Theron Humphrey is an expert when it comes to traveling with your pet. He and his dog Maddie have driven all over the United States, cataloging their adorable adventures on Instagram and in books.
Humphrey has recently teamed up with Chase and Marriott, to celebrate the launch of the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card and how it helps all travelers follow their passions.
For Humphrey that passion is more quality time on the road with Maddie. There are plenty of other pet owners who would love to travel with their furry friends, especially now that summer has arrived, but might not know how to go about planning a pet-friendly trip.
Humphrey gave PEOPLE his easy-to-follow tips for making memories with your pet on the open road just in time for Memorial Day Weekend.
Q: What are your favorite pet friendly destinations and why?
A: I love exploring National Forests. They are often off the beaten path and can get you into some great backcountry. Creating opportunities for your dog to run hard and have fun is what it’s about. Chase and Marriott actually just released a survey that says 70% of people create new connections with loved ones through travel, and I definitely think traveling to these types of lesser-known spots helps me connect with Maddie in a really special way! She’s my number one travel companion.
Q: What’s the easiest way to find pet friendly destinations?
A: Google Maps! I love scouring maps and finding neat places. I often look at the satellite view to find new places to camp and explore. When I’m in cities, I still use Google Maps to check reviews, since businesses often list if they are pet-friendly, or you might even see a dog bowl out in front of a place via street view. When you’re looking for a pet-friendly place to stay, looking directly on the hotel’s site is also super helpful, since they can generally give you the rundown on accommodations and amenities. For example, some NYC Marriott properties will give you a special guide with pet-friendly things to do around the city. They’ll even make sure that you’ve got pet bowls, beds and toys waiting for you when you get back to your room, which makes it even easier for me to travel with Maddie.
Q: What are some places owners may think allow pets but don’t?
A: National Parks, they do allow pets in established campgrounds but you can’t take your dog on backcountry trails. But if you visit Canada this summer, they do welcome dogs in their parks.
Q: What are the rules you follow with your dog when visiting a pet-friendly destination?
A: My rules are real basic: I always carry poop bags with me, have extra water, and if Maddie accidentally broke something up I’m willing to fix it and make it right.
Q: What do you consider your doggy travel essentials?
A: A long rope leash to tie around a shady tree or an odd shaped pole in front of a coffee shop. Oh, and my folding silicone water bowl. Though not a doggy travel essential, a good credit card is essential to me! So we can earn points and keep traveling!
Q: What is the best way to test if your pet would like to travel with you?
A: I’d encourage folks to go on a weekend camping trip to a state park nearby. Pack up your car and see how it goes just driving a few hours out, maybe even pretend you’re kicking off your long adventure. It’s one of those things that once it’s all rolling, you can’t imagine not having your dog with you.
Q: What are some important pet safety tips to remember while visiting pet-friendly destinations?
A: Be respectful of folks who don’t love your dog’s presence as much as you do. If someone asks to greet Maddie, then I’m more than happy to introduce them, but it feels right to honor those who don’t love dogs the same way.
Q: What do you feel is the most pet-friendly state?
A: Utah and Colorado, for sure. Arizona is awesome in the winter months for dogs, too.
Q: What do you feel is the most under-appreciated pet-friendly destination?
A: For a couple years now, I’ve really been into getting food to-go. I still get to try out local restaurants, but I also get to find new shady spots and parks to eat with my dog in nature. It’s a small game changer, but I love doing that.