Traveling Tips – Making Pet Friendly Vacations Easy
Traveling tips developed specifically for traveling with pets come in handy as a guideline that will make your trip easier and more pleasant. As pet travel experts, we have accumulated what people need that can help you prepare for your trip and things to consider while at your destination.
Traveling Tips on Reserving
2. Reserving at a Pet Friendly Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Cabin or Vacation Home
Most lodging that accepts pets have requirements and regulations. Typically, they consider the size of your animal and if your pet is well mannered. The average allowed size is 25 pounds or less. However, there are many instances where a larger dog is welcomed with a little persuasion. Many have discounts so keep your eyes peeled out for these special deals. Always call the hotel the day before to remind them you are coming with your cat or dog. This is done for two reasons: one, some hotels have special rooms set aside for pet travelers and two, some like to offer their furry guest pet treats and special gifts and this gives them a heads up to get it prepared. Make your reservation at Pet Hotels of America because here you will get special pre-negotiated rates and many of the hotels offer pet perks. Reservations may be made online or by calling 866-676-7078. Use promo code HBC3456.
2. Reserving a Pet Friendly Car
Alamo, AVIS, Budget Fox Bonaire, Hertz and National all allow pets in their cars. Thrifty allows service animals only. Reserve your car early, especially when traveling with a pet. Also, typically the cars are more expensive when rented at an airport counter, rather than approaching the counter with a reservation number in hand. The cleaning fee is where you can get hit the hardest, so make sure to keep your pet contained where he or she cannot dig his claws into the leather or cloth. Even if you use a carrier, you might want to consider purchasing an inexpensive fleece throw and putting it under it should water spill or there be any sharp edges that can harm the material. Make sure your pet’s nails are clipped. Wipe the seats so no fur is left. A simple swipe could save you a lot of money. Here’s another article you may want to read on pet travel that also has some good suggestions.
Traveling Tips on Your Pet and Transportation
1. Car Travel
If your pet isn’t used to traveling in a car and this type of transportation is in your itinerary, start getting him used to it early. Take him on short trips at first and then lengthen them. You will be surprised how fast your pet will take to the car. Make sure to use a restrainer for his own safety. Plus, car rentals will require this.
2. Air travel
Whether your pet is allowed in the cabin or must travel in cargo usually depends on his size. If your pet is allowed in the cabin, he is considered a “carry on.” Some airlines limit the number of pets allowed on each flight to two. Make sure you know the pet policies and call before your flight to let them know you are traveling with your pet. Some airlines will not allow snub-nosed breeds to travel in the cargo hold including bulldogs, pugs and brachycephalic. The reason is as it poses a high health risk and can affect their respiratory system. Don’t give your pet solid food for six hours prior to your flight. However, giving him a moderate amount of water and a walking him before and after are advised.
Traveling Tips in Preparing
Visit your veterinarian. If your dog gets skittish in a car or you think he will be uneasy in a plane, ask your veterinarian if your pet can take a light calming medication. Most important, make sure your pet’s shots are up to date. Airlines require the certificate to have been issued no less than 10 days prior to departure. Some hotels require you have your records upon check in. Plus, often pet travelers have places in mind to visit that don’t accept pets, such as museums, find dining restaurants and theaters. You may want to find a nearby kennel or doggie daycare and you will need vaccination records for these facilities as well. Pet Hotels of America has many listings of kennels and doggie daycares in every U.S. city. Type in your destination into the search box on the homepage “Plan a Pet Friendly Trip.” Here you can find all the kennels, pet sitters and doggie daycares at your destination. Call them ahead and ask questions so you feel comfortable leaving your pet with them. If they don’t give you the answers you want to hear, move on to the next. There are plenty in each city.
2. Where to Go, Eat, Play
Type into the Pet Hotels of America “Plan a Pet Friendly Trip” and find all the pet friendly beaches, on- and off-leash parks, events, activities, tours, expos, interesting sights, shops, veterinarians, kennels, doggie daycares and more at your destination. It’s worth taking a few moments to plan prior to your vacation rather than spending precioius time doing this when you could be having fun.
3. Traveling Tips about Emergency Information
Make sure your pet’s tags have current information including your cell phone number.
Take several photos of your pet. Carry them with you should you and your pet get separated. Write the following on the back of each of the photos:
Your name and cell phone number
- Pet’s name
- Coat type
- Characteristic markings
- Veterinarian’s name and phone number
- Pet’s microchip number
4. Traveling Tips on What to Pack
Your pet’s photos
Harness – These are easier on a pet’s neck for long walks
Portable water/food bowls
Portable water/food container
Portable pet bed or mat. This is easier if traveling by car. However, most three-star and up hotels provide beds and food/water bowls.
Pets vaccination records where you can find them easily.
Backpack just for your pet’s items.
Baggies with pet food that your pet is familiar with until he gets acclimated to new food. Introduce him to new food gradually if the stores at your destination don’t carry your brand.
Toy and familiar blanket – familiar objects will calm your pet when traveling to unknown places.
Car restraint – this will be necessary for any type of car travel
Airline approved carrier – Each airlines that travels to and within the U.S. has its own set of acceptable carrier sizes. Nearly all require the pet is placed under the seat in front of you.
Stroller: Many dogs are small enough where you can put them in strollers when you want to do some extensive sightseeing.
Bicycle dog carrier – If you plan on doing any bicycling, there are carriers that attach to the handlebars of bikes.
Clothing and protective gear – If you are traveling to a place where there are extreme temperatures, make sure your pet has protective clothing. Traveling Pet Supplies has a large selection.
Walking shoes – These are good for areas where the surface has extreme temperatures such as in the snow or where the pavement is hot.
Sunglasses – There are sunglasses for dogs now with 100% UV protection. If your trip is a place that has intense sunlight, you may want to invest in a pair. They are only about $15 and will protect your pet’s eyes.
Under body protective clothing – especially good if you are doing any hiking
Thunder jacket – this is good to calm your pet if you are traveling to a place that has a lot of thunder and lightening
Body and paw wipes – John Paul Pet wipes are great for traveling. Again, visit Traveling Pet Supplies for the lowest prices on these types of product.
Waste bags – Typically airports and hotels have areas where you can take your dog. Make sure to be prepared.
Small flashlight – For those midnight wake-up calls
5. Traveling Tips Summary of Things to Do Prior to Leaving
Flight reservations – Visit this page to see current pet policies of all airlines flying to and within the U.S.
Lodging reservations – look for the sales
Put your confirmation numbers in your suitcase so you can’t possibly forget them
Visit Pet Hotels of America’s city page for your destination to find pet friendly restaurants, parks, activities and more. Basically everything from where to stay to where to play.
Visit your veterinarian and place vaccination records in your purse or other carry on.
Print your pet’s photos and make your notes on them – put them in a place that will be easily accessable when traveling
Clip your pet’s nails
Make sure your pet’s anti-flee medication is up to date
For overseas travel (including Hawaii) inquire about any special health requirements such as quarantine.
Please Contact Us if you have any tips of your own you would like to share. We are a community of pet lovers that love to travel so all suggestions are welcome.