Let’s talk Planet Earth. If you know anything about me, you know I very obviously…
There’s nothing more exciting than knowing you’re going on a vacation, even a weekend away brings a big smile. That is until you have to break it to your dog that you’re going away without him. Well, more and more travelers are saying no to the guilt, the droopy eyes, the crying (and that’s just us), and bringing their pets with them.
Here are some tips to make the trip go smoothly
- Try out day trips and overnighters before a full-on vacation or long road trip
- Most people only use their pet carriers to take their pets to the vet so the animal knows that nothing good happens when they get in that thing. Get your dog or cat used to a carrier as early as possible. Dog owners usually put them in at night. With my cat, I put things in the carrier like catnip and salmon treats.
- Travel by car. 4 out of 5 Dogs say they love road trips! This is by far the most popular way of traveling with your pet. But there are still some rules to live by
Safety first! Here are some tips for making sure everyone travels safely in the car.
- Dogs can’t call shotgun. The airbag deployment could be dangerous for your pet to ride in the front seat.
- Pets loose in a car are a danger to the driver. I learned this the hard way when I let my cat roam free in the car and she came under my legs by the gas and brake pedal. Pets can also become a projectile object if you have to suddenly brake or in the case of an accident-I learned this the hard way as well.
- Go to your pet store and buy a dog seat belt. They run in small, medium, and large sizes and cost $15-$25.
- For your cat, place the car’s seat belt around the pet carrier so it’s secure.
- For the well-being of the animal stop every two hours for a pee break and a run. It’s a good idea to bring a Frisbee or a ball. They’re kind of like kids in that your mission is to wear them out. Also just like kids: bring toys, treats, and water.
Travel with care: Tips for flying
Air travel these days is a stress bomb for us can you imagine how difficult it is for a dog or cat? The Humane Society recommends that you do not use air travel unless absolutely necessary. Every airline has different rules about traveling with Pets. If your dog is small enough to stand in a carrier that can go under the seat in front of you, you may be able to carry on the dog but there are still no guarantees.
- Always call the airline first-do not book your ticket and then call since the airline has a very limited number of animals they’ll allow on each flight
- There’s a fee even though they’re not taking a seat. The cost on average is $100 for an in-cabin one-way ticket.
- Even though you’ve paid a fee, your pet’s carry-on counts against the two you are allowed to bring on the plane. so pack wisely.
- If your pet has to travel as cargo (the least recommended) contact the airline to understand exactly what their policy is and how your pet will be treated. It is recommended by airlines that dogs do not fly cargo in the high heat of summer and the deep freeze of winter.
- If cargo is the only option do you and your dog a favor by flying direct.
- Frequent Flyer Miles! Pets can earn them on JetBlue, Virgin, and Continental.
Why stress it? Your pet can fly in style with Pet Airways
- There’s an airline JUST FOR PETS! Petairways is the only airline that exclusively flies your pets otherwise known as… pawsengers. (ahhhhhhh)
- Petairways flies out of a small number of cities (e.i. NY, Chicago, LA) but at their smaller regional airports
- First Class experience: you check them in at the Pet Lounge they board in carriers in the cabin where they are checked on and tended to every 15 minutes.
- Example fare: NY to Ft. Lauderdale is $250 each way. NY to Chicago $99
- Visit their website http://www.petairways.com/
“Pet friendly” has a very broad definition in the hotel world and pet fees generally run from $15 a day for a budget hotel up to $125.
Call the hotel directly (not the 1800 #) and ask:
- What is the charge for bringing a pet?
- Are there weight restrictions, or breed restrictions?
- Will there be a cleaning fee and is it refundable?
- May I leave them unattended in the room while I’m gone for the day?
Some hotels go out of their way for your pets, such as Loews where pets get their own amenities like treats, rawhide bones, catnip, and scratchpads. There’s even a gourmet room service menu with items prepared by their chefs. Loews even offers special vacation packages with your best friend called Woofie Weekends.
Timeless Travel Tips:
- Make sure your traveling pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations.
- Have two tags. Their normal tag and then another with the information of where you are staying during your trip with hotel or family/friends address
- Keep an updated photo of the pet on your smartphone in case you do get separated.
- Embedded microchips with all the information are extremely popular with owners that travel consistently with their pets.
Find out what hotels, B&Bs, and cabins welcome pets. There’s even a special search feature for large dogs and cats which we all know to experience some discrimination.
This website’s mission is that you don’t leave your dog in the hotel room. It’s a website full of restaurants, attractions, and beaches where dogs are more than welcome. Now Fido can be in your vacation photos!
Petairways.com just visit the website so you can go ahhhhhhh.