I am a new home buyer and I want to replace some carpeted areas with laminate. Especially where my dogs are already chewing at it. I can't afford to get all of the material at once. My question is since the area that is the worse is the hallway can I begin there and what is the recommended direction to go?
You sure can. In fact, it's often best practice to start in a hallway, which is one of the places where a crooked installation really shows against the walls By starting there you minimize the chance of visual oddity.
Typically, wood flooring is installed parallel to the longer side of the room. In the case of a hallway, you'd run it lengthwise.