Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

Our pets show us unconditional love. They are waiting at home for us after a long day at the office and they sense when we need a little extra love. Our pets are our best friends and if yours’ are any thing like mine, they dread when you go away for vacation. Without fail, my boxer will get so incredibly sad at the sight of my suitcase that I will suddenly feel guilty about that long trip I am about to take.

There is good news though, there are now pet friendly travel options, some of which have added adult benefits.

Virgin Atlantic

Many airlines allow our furry friends on board for a cost. This is no surprise and has been common practice for quite sometime. Virgin Atlantic has take this traditional practice to new heights. When you fly with your pets on Virgin Atlantic, including dogs, cats, and even ferrets, both of you will benefit from the Flying Paws program.

On your pet’s first flight, they will be given a welcome on-board pet pack, which will meet their travel needs. Dogs will receive a VA doggy t-shirt and a sparkling dog tag; cats will receive a toy mouse and a VA collar tag; and ferrets will receive a very cool limited edition flying jacket and collar tag.

The “Passport for Pets” program allows you to record all of your pet’s flights and will allow your pet to collect “paw prints” which you can redeem for their gifts. Gifts include a handmade Virgin Bowl with a nonslip mat for dining in style, blow dries and pedicures to Burberry, Prada and Gucci pet clothing, ND  a personal Pawtrait from the famous artist Cindy Lass, who is renowned for her paintings of celebrities furry companions around the world. Your pet’s also have the ability to donate their rewards, equivalent to Fifty British pounds, to their favorite animal charity or sanctuary. Alternatively, if your pet’s feeling particularly loving, they can show their true feelings by donating 1,000 bonus Flying Club miles to you.

Harvest Inn, St. Helena, Napa

This dream destination in the heart of California Wine Country, Harvest Inn of St. Helena, has put together a package that is perfect for your pampered pooch. The Pup’s Paradise package offers extra treats for guests and their four-legged family members. The Inn’s extraordinary beauty, comfortable luxury, and low-key ambiance is perfect for a weekend of relaxation and rejuvenation for every member of the family.

The Inn sits on a beautifully landscaped eight acres, ideal for exploring with your dog. The package includes two relaxing nights at the Harvest Inn, a comfortable doggie bed for use during your stay, special food and water bowls and tasty bow treats, $50 gift certificate for V. Sattui Winery, a list of nearby pet-friendly wineries and restaurants, and 10% off at Fideaux Boutique pet store in St. Helena and Healdsburg.

To book the “Pup’s Paradise’ package, click here . For more information, visit Harvest Inn’s website

Cypress Inn, Carmel, California

Ahead of the curve, Cypress Inn was one of California’s first hotel properties to welcome pets in the mid-1980s and has since seen everything from parrots to pot bellied pigs check in for an adventure by the sea. Standard operating procedure includes concierges carrying grain-free all-natural dog treats and guestrooms appointed with dog bowls, plush dog blankets and in-room fireplaces. Terry’s Lounge rolls out a daily Yappy Hour saluting all things retro with a classic cocktail carte for adults and Muttinis for four-legged companions. A Culinary Canine menu is also offered featuring Chowhound Chicken, Buster Burger and Muttloaf ($6-$7).

An iconic landmark since 1929 and part of the elite collection of Carmel Boutique Inns, Cypress Inn embodies Hollywood-by-the-Sea elegance with casual seaside charm. Co-owned by legendary Hollywood actor and animal rights enthusiast Doris Day, the 44-guestroom property is set in a Mediterranean footprint with vaulted ceilings, airy courtyards, in-room fireplaces and a crisp, contemporary décor. Ideally located just blocks from Carmel Beach, the 17-Mile Drive and walking distance to 80+ art galleries, Cypress Inn offers a pet-friendly Yappy Hour and sustainable dining menu at Terry’s Restaurant & Lounge, Carmel’s first Seafood Watch program participant.

No matter where you are headed, there is a pet-friendly oasis waiting for you and your furry friends. Our pets play such a vital role in our lives, they deserve the royal treatment too.

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