Can a pet-friendly hotel actually save you money?

The travel industry is brimming with some pretty lame incentives to try to get us to leave home.

I'd rather chew on sandpaper than embrace the semi-misogynist precepts upon which most "girlfriend getaway" packages rely.

And in the selling of that idiotic term staycation, expensive luxury hotels in my hometown have tried to get me to cover them, forgetting entirely that the whole point of the coinage was to give cash-strapped people a way to let off steam without spending money.

I used to ascribe pet travel to the same category of over-the-top travel lunacy. Before the recession descended, hotels liked to send out press releases about pampering your pooch while you vacationed. Pretty dumb, I thought even then, but something happened when we all decided to tighten our belts: Hoteliers dropped the upper-class pretensions and re-focused on practicality.