Hey readers! I apologize that it’s taken so long to get this post up, but here it is! We took our first big trip as a whole family to Savannah, Georgia a few weekends ago. After what started off as a terrible week at home, Mattie and I both were ready to have some time away. As Mattie always does, he packed up our van perfectly and we set off on our trip to Savannah.
With each trip that we take with our girls and Mason, I will write about how dog-friendly the city actually is, and how to do it all with a baby. As this was our first trip with Mason and the girls so far from home, there will be lots of opportunity to learn and improve! Without further ado, here’s my first city post!
How Dog Friendly Is Savannah?
This was a question I’d asked myself before making the trip. After reading others reviews on Google and on Bring Fido, I was pleased to come to the conclusion that Savannah would in fact be an awesome city to bring my girls to.
I am always wary when I read about how “dog-friendly” a city is. The reason for my caution is actually because of my current home town, Chattanooga. As dog-friendly as it claims to be, there aren’t very many welcoming parks in Downtown or in businesses downtown. Because of this, it’s hard for me to have to exclude my girls from trips we take here in my home town.
But after visiting Savannah for the short time that we did, I would give it 4 out of 5 bones for dog friendliness!
Breakdown Of My 4/5 Star Vote
- Sidewalks: Not only was the city itself very friendly, but the streets themselves were welcoming. There were plenty of sidewalks to walk the city on. There were even water bowls outside of store fronts for Elliot and Piper to get a quick drink.
- Restaurants: There were many restaurants that had dog-friendly seating. Though most of our eating experiences were outside, the waitresses were quick to bring water for them and ask permission to give them treats. It was such a pleasure to know that we could go just about anywhere on a walk in the city with them by our sides.
- Dog parks: There was a dog park very close to the AirBNB home we were staying in. We ended up just driving by it because the neighboring school was having an event and there as limited parking. But we could see many friendly faces in the park enjoying their time!
- Dog friendly stores: Here’s why I only gave 4 stars. We only encountered a handful of stores that did allow pets inside. A few stores, like Urban Outfitters, displayed “pets welcome” signs outside their stores, but we were limited to where we could go with them in tow while out shopping. There was a dog treat store we visited every day that allowed our girls inside! They loved getting those treats every day. Besides those stores, we pretty much stayed on the streets.
Packing List for The Dogs
Usually, we don’t bring very much for the dogs besides their leashes and food. However, this was our first big trip with them and our baby. With everyone coming, we had to spend a little bit more time planning what to bring. Here’s our packing list for them!
- Crate: this is where they sleep at home, so it felt more comfortable for them to have something familiar with them, and that smelled like home
- Treats: just before leaving, I bought some more Lite Snackers from work to give them lots of extra treat lovin’ for being so good during a long car trip with Mason.
- Dog food: we brought the entire rolling container I bought from Chewy.com so it would be easier to move. In there, we had their dog bowls and scoop.
- Toys: we didn’t bring toys this trip, but we usually grab a few for them to play with at the home. They had housemates at the AirBNB we stayed at to play with as well as exercise out on the town with us instead of toys!
Overall, Savannah is one of the few great dog-friendly cities I have ever been to. Even just walking the streets of Savannah is a sight, so we didn’t complain about staying outside walking the girls. This city will definitely be the one we compare others against in the future!
Savannah With A Baby
Like I said in the section above, there were sidewalks galore! It was very easy to navigate the stroller and the dogs around the sidewalks of downtown Savannah. As Mason is such a sweet and easy-going baby, he didn’t mind one bit being outside exploring with us. There are, of course, a few things to keep in mind.
The Weather and Baby’s Health
Shortly after arriving in Savannah, Mason became horribly congested. Mason had never been sick before, and it was hard to watch him cough and sneeze. I contacted our pediatrician and asked him for instructions on what to do. They’d basically let us know to keep his nose and throat clear and to monitor his breathing; over 50-60 beats per minute and we should take him to a hospital. Thankfully, it never escalated to the point where we had to take him in, but we certainly had to constantly clear his nose. We forgot to bring our trust Nose Frida, because we weren’t thinking he’d develop allergies. So I highly recommend bringing that or a bulb with you. The bulb remained close by during our entire Savannah stay so that we could help Mason clear up throughout the day.
Besides that trouble, Mason was very healthy for the whole stay. I would just definitely remember to bring the following:
- Nose Frida, or bulb
- Baby decongestant
- This sun hat is the BEST – I bought it just for this trip, and I adore it. It’s adjustable to any size. I met someone recently who said her 3 year old can still use it, and my 9 month old loves it!
It was overcast most of our trip, but we still put sunscreen on our fair-skinned baby each time we planned to spend lots of time outside. It would kill me to let him get a sunburn!
Packing List for Baby
With each post I make about travelling with him, I am positive my list will change. We packed up a lot for him and for us, but we still ended up missing a few things. For those of you travelling with a baby, read up about where you are going, the weather, and make a list of things you will need! Oh, and don’t make that list the day before or you will forget something almost definitely.
- 2 sets of clothes for each day you’re gone. We packed a whole bunch of clothes for Mason because 1.) We had actually done laundry the night before and just brought it all with us and 2.) Mason is spitting up a lot more recently. We knew we’d need lots of clothes! Also, you never know if you’re going to have a chance to use a washer and dryer when you’re gone
- Appropriate vacation-wear. This means swimsuits, sun hats, sunscreen, winter clothes, rain coats, etc. For our trip to Savannah, we packed him a rain coat, flip flops, a sun hat and his swim suit diaper. Fun fact: I didn’t know until very recently that babies need to wear those special swim diapers when they’re in the water. I hadn’t ever thought about it until I had a baby. The more you know, I guess!
- Place to sleep and play. Mason is crawling, sitting up, and trying very hard to stand up. We knew we weren’t going to be co-sleeping with him and hadn’t had the chance to get the mini-crib we bought set up. So, we brought his pack’n’play and set him up to sleep in there. It was his first time sleeping in it, so the first night was a bit rough, especially given that we were in a new home. But after the first night he was great! I would have liked to bring his “car” as well, but we forgot to pack it. Instead, we laid out a blanket on the floor for him to crawl around on and a whole laundry basket filled with his toys.
- Food: if your babe has formula or you need to pump, don’t forget it! Mason is eating solids, so we brought some of his Beechnut favorites with us as well as his awesome seat that can be moved anywhere. Additionally, bring his bottles and the cleaner you have at home for it. (I didn’t pack the cleaning wand, so it was hard to reach places in the bottles to clean them without it).
I believe that it pretty much all that we packed! With each adventure and destination, I’m confident I will get this packing list down to a tee and be super-duper prepared! Though, I am pretty forgetful so I’m sure I will have some future struggles. But that’s why I married my husband; he’s my perfect other half who helps me with my faults.
Over All Experience In Savannah
This was the view of the home that we stayed in. It was really a great first experience having the girls with us, along with staying overnight for a few nights with Mason. The host was gracious and inclusive and we had a great time there.
Matty had been to Savannah before, so he helped guide me through the city streets and told me stories about the last time he visited. I love walking the streets, seeing the Spanish moss draped over every tree in the squares. It seemed that almost everyone who lived there had dogs; most other street walkers were tourists like us. But it never felt like a tourist-y city, even when we visited Tybee Island.
We visited the beach on a dreary day, but we didn’t let that stop us. Our son got to experience his first beach trip, and it was an experience I’ll never forget with him. Of all the times he’s hated bath time, he seemed to want to run straight into the ocean and never return! I’m going to have a water-lover after all. He even sobbed when we had to leave the beach when it started raining. I believe he would have spent the whole day splashing around in the waves.
Would We Go Back?
I would love to go back and make more memories in Savannah. It’ll always be a special place to me; the first family trip we took as a family of 3. If you are planning a trip there and wonder if you could take your baby, or your dogs (or both!), I’d say you can do it! Because if my family could make it, I’m sure you will as well!