. You don’t want to turn up all ready for your holiday and then find out that you have nowhere to stay!
2. Watch out for the hidden fees and conditions. Pet friendly for some hotels is more of a profit generation exercise instead of an added service, so make sure that you ask what sort of fees you’re going to get hit with! It’s not uncommon for a surcharge for each pet, and and you may even be asked to give a non-refundable deposit of up to US$150 as well!
It’s a lot more common for people to travel with cats and dogs as opposed to birds, and so many hotels will throw any pet owner into a smoking room. It makes sense that they do this as cats and dogs do often have a smell, and that’ll have less effect in a smoking room. Birds are different though. They react to smoke and nicotine odors.
Cigarette smoke can be toxic for your bird, and even worse are all the cleaning and air freshener chemicals that the hotel uses to minimize the extra smell. This has to be a deal breaker for you, and if you’re going to be put into a smoking room you should book another hotel, no exceptions!
Do Not Disturb is a must, and if possible, clean your room yourself. Hotel staff use a whole cocktail of different industrial strength chemicals while cleaning your room, many of which are extremely toxic to your pet bird! It's a bit of work for you, but it's best telling hotel staff that you will see to the room yourself, or at the very least try to schedule a time so that you can remove your bird while the staff clean. Also, to avoid giving your bird the fright of it's life when a bunch of strangers come in (cleaners, room service etc), you should attach the "Do Not Disturb" sign more or less permanently to your door. And once your stay has finished, try to clean up after your bird as best you can, and leave a nice big healthy tip for the cleaning staff. The best of birds can be very messy, so the chances are the maids will earn every penny of that tip!
Bring lots of toys and supplies. You, your family, and your bird are going to have a great time on holiday, but your bird will also appreciate you bringing a little bit of home with you. So bring along your bird's favorite toys, and as best you can, try to stick to the same routine that you keep at home. Where possible, keep feeding times the same, and make sure you play with your bird each day.
Plan ahead for inter-state travel. Read our blog to find out important considerations for inter-state travel with birds. They say that change is as good as a holiday, but for your bird a holiday can be too much change! Also, bear in mind that your bird's favorite snacks may not be available at your destination so pre-pack enough for the whole trip. So now that you've found a pet friendly hotel, checked in to your non-smoking room, and have hung the "Do Not Disturb" sign to the door, all that's left to do is get out there and enjoy your holiday! Cheers, and talk soon. Diane Burroughs.
PS: Do you have any great hotel experiences with your bird that you'd care to share? I'd love to hear them!
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