For dedicated pet owners, travel can be tough and especially stressful dealing with the logistics of finding a sitter or caretaker willing and able to keep them safe, healthy, and happy.
Here are some tips, courtesy of Flighthub and Justfly, which should assuage any pet owner anxieties about travelling with animals for good.
- Think about pre-trip conditions: Not every trip can allow for a pet in tow. Sometimes the issue is the destination, other times the style of trip isn’t suitable. In reality, the traveller’s pet is often the limiting factor. As with any trip in the planning phase, it’s crucial to judge each potential destination by their compatibility with one’s goals, whether budgetary, logistical, or, well, pet-related. Some countries enforce quarantine periods and invasive testing, and as such may make for inconvenient destinations. Travellers should make sure to verify what vaccines, checkups, and health documents are required for the given destination as well. If travelling by plane, it will be important to ask whether the airline will allow one’s pet onboard, and under what conditions.
- Look into accommodations: If there’s one thing every traveller knows, it’s that one should always try to know everything in advance, and that definitely goes for one’s hotel when travelling with a fuzzy (or scaly, no judgement here) friend. Many hotels will prominently state whether they accept pets or not. If there is ever any ambiguity on the subject, it is very important to ask, and ask again, and confirm again after that. No one wants to end up kicked out of their digs in a foreign country, just because of some unclear communication about the presence of a beagle.
- Don’t over-pack: Thinking of loading up on pet food, medicine, toys, and other paraphernalia? Unless one thinks favorably of baggage surcharges, think again. Any pet accessory or product which is single-use, cheap, or non-essential should be left behind. The traveller should verify the accessibility of pet stores at the destination, so that such products could be acquired, if the need should arise. This includes food; enough food should be brought for a day or two at the most, and the rest purchased at the destination.
- Think about it from the pet’s perspective: People tend to forget that their pet is a participant in the trip! Whether it’s planning hikes for an active dog, or getting a climate-controlled hotel for a cat with thick fur, never forget that they have no real choice in tagging along, and therefore one should always make the effort to keep them happy and comfortable, even if it just means putting a favorite toy in their carrier.