Travelling with pets has been always much related to rural areas and accommodations, because the environment is usually more suitable for pets. According to data provided by escapadarural.com in 2013, people who love nature usually travel with their pet and opt for coastal accommodations. The average occupancy of pet-friendly rural accommodations is 33% higher than those accommodations that do not allow pets. This percentage rises above 50% in communities such as Navarra and Catalonia, in Spain.
Nevertheless, we must accept that there is a growing demand of travellers with pets that prefer the cities. These travelers have boosted a new type of accommodations that gradually arrive to the urban areas and provide facilities for those who travel accompanied by their pet.
Rules are still strict and administration does not advance at the same pace in this sense. So, in contrast to the rest of Europe, Spain is one of the most backward countries in terms of pet-friendly facilities for travelers: there are many limitations as for mobility in urban areas for those who travel with pets, the access to public buildings is usually forbidden, as well as most of the restaurants, some parks and many accommodations.
Among all these impediments and complications, solutions gradually appear and compose a new business sector that is already beginning to give results. In fact, we can now find pet-friendly hotel chains in Barcelona, such as Catalonia, which has at least 3 hotels in the centre of Barcelona that allow pets: Barcelona Plaza Hotel,Catalonia Ramblas and Atenas hotel next to Sagrada Familia.
Another of the urban hotel companies that has invested in this sense is the Basque chain Petit Palace, with 4 pet-friendly hotels in Barcelona: Museum Barcelona Hotel, a hotel next to La Boquería, a hotel in La Rambla, and a hotel next to Passeig de Gràcia. They all offer a special package for pets with bed, food and water bowls for your pet to feel comfortable at the room.
It is necessary to bear in mind that all the accommodations usually have conditions and restrictions, especially about the animal size and access to specific areas in the hotel. Small dogs or cats will not have many difficulties, but a big dog is generally forbidden. For them, the alternative is still a rural accommodation or resort hotels that, sometimes, offer the possibility of staying with a pet.
If you travel with your pets, it is essential to take with us their passport with the vaccination record and, if we are planning to go abroad, we must ask our vet to sign a document confirming that he has made a complete check-up to the animal and that he is in good health (or at least he has not any contagious disease)
It is also important to take one of his favourite toys, his feed –if we consider that we could not find it in the destination–, a water container or bottle for long trips by car, tablets to calm him down when we fly (only if vet has recommended it to us) and a good pet carrier, since it is required in the airport and in many buses, taxis and even hotels.