If you love to travel, one of the hardest things can be leaving your beloved fur family member behind in a kennel or with a sitter. Thankfully, today, there are more pet-friendly travel options than ever before. Amazingly, almost 80 percent of pet parents travel with their best furry friend, too.
Are you asking, How to travel with my pets? Don’t worry; we have you covered! Below, we dig into the details of travel and accommodation options and top to-dos and provide you with a pet travel checklist.
How to Travel
No matter how you choose to travel with your pets, safety should be your number one concern.
Driving together in a car is probably the most popular way to transport you and your pets to your vacation destination. Just be sure to keep your dogs secure and your cats in a carrier. And never leave them in a car unattended, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
When traveling by airplane, train, or ship, you’ll need to check the regulations carefully. Each carrier has its own rules regarding animal transport. Some will allow you to travel with small pets underneath your seat or in your cabin (in a carrier, of course), while others keep pets in designated areas.
Where to Stay
The most challenging part of organizing the trip is finding somewhere suitable to stay when traveling with pets. You need accommodation that caters to both human and animal needs.
Pet policies vary from hotel to hotel, even across different locations of the same chain. For example, some hotels accept only small dogs, while others let you bring any pet you want. Also, few hotels let you leave your pets alone, and many charge an extra fee for bringing pets with you.
Thankfully, pet owners and organizations have shared a lot of recommendations online. For example, check out this hotel list of pet-friendly accommodations in New York City.
House or Cabin Rental
Are you looking for a lakeside retreat for you and your beloved fur baby? Perhaps you want to explore a particular city and are looking for a trendy condo to rent. Though they can be harder to find, there are definitely pet-friendly vacation rentals out there.
Several websites cater to people traveling with pets. GoPetFriendly, BringFido, and other sites offer dedicated options, but many standard accommodation booking sites also have pet filters.
There’s no denying that camping with dogs (or cats) makes a trip into the wild feel more adventurous. But the key to a successful pet-friendly wilderness excursion is doing your research.
When it comes to public campsites, you’re usually OK to bring your pets along. But America’s national, state, and local parks all have different regulations, so you need to check the rules before you travel.
For example, when it comes to dogs, you’ll almost always be required to at least carry a leash.
What to Do
Suppose you’re looking at pet-friendly vacations; where you go matters as much as where you stay or how you get there. Let’s look at a few examples of popular pet-friendly tourist destinations to give you an idea of what you can do with Fido or Garfield.
Sanibel Island, Florida
If you and your pupper love the tropics, Sanibel Island could be the place for you. Almost all the beaches are pet-friendly, so there’ll be no barriers to romping in the surf or jogging along the sand. You can also explore the mangrove and manatee-filled Darling National Wildlife Refuge with your pet, so long as they’re leashed.
Austin is arguably one of the most pet-friendly cities in the US.
There are green spaces dotted throughout the urban areas, and the trendy cafes, restaurants, and bars let your pet sit outside with you, if not inside. There are hiking and bike trails nearby, or you and your pet can enjoy water sports on Lady Bird Lake.
Want something a bit more relaxing? Why not try a ession of dog yoga?
If you love the outdoors, take your pet friend to Bend. The city sits on the Deschutes River and is surrounded by ancient volcanoes, high-altitude lakes, and dense forests.
Go canoeing, cross-country skiing, river tracing, and hiking with your pup or adventure cat.
Dog Fancy magazine even named Bend, Oregon, the most dog-friendly town in the USA! So there are lots of great places to stay, too.
Lake Placid, New York
If you’re keen on a lake house experience, consider a vacation to Lake Placid. This romantic spot in the center of the Adirondack Mountains offers a wide range of outdoor activities you and your pet can enjoy.
Whether you prefer a serene stroll around the 2.7-mile-long Mirror Lake paved trail or a drive along the highly scenic Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway (windows rolled down, of course), there’s something for everybody and their fur friend.
What to Pack
Unsure of what to pack to keep your dog or cat (or other pet) happy when on vacation? If you make sure you have their safety, medical, play, and food needs covered, you should be alright.
Here’s a handy traveling-with-pets checklist:
- Coat brush and shampoo
- Treats and chews
- Portable food bowl
- Water bowl and bottle
- Their regular food
- A familiar bed or blanket
- Leash or harness
- Vaccination records
- Puppy pads
- Pet first aid kit
- Prescription medication
- Towels and wet wipes
- Their favorite toys
- ID tags
All that’s left is for you to pop these items in a suitcase and get going!
Pet-Friendly Travel Options Galore!
As you can see, today, there are a plethora of pet-friendly travel options to choose from. You’re no longer forced to leave your precious pup or curious cat behind. Now that you know all the ins and outs of safe pet travel, all you need to do is start planning your next vacation!
If you’re interested in learning more about responsible pet parenting, read the other articles on our website.