Thrifty Thursday: Fido and Figaro on Vacation?

Since we first began our bi-annual treks to Disney World, a major issue for us, well, me anyway, is what about the furry and feathered kids (fids)?  What are we going to do about them while we are gone?  We are in the midst of planning our next trip, so the scheduling for our pet sitter has been put on the to-do list in the very near future.  Although we don’t take our fids on vacation with us, I do travel with my Shih-Tzus, Doodle and Tootsie, and occasionally with my cats, Yoda and Yeti.  Traveling with the pets calls for special planning if the trip is going to be  stress free and successful. 


When one is traveling with fids (pets), especially on extended trips, hotels must be pet-friendly in order to remain a welcome guest.  Disney Resorts and Disney World Theme parks do not permit animals except for service dogs so Figaro and Fido can’t sleep or stroll the park with you. 


The pet-care is a big decision when you are going to Disney World for that magical holiday.  One option is to board Fido and Figaro at the Walt Disney World® Resort Pet Boarding/Kennels, which is hosted by Best Friends Pet Care.  This pet resort offers 27,000 square-feet of safe, healthy and fun environment with pet suites available for Figaro and Fido, even your smallest Fid can stay here, such as birds and hamsters.  This is a great option if you are the one-pet family since the rates are $41 – $89 per day with additional services available, such as cuddle-time, bedtime stories, and even an ice cream break; however, this gets a bit pricey if you are like me and have multiple fids to consider.  

Yeti & Yoda

The other option one might have is to board their pet(s) at their vet or a pet kennel.  The  local kennels in our area charge for overnight stays between $15 – 30 per night per pet, depending on the animal’s weight.  These specialty kennels provide a bed, TV, and playtime with other pets during their stay to provide a “home away from home” feel.  


Through the years of vacations, we’ve found that pet sitters in our home are just the answer.  In our area, pet sitters don’t charge per pet but per visit to the home.  This means our fids can stay in their own home with their own backyard even if we are on vacation.  Pet sitters to the home, sometimes will even stay overnight like house sitters at an additional charge; however, we have found that having a pet sitter in the home 4 times a day works very well for our fids.  We’ve found that a home/pet sitter is the best care while we vacation and the best value for our vacation budget since we have multiple pets.  Our home/pet sitter charge us between $30 – $40 per day for 4 visits a day, feeding and playing with the dogs in the yard and the added bonuses for the pet sitter is she brings in the mail daily, waters the plants, and keeps a general eye on the house.  Our house never has that “nobody home” look so there is added peace of mind for us there as well.    

Peace of Mind @ Disney World!

How to find a reliable home/pet sitter?  Well, we went through a services referral website to find our wonderful home/pet sitter; however, “word of mouth” referrals from friends usually work pretty well.  Sometimes, friends also have great teenage children that are glad to earn some extra money. No matter how you find your pet sitter, it is wise and thrifty to plan ahead for your fid’s care while you vacation.  This gives you peace of mind and ensures you get quality service for the best price by booking in advance.  Last minute arrangements rarely give peace of mind or more money in your wallet!

Make memories magical, not expensive at Disney World!

Till next time, Leigh Anne

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Leigh Anne, originally from Mississippi, lives in North Alabama with her husband and a menagerie of furry kids (FIDS), including dogs, cats, exotic birds, fish and a lionhead rabbit. Figment, her African Grey parrot, is named after Disney’s small purple dragon, Figment. She works as a motivational speaker and pastoral counselor. In 1974, Leigh Anne marched with the Enka High Marching Band in the Magic Kingdom daytime parade. Leigh Anne fell in love with Disney while on her Disney honeymoon with her husband in 2002. They have made an annual trip back to Disney to celebrate their anniversary every year since. Since they own a piece of the mouse with their Disney Vacation Club (DVC), some years they go twice! She also plans to be the grandmother that introduces all her grandchildren to Disney World first. She has a great start ~ 2 out of 3 so far! As a DVC member married to the best Disney shopper in the world, Leigh Anne has lots of experience in finding the most frugal way to have the most fun in the parks and resorts! Leigh Anne admits to being spoiled as a DVC member but is always on the lookout to keep their WDW vacations fun and frugal! She blogs at Queen of Hysteria and tweets @la_haygood

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