Traveling with Pets – What Are My Options?
If you’re an animal person, chances are you have at least one pet. Pets are great – they keep you company, and provide countless hours of entertainment and companionship. However, they can also cause a good amount of stress, especially when traveling. For many, it can be hard to leave your pets alone while you travel, which causes many vacations to be cut short or canceled altogether. Pets are great, but they shouldn’t control your life! If you have a pet and would like to travel, you have a few options to choose from.
Your first option is to hire someone to take care of your pet, or put them in boarding. Both of these options can be costly, although there are ways to reduce the costs. If you can, try to find a neighbor or friend that you trust to come over to your house and feed your pets, walk them, socialize with them, etc. Offer to compensate them for their time, or, better yet, offer to pet-sit for them at some point in the future. If this option is not available to you, consider hiring a professional pet sitter, or putting your beloved pet in a boarding facility. This option can be expensive, but at least you know your pet will be taken care of.
Another option is to take your pet with you. Taking your pet along with you on vacation can save you money, but don’t count on it! If you are flying, check with your airline about their pet policy, and see if they charge extra for pets (in most cases pets have to stay in the baggage compartment of planes). Make sure that your carrier is the right size, and check with the airline if any specific breeds are not allowed. If you are driving, make sure that there is enough room in your car for the pet, and ideally have a little bit of room for the pet to move about. If it’s a long road trip, you need to plan ahead. Map out your route, and identify several rest stops or parks that allow pets. If you are staying overnight at a hotel, make sure they allow pets. Most hotels are fine with small pets like cats, birds, hamsters, etc. but many do not allow dogs, or they charge an extra fee for dogs.
Make sure you bring along enough food for your pet, and keep a water bowl with you. If your pet requires any medication, make sure you don’t forget that! If you are going on a long car ride with your dog, make sure that you stop at least once or twice a day and go on a long walk. This will keep your dog from getting restless, and it will also allow you to stay limber and awake. If it is going to be hot on your trip, make sure your A/C is working properly, so that your pet does not overheat!