By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Now that summer is here, it’s time to enjoy a relaxing vacation and plan a family getaway. Instead of dealing with the added worry about who will care for your pets while you’re away, you may want to bring them along with you. If you do, however, make sure to take the time to do some research first and plan ahead.

There are plenty of pet friendly vacation spots all over the country. There are pet friendly lodging facilities as well as pet friendly attractions in various states from which to choose. For example, in Pennsylvania alone, the Pocono Mountains resort area offers over 45 pet-friendly places. In New Jersey, you’ll find canine compatible hotels from Atlantic City, Ocean City, Wildwood, North Wildwood and Cape May to Long Branch and Brant Beach to name just a few. In Florida, located between Tampa and Disney, there’s Dinosaur World which features attractions and trails for you and your dog through beautiful lush landscape. Florida also offers pet friendly parks, playgrounds, shopping areas and even restaurants that welcome your best friend. And both Disney and Universal Orlando offer canine friendly lodgings. Other vacation areas that offer similar lodgings include San Diego, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Lake Tahoe and Austin, Texas.

To prepare, conduct a thorough online search and make calls ahead of time to confirm. If you do plan to bring your animal companions on vacation this summer, make sure to provide all the necessary provisions including properly fitted car safety restraints or crates (large enough for the dog to stand and turn around in comfortably), enough food, any medicines if needed, proper ID, and plenty of water.

Make frequent pitstops when traveling by car and make sure they are never overheated. And, never leave your dog or cat alone in the car in the heat. Happy traveling!