Posts Tagged ‘Dogs’

Heather HunterUpdated guide features pet-friendly restaurants, as well as accommodations and activities, and marks the start of next AAA PetBook Photo Contest

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 6, 2014) – A well-planned vacation that includes furry family members is fun for everyone, but some travelers struggle with what to do with their pets while dining out. To provide even more opportunities for together time, AAA travel experts added a restaurant section to the 16th edition of Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook®. The listings include nearly 700 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated restaurants across the U.S. and Canada that welcome pets in outside dining areas.

Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook®

“For more than 15 years The AAA PetBook has been helping travelers plan getaways that include pet-friendly places to stay and play,” said Bill Wood, vice president, AAA Publishing and Travel Information. “We are excited to expand that offering with dining information. For travelers who consider their pets as part of the family, the newest AAA PetBook makes it easier to include the whole gang in all aspects of the vacation.”

The AAA PetBook provides detailed listings — including pet policies, amenities and fees —for more than 13,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels, plus more than 800 pet-friendly campgrounds. For recreation planning, the book lists national public lands and attractions that allow pets and 300 dog parks in the most popular travel destinations. Tips for first-timers and seasoned pet travelers address packing, pet etiquette, border crossing and emergency vet clinics.

The release of the new edition marks the opening of the next annual AAA PetBook Photo Contest sponsored by Best Western. Travelers who snap a photo of their pet on vacation can enter through Nov. 30. Each year, winners are selected to appear on covers of the next edition and receive additional prizes. See inside The AAA PetBook for details, or access official rules, an entry form and the contest photo gallery at AAA.com/PetBook.

The 16th edition print version of Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook is available at many AAA and CAA offices as well as select bookstores for a suggested retail price of $18.95. The digital edition, available at online booksellers, carries a suggested retail price of $9.99.

About AAA

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

About Best Western

Best Western International, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand made up of more than 4,000* BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS® and  BEST WESTERN PREMIER® hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Now celebrating 68 years of hospitality, Best Western welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests nightly. Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales, marketing and promotional support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 20 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty programBest Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can be redeemed at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand’s partnerships with AAA/CAA and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. In 2013, Best Western earned our highest level of brand recognition, including our fifth AAA/CAA Hotel Partner of the Year award, second Compuware Best of the Web Gold award, fourth No. 1 ranking in Brand Keys Consumer Loyalty Engagement Index for midscale hotels and seventh TTG Asia Best Mid-range Hotel Brand. Forty-one percent of Best Western hotels worldwide won TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence for customer satisfaction.

*Numbers are approximate and may fluctuate.

Heather HunterNext AAA PetBook edition to feature winners from California and Rhode Island

ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2014) – If it’s true that “Every dog has his day,” that moment has arrived for two photogenic pooches from California and Rhode Island. These lucky dogs were selected as winners of the latest AAA PetBook® Photo Contest sponsored by Best Western, a AAA Preferred Hotel Partner. The winners will appear on covers of the 16th edition Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook, available this May.

The first-place winner, a mixed-breed California dog and avid runner named Phoochie, will be pictured on the book’s back cover in a photo taken outside the California State Capitol in Sacramento. “One of the most surprising things about the photo is that Phoochie sat still long enough for someone to take it,” said owner Melissa Banda. The family enjoys visiting dog parks, dog beaches and other places where Phoochie has the freedom to run like the wind.

The second-place winner, Radar, a Pembroke Welsh corgi from Rhode Island, will appear on the book’s spine enjoying an autumn afternoon at Cathedral Ledge in the mountains of New Hampshire. “He enjoys getting exercise and fresh air while hiking the many trails, swimming and even a bit of mountain climbing,” said owner Nancy Liu.  “Many of the shops welcome dogs, and we stayed at one of the many dog-friendly hotels. It even had a cookie jar full of dog biscuits at the front desk!”

In addition to cover fame, the winners receive pet treats, copies of The AAA PetBook and cash. The first-place winner also receives a Best Western Travel Card that can be used at more than 4,000 hotels worldwide, including more than 1,600 pet-friendly properties.

Several more irresistible pets will also enjoy a year of star treatment. On the book’s front cover, an exceptional photo from a previous contest features Jazz, a Dalmatian from Pennsylvania, donning his spots alongside a striped lighthouse on Hatteras Island in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Another 46 photos, selected as contest finalists, are pictured inside the book and, new this year, on a AAA Pinterest board where all pet lovers had an opportunity to vote in their favorite: a pair of Samoyeds named Moxie and Brio at a beach in their home state of Oregon.

Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook is a valuable resource for travelers who include their furry family members when traveling. The listings for nearly 15,000 pet-friendly places throughout the U.S. and Canada include thousands of AAA Approved Diamond Rated hotels, hundreds of AAA Approved and Diamond Rated restaurants that allow pets in outside dining areas and more than 800 campgrounds.

The detailed hotel listings include fees, permitted pet sizes and conditions of stay for properties at every Diamond Rating level, from clean and simple motels to family-oriented properties to luxurious resorts. The book also includes information about pet-friendly activities, planning tips, travel etiquette and safety.

Visit AAA.com/PetBook for contest rules, entry forms, a photo gallery and valuable pet travel tips. The next photo contest opens in May when the 16th edition Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook, cover price $18.95 U.S., hits the shelves at participating AAA and CAA offices and bookstores. The digital edition, cover price $9.99, is available through online booksellers.

About AAA

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

ABOUT BEST WESTERN INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Best Western International, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand made up of more than 4,000* BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS® and  BEST WESTERN PREMIER® hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Now celebrating 68 years of hospitality, Best Western welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests nightly. Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales, marketing and promotional support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 20 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty programBest Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can be redeemed at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand’s partnerships with AAA/CAA and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. In 2013, Best Western earned our highest level of brand recognition, including our fifth AAA/CAA Hotel Partner of the Year award, second Compuware Best of the Web Gold award, fourth No. 1 ranking in Brand Keys Consumer Loyalty Engagement Index for midscale hotels and seventh TTG Asia Best Mid-range Hotel Brand. Forty-one percent of Best Western hotels worldwide won TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence for customer satisfaction.

*Numbers are approximate and may fluctuate.

DesmondJordonEntries welcome through Nov. 30 for a chance to star on the next AAA PetBook edition

ORLANDO, Fla., (Sept 30, 2013) For the many Americans whose vacations wouldn’t be complete without their favorite fur ball, the annual AAA PetBook Photo Contest offers an opportunity to show off travel photos in a big way. Through Nov. 30, travelers can enter a photo of their traveling pet for a chance to appear on a cover or inside Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook®.

For the sixth consecutive year, the AAA PetBook® Photo Contest is sponsored by Best Western, which has more than 1,600 pet-friendly hotels worldwide. AAA judges entries on artistic qualities and ability to convey the joys of safely traveling with a pet. Candid photographs are preferred. Contest rules and entry forms are available on the AAA.com/PetBook website.

First- and second-place contest winners are featured on the back cover and spine of the softcover edition and in the opening pages of the digital edition. More than 40 irresistible finalists are pictured in a photo insert, and winners and finalists are also showcased on the AAA.com/PetBook photo gallery — a virtual brag book for proud pet parents. Additional prizes include cash, pet treats, and copies of the book and, for the first-place winner, a $150 Best Western Travel Card.

For everyone who travels with pets, The AAA PetBook is a must-have resource. The annually updated guide lists more than 14,000 pet-friendly AAA Approved hotels and campgrounds, along with pet travel tips, recreational opportunities and emergency vet clinics.

The softcover edition of Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook is available at many AAA and CAA offices and select bookstores with a cover price of $18.95. Digital editions for popular tablets and e-readers are available through online booksellers at a suggested digital price of $9.99.

About AAA

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

About Best Western International, Inc.

Best Western International, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand made up of more than 4,000* BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS® and BEST WESTERN PREMIER® hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Now celebrating 67 years of hospitality, Best Western welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests nightly. Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales, marketing and promotional support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 20 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can be redeemed at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand’s partnerships with AAA/CAA, race car driver Michael Waltrip, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. In 2012, Best Western won a record number of awards, including AAA’s Hotel Partner of the Year, CAA’s Partner of the Year, TravelClick’s eMarketer of the Year and Compuware’s Best of the Web Gold awards.

For more information or to make a reservation, please visit bestwestern.com.

*Numbers are approximate and may fluctuate.

Heather HunterNew edition and photo contest give travelers with pets plenty to smile about

ORLANDO, Fla., (May 31, 2013) – AAA has released the newest version of the popular Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook®. Now in its 15th edition, the guide features more than 14,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and campgrounds that welcome travelers and their four-legged friends. The annually updated guidebook provides detailed information for finding and selecting the right place to stay, hotel pet policies, pet travel advice and emergency vet clinics.

“Whether for seasoned pet travelers or first timers, this resource helps ensure an enjoyable pet-friendly vacation by providing up-to-date details travelers can trust when making travel decisions,” said Bill Wood, executive editor and vice president, AAA Publishing and Travel Information.

The AAA PetBook, available in print and digital versions, has seen a 40 percent increase in pet-friendly AAA Approved hotels and campgrounds since its first edition in 1999. “The industry has changed with the evolving needs of travelers,” continued Wood. “Pets are truly part of the family for many travelers, and the growing number of travel options, like those listed in the AAA PetBook, makes it easier to plan a trip that includes furry family members.”

The release of the new edition, teeming with scenic, smile-provoking photos of pets enjoying safe travel, also marks the opening of the next annual AAA PetBook Photo Contest sponsored by Best Western. Travelers who snap a candid photo of their winner during this year’s vacation can enter through Nov. 30, 2013. Each year, winners are selected to appear on covers of the next edition and receive additional prizes. See inside The AAA PetBook for details, or access official contest rules, an entry form and the contest photo gallery at AAA.com/PetBook.

Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook, 15th edition, is available at many AAA and CAA offices as well as select bookstores for a suggested retail price of $18.95. The digital edition, available at online booksellers, carries a suggested retail price of $9.99.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Heather HunterTraveling pooches in the great outdoors pictured on next AAA PetBook edition

ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2013) – Two dogs from California took top honors in the latest annual AAA PetBook® Photo Contest sponsored by Best Western, a AAA Preferred Hotel Partner. The furry champions are featured on the 15th edition Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook®, coming this May.

Along with cover fame, winners receive additional contest prizes, including cash, pet treats, copies of the book and a Best Western Travel Card® usable at more than 4,000 hotels worldwide, including more than 1,600 pet-friendly properties. The winners, along with 43 finalists, also enjoy a year of star treatment on the AAA.com/PetBook photo gallery.

Jack Ryan, a Pembroke Welsh corgi, this year’s first-place winner, is pictured on the book’s back cover at Shaver Lake, Calif., a favorite camping spot for his family. “We take our dogs on all our camping trips and they thoroughly enjoy every minute of it,” said owner Susan Robinson. “They enjoy all the sights, smells and the sheer joy of the beautiful surroundings that camping has to offer. I could not bear to leave them at home.”

The second-place winner, Mandie, a Labrador retriever, graces the book’s spine romping in the snow at Mammoth Lakes, Calif. “We love to explore outdoor places with Mandie,” said owners Gisenyi and Jeremy Wansor. “She brings us joy with her enthusiasm and spontaneity. She is so much fun to have around!”

Separate from this year’s winners, an exceptional photo from a previous contest will appear on the front cover of the 15th edition AAA PetBook. Cody Bear, a golden retriever from Pennsylvania, is pictured state relaxing at his home state’s Seven Springs Resort, where he and his canine sister Ginger  can run to their hearts’ content. “Cody Bear is a part of our family, and we wouldn’t dream of leaving him home,” said owner Kathy Havey.

Many Americans consider their pets as full-fledged family members when planning vacations. They long to hit the road with their canine or feline companions, but hesitate for fear of not finding accommodations that welcome four-legged guests. Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook provides listings for more than 14,000 pet-friendly accommodations in the U.S. and Canada. These include thousands of AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels as well as 750 campgrounds.

The detailed hotel listings include fees, permitted pet sizes and conditions of stay for properties at every Diamond Rating level, from clean and simple motels to family-oriented properties to luxurious resorts. The book also includes information about pet-friendly activities, planning tips, travel etiquette and safety.

Photos of winners and finalists, contest rules, entry forms and valuable pet travel tips can be accessed at AAA.com/PetBook. The next photo contest opens in May when the 15th edition Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook, cover price $18.95 U.S., hits the shelves at participating AAA and CAA offices and bookstores, and the digital edition, cover price $9.95, is available through online booksellers.

About AAA

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

ABOUT BEST WESTERN INTERNATIONAL, INC.

Best Western International, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand made up of more than 4,000* BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS, BEST WESTERN PREMIER  hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Now celebrating 67 years of hospitality, Best Western welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests nightly. Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales, marketing and promotional support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 15 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can be redeemed at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand’s partnerships with AAA/CAA, race car driver Michael Waltrip, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. In 2012, Best Western won a record number of awards, including AAA’s Hotel Partner of the Year, CAA’s Partner of the Year, TravelClick’s eMarketer of the Year and Compuware’s Best of the Web Gold awards.
*Numbers are approximate and can fluctuate.

ORLANDO, Fla., (Sept. 6, 2012) – With so many digital cameras readily at hand, it’s a snap to capture pets enjoying vacation activities in breathtaking settings. Travelers who enter their best shot in AAA’s annual photo contest have an opportunity to see their pet featured on a cover of The AAA PetBook and the AAA.com/PetBook photo gallery.

For the fifth consecutive year, the AAA PetBook® Photo Contest is sponsored by Best Western, which has more than 1,600 pet-friendly hotels worldwide. The contest is open through Nov. 30, 2012. Entries are judged on artistic qualities and ability to convey the joys of safely traveling with a pet. Candid photographs are preferred. Contest rules, entry forms and photos from the previous contest are available on the AAA.com/PetBook website.

Winners appear on the next edition of Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook®, released each May. First- and second-place photos appear on the back cover and spine of the softcover book and opening pages of the digital versions. More than 40 irresistible finalists are pictured in a photo insert, and winners and finalists are also showcased on the AAA.com/PetBook photo gallery — a virtual brag book for proud pet parents. Additional prizes include cash, pet treats, copies of the book and, for the first-place winner, a $150 Best Western Travel Card usable worldwide.

Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook® provides reliable, up-to-date information on more than 14,000 places to stay and play with pets. Listings include pet-friendly AAA Approved and Diamond Rated lodgings across the U.S. and Canada. Details include fees, permitted pet sizes, conditions of stay and pet amenities for properties at every AAA Diamond Rating level including — for pampered pets — AAA Five Diamond hotels.

For outdoor lovers, the book also lists more than 600 pet-friendly campgrounds and RV parks, AAA Approved attractions that offer kennel service or allow pets, and national public lands and dog parks open to visiting pets. Readers will also find useful tips on preparing four-legged travelers for the road or air, pet etiquette, insurance and emergency animal clinic locations.

The softcover edition of Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook is available at many AAA and CAA offices and select bookstores with a cover price of $18.95. Digital editions for popular tablets and ereaders are available through online booksellers at a suggested digital price of $9.99.

About AAA

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

ABOUT BEST WESTERN INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Best Western International, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand made up of more than 4,000* BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS® and BEST WESTERN PREMIER®  hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Now celebrating 66 years of hospitality, Best Western welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests nightly. Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales, marketing and promotional support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 15 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can be redeemed at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand’s partnerships with AAA/CAA, racecar driver Michael Waltrip, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. Best Western in 2011 was named AAA’s and CAA’s Hotel Partner of the Year and bestwestern.com was named the 2011 Compuware Best of the Web Gold award winner.

Renowned pet expert Cesar Millan offers tips on hotel pet etiquette

ORLANDO,Fla., (July 19, 2012) – For many Americans, taking pets along on vacation can make the experience more fun for the whole family. A full 51 percent of travelers with pets say they would bring their pets along on every vacation if they could, according to a recent AAA/Best Western survey of individuals who traveled with their pets in the last 12 months. What hinders them from doing so?

Finding Welcoming Accommodations

Among top considerations in whether to include pets in travel plans is the need to locate welcoming, appropriately matched pet-friendly accommodations, according to the study. Specific aspects of the search include: finding places that accept pets (95 percent), learning about pet policies such as size limits and fees (49 percent) and getting details about available pet services (22 percent). One-quarter of pet travelers who have skipped this important planning step admit to sneaking their pet into a hotel or motel at some point in the past, creating anxiety that can affect pet behavior.

Advance planning using a reliable resource like Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook®, available in print and digital versions, can alleviate concerns related to accommodations and other pet-travel preparations. The listings for pet-friendly AAA Approved and Diamond Rated lodgings throughout the U.S. and Canada provide important details like fees, permitted pet sizes, conditions of stay and pet amenities. Listings also include more than 600 pet-friendly campgrounds plus dog parks and attractions and national public lands that allow pets. Best Western offers more than 1,600 pet-friendly properties worldwide.

Pet Etiquette Considerations

Respondents also identified observations about other pet travelers, pinpointing several behavioral considerations for owners as well as their pets:

  • Owners not cleaning up after pets (77 percent)
  • Dogs that bark constantly (57 percent)
  • Unleashed pets (49 percent)
  • Pets not obedience trained (43 percent)
  • Owners not notifying others that pet is aggressive toward people/other pets (41 percent)
  • Pets not trained to relieve themselves outside (29 percent)

“Traveling with your dog can be a wonderful experience. Remember, a balanced dog makes a better traveling companion. Always nurture a balanced state of mind,” says pet expert Cesar Millan.

“Plan your vacation with your dog in mind. Here are some tips to make travel more fun and less stressful for your dog,” says Millan:

  • Before you start your trip, take your dog for a walk.
  • Feeding your pet in the car is not a good idea.
  • As you head out on the road, make sure you crate or harness your dog for safety.
  • When stopping for a break, never leave your dog in the car, especially when it’s warm outside. Even if the window is cracked open, the car can still heat up and be dangerous to your dog.
  • Remember to bring your dog’s scent with you. Having a favorite toy will comfort and relax him.

Travelers can also find useful tips for preparing four-legged travelers for the road or air, plus handy information on pet etiquette, insurance and emergency animal clinics, in Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook and on the AAA.com/PetBook website. The 14th edition publication is available at many AAA and CAA offices and select booksellers at a suggested retail price of $18.95. The digital edition is available at online booksellers at a suggested digital retail price of $9.99.

More AAA/Best Western 2012 Pet Traveler Study Results

  • A full 93 percent said their pet makes a good travel companion, identifying these reasons:
    • Good cuddle buddy when away from home (27 percent)
    • Always lets the owner select the destination (18 percent)
    • Doesn’t hog the hotel remote (12 percent)
    • Snores less than owner’s significant other (7 percent)
    • Helps attract dates (1 percent)
  • More than eight in 10 (85 percent) of pet travelers travel with their dog, and two in 10 (21 percent) travel with a cat.
  • Top types of vacations enjoyed with pets:
    • Visiting friends and family (78 percent)
    • Road trips (50 percent)
    • Going to the beach (33 percent)
    • Camping (27 percent)
    • Visiting a city (23 percent)
    • Hiking (17 percent)

About AAA

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

About Best Western International, Inc.

Best Western International, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand made up of more than 4,000* BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS® and BEST WESTERN PREMIER® hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Now celebrating 66 years of hospitality, Best Western welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests nightly. Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales, marketing and promotional support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 14 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can redeem at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand’s partnerships with AAA/CAA, racecar driver Michael Waltrip, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. Best Western in 2011 was named AAA’s and CAA’s Hotel Partner of the Year and bestwestern.com was named the 2011 Compuware Best of the Web Gold award winner.
*Numbers are approximate and can fluctuate.

Release of new AAA PetBook edition means thousands of updated listings and the start of the next AAA PetBook Photo Contest

ORLANDO,Fla., (May 24, 2012) – Does your ideal vacation include your furry family members? For many Americans, Fido and Fluffy are essential participants in family outings. But they can pose some challenges when it comes to travel arrangements. Concerns range from locating pet-friendly establishments to finding reliable trip planning information and advice.

For these travelers, the newly released edition of Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook® — available in print and digital versions — offers a solution they can trust. The annually updated guidebook contains detailed information for finding and selecting the right place to stay. Plus, the guide is packed with a wealth of additional resources for planning pet-friendly vacations.

“A great vacation with pets requires careful planning,” said Bill Wood, executive editor, AAA Travel Publishing. “The last thing travelers want to find on arrival is their pet exceeds the hotel’s size limit or requires extra fees. AAA collects these details to help prevent unwelcome surprises. We’re pleased to provide traveling pet owners with handy tips and insight along with reliable travel information.”

Whether travelers want affordable, comfortable hotels near favorite recreation spots, or luxurious accommodations that extend the royal treatment to two- and four-footed guests, they’ll find it in Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook. 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.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the book lists more than 600 pet-friendly campgrounds plus dog parks and attractions and national public lands that allow pets. Readers will also find useful tips for preparing four-legged travelers for the road or air and handy information about pet etiquette, insurance and emergency animal clinics.

“We know pets are very much a part of our guests’ families. As such, we want to welcome pets and their owners to our more than 1,600 pet-friendly properties,” 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.”

From its outside covers to a special 16-page insert, the guide features scenic, smile-provoking photos of pets enjoying safe travel — a reminder to snap a candid of your winner during this year’s vacation. The current AAA PetBook Photo Contest sponsored by Best Western is open for entries, now through Nov. 30, 2012. Each year, winners are selected to appear on the back cover and spine of the next edition and also receive cash, pet treats, copies of the book and a Best Western Travel Card usable worldwide. See inside The AAA PetBook for details, or access official contest rules, an entry form and the contest photo gallery at AAA.com/PetBook.

Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook, 14th edition, is available at many AAA and CAA offices as well as select bookstores and online booksellers. The suggested retail price is $18.95. The digital edition, available at online booksellers, carries a suggested digital retail price of $9.99.

About AAA

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

About Best Western International, Inc.

Best Western International, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand made up of more than 4,100* BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS® and BEST WESTERN PREMIER® hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Now celebrating 66 years of hospitality, Best Western welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests nightly. Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales, marketing and promotional support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 13 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can redeem at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand’s partnerships with AAA/CAA, racecar driver Michael Waltrip, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. Best Western in 2011 was named AAA’s and CAA’s Hotel Partner of the Year and bestwestern.com was named the 2011 Compuware Best of the Web Gold award winner.

*Numbers are approximate and can fluctuate.

Orlando, Fl – 7/19/2011

2011 survey examines habits of people driving with canine companions and potential distractions

Seventy-eight million dogs reside in more than 46 million U.S. households, according to the American Pet Products Association, and an increasing number of these furry companions accompany their families on road trips, day trips and even local errands. However, in a vehicle this can mean added distractions for the driver and added dangers for all passengers, including pets. A recent survey conducted by AAA and Kurgo, a leading manufacturer of pet travel products, asked dog owners how often they drive with their dog and examined their habits behind the wheel. The survey results indicated that drivers not only love to bring Fido in the car, but often engage in risky behaviors when man’s best friend is along for the ride.

Motorists frequently bring dogs along, engaging in distracting behaviors

Nearly six in 10 (56 percent) respondents have driven with their dog at least once a month in the past year, however, many participate in behaviors that take their attention away from the road with the most common activity being petting their dog (52 percent). Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) have used their hands or arms to hold their dog in place while applying brakes, and 19 percent have used their hands or arms to keep their dog from climbing into the front seat—creating a situation where they remove at least one hand from the steering wheel.

Other distracting behaviors drivers admitted to include reaching into the back seat to interact with their dog (18 percent), allowing their dog to sit in their lap or holding their dog (17 percent), giving food or treats (13 percent) and 3 percent have taken a photo of their dog while driving. These behaviors can distract the driver and increase the risk of a crash. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that looking away from the road for only two seconds doubles your risk of being in a crash.

Drivers admit dangers of unrestrained pets, but most not using a pet restraint

Eighty-three percent of respondents acknowledge that an unrestrained dog in a moving car can be dangerous, but only 16 percent currently use a pet restraint. However, use of a restraint is three times greater among drivers who have heard of situations where unrestrained dogs were injured or caused injury to other passengers in a car crash (32 percent) compared to respondents who were not aware of such a situation and still use a restraint (9 percent). Using a pet restraint, such as those available from Kurgo, can aid in limiting distractions and help protect pets and passengers.

“Drivers should use a pet restraint system for your dog every time their pet is in the vehicle,” said Jennifer Huebner-Davidson, AAA National, Traffic Safety Programs manager. “A restraint like those offered by Kurgo will not only limit distractions, but also protect you, your pet and other passengers in the event of a crash or sudden stop.”

Calm dogs and lack of awareness top reasons for not using a pet restraint

More than two in five (42 percent) respondents stated they do not use a pet restraint because their dog is calm and they do not think he/she needs a restraint. However, a calm dog will be thrown with the same amount of force as an active dog in the event of a crash or sudden stop—a danger for all passengers as well as the pet.

“An unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph will exert roughly 300 pounds of pressure, while an unrestrained 80-pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph will exert approximately 2,400 pounds of pressure. Imagine the devastation that can cause to your pet and anyone in its path,” said Huebner-Davidson.

Other reasons cited for not using a restraint include: never considered it (39 percent); just take dog on short trips (29 percent); and 12 percent want their dog to be able to put its head out the window.

Eighteen percent of respondents who drive with a dog in the vehicle also have children under the age of 13 who ride with them. Seven in 10 of these motorists have driven with a child and an unrestrained dog in the vehicle at the same time.

A variety of reasonably priced products are available to keep pets safe and help dog owners reduce potential distractions caused by pets while driving. There have been many recent innovations in this market from Kurgo and others to make these products more comfortable for the dog and convenient to use for the owner. AAA recommends owners use a restraint system anytime they are driving with their pet—even short trips close to home.

Pet owners who want to take their pet on a longer trip can find all of the information they need to make their vacation easier and safer in Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook® including pet-friendly AAA Approved property listings and advice on transporting pets.

Fans of AAA’s page on FaceBook (Facebook.com/AAAfanpage) can enter the AAA/Kurgo “Tails from the Road” photo contest for a chance to win a pet travel package including Kurgo pet gear, a copy of Traveling with your Pet: The AAA PetBook and a Best Western Travel Card® usable at more than 1,600 pet-friendly properties worldwide. To enter, dog owners can upload a photo of their furry friend that depicts the excitement their dog shows prior to getting ready to take a ride in a vehicle. Entries must be received by August 7. Any Facebook user may vote for a winning photo via the AAA/Kurgo “Tails from the Road” custom Facebook tab between August 8 and August 21, 2011.

AAA members also can save on services for their pet by taking advantage of the Show Your Card & Save® program, including discounts on pet restraint products from Kurgo at AAA.com/specialoffers or entering purchase code AAADog11 at Kurgo.com.

Additionally, members save 10 percent on pet supplies at Target.com and 10 percent on pet sitting and dog walking services at home or on the road with Fetch! Pet Care. Prescriptions for family pets that can be filled at a traditional pharmacy may also be eligible for a AAA discount. For more information and to obtain a free Prescription Savings Card visit AAA.com/prescriptions or call 1-866-AAA-SAVE (1-866-222-7283). Visit AAA.com/discounts for more information and a complete list of retailers and offers.

Survey Methodology

The online study was conducted among a sample of 1,000 dog owners who have driven with their dog in past 12 months. The study results have an average statistical error of +/- 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

About Kurgo

Kurgo® (Motivation Design LLC) creates innovative, stylish and high-quality pet travel products that allow families and pets to travel comfortably to their destination together. The Kurgo® product line currently includes convenient products for traveling with your dog such as the Backseat Barrier, Skybox Booster Seat, Collaps-a-Bowl, Wander Hammock, Tru-Fit Smart Harness, and the Auto Zip Line, named as a Consumers Digest Best Buy. More information about the ever-evolving line of products can be found at http://www.kurgo.com/.

About AAA

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.
Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

ORLANDO, Fla., Febraury 11, 2011

Dogs vacationing in the great outdoors selected to grace the covers of the next edition

Heather HunterResults are in for the winners of the latest annual AAA PetBook® Photo Contest sponsored by Best Western, a AAA Preferred Lodging Partner. Winners from Tennessee and Massachusetts will enjoy a year of fame on the back cover and spine of the 13th edition Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook®, available this May.

Along with cover glory and star treatment in the AAA.com/PetBook photo gallery, winners receive additional contest prizes, including cash, pet treats, copies of the book and a Best Western Travel Card® usable at more than 1,900 pet-friendly properties worldwide.

The first-place winner, a golden retriever named Twink from Chattanooga, Tenn., will be pictured on the book’s back cover showing off a spectacular view of the rapids at the popular Ocoee River in Tennessee. Twink, an eager hiker and swimmer, delights in finding new places to explore, says her owner, Marylee Pope.

The second-place winners, a pair of Samoyeds named Siri and Ella from Blackstone, Mass., will be featured on the book’s spine during a trek through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. “We love to go places that we can do outdoor things with our dogs, like hiking, snowshoeing, sledding and exploring,” said owners Arthur and Linda Everly.

Plus, as a special addition to first- and second-place winners, an exceptional photo from a previous contest will appear on the front cover of the 13th edition PetBook. Bailey, a black Lab mix from Orrville, Ohio, will be shown pausing for a rest while exploring the majestic Dolly Sods U.S. Wilderness Area in West Virginia. “She loves to travel and we enjoy being with her and showing her new places and things,” says Bailey’s owner, Karen Smith.

Many Americans view their pets as full-fledged family members. They long to hit the road with their canine or feline companions, but hesitate for fear of not finding accommodations that accept four-legged friends. Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook® provides listings for more than 13,000 pet-friendly AAA Approved lodgings in the U.S. and Canada.

The detailed lodging listings include fees, permitted pet sizes and conditions of stay for properties at every Diamond Rating level including — for pampered pets — AAA Five Diamond Award® hotels. The book also includes information about pet-friendly activities, planning tips, travel safety and, for those who love the outdoors, more than 400 AAA Rated pet-friendly campgrounds.

Photos of winners and runners up, contest rules and entry forms, and valuable pet travel tips can be accessed at AAA.com/PetBook. The next photo contest opens in May when copies of the 13th edition Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook hit the shelves at participating AAA and CAA offices, bn.com and fine bookstores. The cover price is $18.95 U.S.

About AAA

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

ABOUT BEST WESTERN INTERNATIONAL, INC.

Best Western International, Inc. is THE WORLD’S BIGGEST HOTEL FAMILYSM, providing marketing, reservations and operational support to over 4,000* BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS® and BEST WESTERN PREMIER® hotels in 80* countries and territories worldwide. Each Best Western-branded hotel is independently owned and operated. Now celebrating 65 years of hospitality, Best Western has grown into an iconic brand that hosts 400,000* worldwide guests each night. Equally committed to the business and leisure traveler, Best Western recently embarked on a mission to lead the hotel industry in customer care. World Vision is the charity of choice for Best Western in building the world’s biggest family, with our hotels and staff sponsoring children in need around the globe. Our partnerships with AAA/CAA, Michael Waltrip Racing™ and Harley-Davidson® help guests make the most of every trip. For the fastest way to a free night globally, join Best Western Rewards®. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www.bestwestern.com.

*Numbers are approximate and can fluctuate.

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