Why We Are Living In Vacation Rentals With Our Dogs

I never thought that I would be wandering around the country again with my dogs, and this time, without a house.  We traveled full-time in an RV with our dogs for over seven years volunteering at animal shelters and doing our writing and social media gig.

But we got very tired.  Or should I say, the persons got very tired.  We knew it was time for a big change and so we decided to buy a cheap house…in another country.  Obviously, we never pick the easy ways to live.

So in the midst of this big change which includes lots of paperwork, visas, denials, language barriers and more, we had to make a fast decision.  Our contract was running out with one of our sponsors and it was time to give back the RV we had been leasing.

One of our dogs got very ill and this put us behind schedule.  The good news is that he is ok and doing great.  We would never put any trip, country, or house above him! But the vet visits, surgery and now treatment plans caused us to reschedule the journey to Italy.  That cost extra money and also time.

We made the fast decision to give back the RV and stay in vacation rentals like Airbnb and VRBO until we can get on that boat transatlantic.  But to afford our home in Italy, we needed to sell the big truck we had to pull around that house on wheels RV we had.  And we need to do that this week!

And get a cheap car to take us to vacation rentals and drive to New York where the boat leaves out of in August.

Are you tired from reading this yet? Stressed out?  I am.  And I even see the longterm benefits that will come about from this big move.   It is just hard to see right now.  But there is a very nice silver lining.  These dog friendly vacation rentals are usually comfortable, fun and if you pick the right one, an adventure all to themselves.

After living full-time in a very small space like the RV, I feel like we are on vacation.  We have room to move around, sometimes we get our own yard, and I can actually take a bath! A real bath!  I also don’t have to worry about emptying tanks after washing dishes or taking showers.  And it has also forced us to downsize what we carry with us.  You would be surprised what you can fit in an RV when you have to take it out after that many years!

The trick to finding dog-friendly vacation rentals is to know what area you want to go to first and what each home owner’s dog regulations are.  Be sure to read the fine print that lists possible weight or breed restrictions.  And don’t forget to take note of cleaning fees.  All of the fees really add up.  Personally, we have found that VRBO definitely has less cleaning fees so far.

Check VRBO for dog friendly rentals

It is not an ideal situation to not have a home right now, we know that.  But we also know that it is only temporary, and we pick each rental with our dogs in mind.  We pick homes that have a yard, no tile floors because Brickle is scared of those, and a home that doesn’t have lots of rules for dogs.  They are a part of the family, and if they are not allowed on furniture, we take a hard pass.  Every home owner has the absolute right to make their rules, but we have choices as dog parents.

We don’t know if our plans will have to change again.  But for now, it seems a bit freeing to be in a different, dog friendly house each week.  We take extra care to keep the homes clean and to clean up before we leave.  We want other dog parents to have the option of getting to stay in these vacation rentals.

Life is very unpredictable, and I never thought that I would be in this situation. But my dogs are happy and are secure as we go to each new place with their beds, blankets and toys.  This is just another way of travel to them.  And I am enjoying seeing their love of traveling keep growing.

Rachael Johnson

2 Traveling Dogs

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