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AAA PetBook makes travel with furry family members easier

Over the years, Oklahoma City musician Peggy Johnson has been on many trips sometimes traveling with up to four dogs. Kayaking with her peg Emmy is one of her favorite vacation activities. Photo provided.

By Darla Shelden
Contributing Writer

Taking your furry family members along on vacation can be fun, but pets can also raise a variety of travel challenges. The new edition of Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook is now available in print and online.

It offers solutions to locating pet-friendly hotels and motels and finding reliable trip planning information and advice.

“A great vacation with pets requires careful planning,” said Bill Wood, executive editor, AAA Travel Publishing. “The last thing we want to find on arrival is our pet exceeds the hotel’s size limit or requires extra fees. AAA collects these details to help prevent unwelcome surprises.”

The PetBook lists more than 600 pet-friendly campgrounds plus dog parks, attractions and national public lands that allow pets. Travelers will find tips for preparing four-legged companions for the road or air and information about pet etiquette, insurance and emergency animal clinics.

“My best travel companion was my mixed breed dog, Lucy,” said Oklahoma City art education teacher Gail Sloop. “She never complained and was always ready to go. As a single women, camping and hiking with a gentle soul dog is a source of feeling comfortable and safe.”

The book includes pet-friendly AAA Approved and Diamond rated lodgings throughout the U.S. and Canada. Listings include fees, permitted pet sizes, conditions of stay and pet amenities for properties across every Diamond rating level.

“Lucy and I traveled together for 14 years,” said Sloop. “My schnoodle Charlie and I are still traveling. He likes a 5 star hotel as well as a cabin in the woods.”

Oklahoma City residents Lin and Ernesto Sanchez frequently travel with their pets. “Recently we took our camper to the Wichita Mountains for hiking and the dogs and I drove the SAG (support and gear) vehicle while my husband, Ernesto, rode his bike up Mt Scott to celebrate his 40th birthday,“ said decorator Lin Sanchez.

“Often we were in great locations wishing for our dogs,” said Ernesto Sanchez, head of exhibitions at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. “Making the little bit of effort to find pet friendly places has really enriched our vacations We love to travel and they are part of our family.”

“We know pets are very much a part of our guests’ families,” said Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Best Western. “We are proud to be listed in The AAA PetBook, an exceptional resource, and to sponsor the annual AAA PetBook Photo Contest to help showcase pet travelers in action.”

The release of new AAA PetBook edition also means the start of the next AAA PetBook Photo Contest. To enter, submit your ‘best-in-travel’ pet photograph before November 30, 2012.

Two winning pet photos, chosen in January 2013, will be featured in The AAA PetBook May 2013 publication. The first place winner, featured on the back cover, will receive $300, a $150 Best Western Travel Card, pet treats and five copies of the book. The second place winner, featured on the book’s spine, will receive $150, pet treats and two copies of the book.

“Traveling with my golden retriever, Cleveland was an amazing experience, said cross country explorer Chalyse Drake. “He was our protection, a great companion, and he was always introducing us to new people. As long as possible, I’ll never leave Cleveland at home while I’m traveling, he’s much too important to the success of a good trip!”

“Nothing beats taking a family camping trip or float trip with our dogs,” said Norman resident Shandell Nash. “Our vacations just aren’t complete without our pups.”

Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook, 14th edition, is available at selected AAA Oklahoma offices for $12.95 (members) and $18.95 (nonmembers). It can also be purchased at most large bookstores and online.

Oklahoma City musician Peggy Johnson said, “Over the years, I’ve taken up to four dogs camping, which makes for a lot of dog-tending and not much else, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way,”

To access official contest rules, an entry form and the contest photo gallery visit

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