Family travel with pets can be a wonderful, memorable experience. However, it can also be challenging if you’re unprepared.
The key is to prepare yourself for a successful trip by planning ahead. That means getting your pet accustomed to its carrier well before departure day and packing everything you need, including food, litter, waste disposal bags, toys, leashes, and medications.
Pack Your Bags
If you’re flying, make sure to check the airline’s pet travel regulations, and be ready for your pup to be separated from you at some point during the flight. It’s also important to bring a crate that fits their specific needs, as well as an ID tag and microchip. Lastly, pack a few of their favorite toys, food and water, a leash, waste bags, and treats to help them get comfortable in the new environment.
Whether you’re traveling by plane or car, be prepared for your dog to need frequent potty breaks and opportunities to run around. It’s a good idea to find out where dog-friendly rest stops are along your route and be sure to bring poop bags to clean up after them at each one. It’s also a good idea to bring a water bottle for yourself and your dog so that you can share and reduce your environmental impact.
If your dog is flying cargo, remember to arrive at the airport extra early on travel day. Most airlines specify maximum sizes and weights for dogs and carriers, so be sure to measure in advance and verify with your airline. Also, be sure to pack a blanket or towel that smells like home to help your dog feel more relaxed and at ease. Lastly, a car seat cover can help keep fur, drool, and potty accidents from putting a dent in your backseat.
Pack Their Favorite Toys
With more people taking their pets on vacation, finding pet-friendly accommodations has become a crucial aspect of planning any family getaway. While a few years ago, many hotels and resorts would only offer basic amenities for furry guests like bowls and beds, now they are going above and beyond with innovative pampered pooch perks that allow pups to experience their destination with comfort and joy.
Whether you are flying or driving, be sure to research airline and train policies regarding your pet. Some may have restrictions or fees, especially if your pet is crated for travel. Likewise, it is important to follow CDC guidelines for public safety and distancing while on the go.
Aside from making sure your pet has a safe place to stay, you will need to pack plenty of food and water for both yourself and your pet. Keep your dog on their regular feeding schedule, even if it means eating during rest stops, and be prepared to clean up after them on the road. And don’t forget a supply of their favorite toys to keep them entertained and calm during the ride.
Besides the comfort of having your beloved pet with you, pets provide multiple health and social benefits for their owners. For instance, dogs encourage their humans to get outdoors for daily walks and boost physical activity. In addition, they can help to reduce feelings of loneliness and depression.
Find Pet-Friendly Accommodations
Pets are a lot like family to many people, and they make for great travel companions. They’re a good distraction during car trips and airplane rides, and they can help alleviate anxiety for children. Many hotels now offer dog- and cat-friendly rooms, and the popularity of traveling with pets is boosting hotel bookings for animal lovers across America.
However, when choosing a hotel to stay in with your furry friends, it’s important to read its pet policies carefully. Some hotels have size or breed restrictions, while others may require advance approval. If you’re unsure of the policy at a given hotel, call ahead to learn more.
Certain hotels go above and beyond to make your pets feel right at home. They may provide perks like gourmet room service menus for cats and dogs or even a map of a dog-walking route in the area. These hotels have become trailblazers for pet-friendly luxury travel, and it’s worth considering them if you plan on taking your furry loved ones with you.
Some of the most common requirements for hotels that allow pets include a pet bed and an appropriate carrier, along with a leash and a bowl for water and food. Keeping the most important items in mind can ensure that you’ll have everything you need for a stress-free, successful trip with your furry friends.
Navigate Family Travel With Pets Effortlessly
Despite some bad publicity, traveling with pets is more common than ever. And with the right planning, it can be safe and hassle-free for everyone involved.
Whether you’re flying or driving, prepare your pet for the journey ahead of time by starting with short trips around town and building up to longer excursions. Make sure their carrier is comfortable, and bring along non-squeaking toys and treats so they won’t disturb fellow passengers. Also, book a direct flight (unless your destination requires you to connect through another hub) to reduce stress on both you and your pet.
For long road trips, make a habit of stopping often to give your pet the chance to get out and stretch their legs. Remember to keep them on a leash at all times, and bring collapsible water bowls, waste bags, a safety harness, and a dog bed or crate for their comfort and security. It’s a good idea to carry a first aid kit, too.
Finally, stay on your pet’s regular feeding schedule to avoid tummy issues on the road. Try to limit adventurous eating, too; changes in diet can cause discomfort just as they do in humans. Also, bring a small supply of your pet’s favorite food and bottled water for hydration. Then enjoy your vacation with a happy, well-traveled family—pets included.