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Traveling with Pets: Three Steps To Make It Easy

Traveling with pets can be much like traveling with a child. They are completely dependent on us to take care of them. But after the first time, it gets much easier. For those venturing out for the first time traveling with pets, here are some tips to make it as easy as possible. With a little planning and preparedness, taking your dogs and cats along for a trip can make for the most memorable vacations!

Traveling with Pets Requires a New Way of Planning

When traveling with pets, you need to take into consideration how adaptable and pet friendly  your world will be when you get there. You will want to know what kind of activities you can participate in when you have a pet in tow. Are there pet friendly places to shop, eat, play with your pet? These are questions that you can find if you input any destination you are considering and find everything you need in our Travel Guide for every U.S. city. When you do this, you will be presented with everything that particular city or town has to offer that’s pet friendly. Use this to help you decide where to go. You can discover the area’s pet friendly hotels, on- and off-leash dog parks, interesting places to visit, restaurants, beaches and much more. View our Travel Guide for Orlando, FL to see all you can find.

How are you Getting to Your Destination?

Driving is an easy way to get to your destination if it’s close. For those traveling with pets for the first time, you may want to take a weekend excursion down the coast, into the desert or up to the mountains to see how your furry friend copes. You may want to use some of the same tactics you would when flying if you eventually plan to get your pet on a plane. Use an enclosed crate for part of the time just so your pet gets familiar with being in a crate if he or she isn’t otherwise. Bring along items from home that are familiar to your pet. Don’t feed your animal a full meal before you drive. Instead, stop every few hours for food and water, and let your pooch or kitty stretch his legs and get some fresh air. Keeping the food portions small should help prevent motion sickness. If you want to be really safe, ask your vet for some calming type of medication.

Here is a good article to read about the pet friendly motels because if you are driving, you way want to stop for a one-night stay.  Always, whether driving or flying, make sure your pet has an ID, that you have several photos of your pet and that you have plenty of water on hand. It’s always good to visit your veterinarian before leaving just to make sure you pet is well enough for travel. Remember, Vacation Pet Friendly has listings for veterinarians in very U.S. city. You will find veterinarians and pet hospitals just about everywhere you go so you have peace of mind.

Flying with pets is a little more tricky. You should visit our Airlines page if you are considering flying, as each airline has it own set of regulations and restrictions. Whether your pet is allowed to fly in the cabin typically depends on his size. In this case, you will need to review that airline’s acceptable size for you carrier. We always suggest calling the airlines and making sure they know you will be traveling with pets twice: when making a reservation and the day before your flight. Some airlines limit the number of pets they allow in the cabin regardless of size. Many require your reservations be made at least 24 hours in advance. While you may never have thought of your pet as a carry on item, the airlines do…at least those animals that fly in the cabin.

Larger animals will be flown in cargo. The airlines are pretty good about making sure the temperatures are alright for your pet to travel, taking into consideration layovers, which if possible, we suggest reserving a direct flight. Whether you pet is large or small, it’s important to make her feel comfortable and at ease. Line your animal’s crate with old towels, sheets and blankets. The mustier they are, the better; this smell is the scent of home, and may help calm and comfort your pet while in transit. Bring toys, a large enough supply of food, and a well-played dvd or two to play in the background when possible: all of these elements are comforting to your pet.

Woman is traveling with her pet in Washington DC

You’ve Reached Your Destination!

Congratulations! You’ve reached your destination. Try to keep your normal schedule of activities, such as feeding times, walks, brushings, or play. Remember, the most important thing in the world to your pets is you: traveling with pets is much easier if you think of them like infants: they need a solid presence to comfort them. As long as you give them plenty of attention and have fun with them, traveling with pets often make for the best vacations! There are so many places that are open for pets to visit. Keep in mind that Vacation Pet Friendly has listings of kennels and doggie daycares in every U.S. city, as there may be times when you need to go it alone.

For more tips or to start planning your trip, see the rest of our site. We have listings by city and state of pet friendly hotels, campgrounds, RV parks, places of interest, activities, parks, beaches, tours, kennels and much more. Check in to stay up to date on pet travel policies, and be prepared for your next vacation. One more tip: plan early!

We wish you a wonderful vacation.

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