Planning Your Vacation Series: Traveling With Your Pet

In recent years, the number of pet owners traveling with their pets has dramatically increased. Many airlines now allow pets to travel in the cabin and cargo areas, and plenty of hotels are stepping up their services and offering pet friendly packages. That being said, traveling with pets can be complicated. There are many things to consider before jumping on a plane with your pooch or feline friend.

Should I Take My Pet on Vacation With Me?

Some pets simply do not make good travelers. If your pet is highly excitable, nervous, sick, injured, or pregnant, it is probably not a good idea to take them traveling. However, if you have a laid back pet that loves to go on car rides and see new things, they may be fine on the journey. One important thing to factor in is cost.  Airline tickets for animals, additional hotel fees, and unexpected vet bills while away could eat into your budget. Furthermore, there are quite a few hotels, cruise lines, trains, buses, and planes that will not allow pets. Be sure to call around first to make sure that your pet is able to travel with you.

Traveling By Car

Taking a road trip with your pet can be a fun and exciting journey for both of you, provided you take the proper precautions. It is always best to make sure that your pet can handle car trips before you embark on your journey. Take a few trial runs first so that your pet becomes accustomed to being in the car for longer rides. Be sure to bring plenty of food and water, and stop the car often so your pet can take bathroom breaks. If your pet likes to move around a lot, you may want to invest in a doggie seatbelt, car harness, or booster seat with a leash or carrier attachment.

Traveling by Plane

Nowadays, many airlines allow small animals in the passenger cabin if they are in a carrier. Certain airlines will also allow medium and large sized animals to travel in the cargo hold as long as they are in a kennel or crate. Make sure that the carrier or crate is large enough for your pet to move around in freely, well ventilated, and that it has I.D. tags on it with your contact information. Provide your pet with food and water in the kennel or crate. After the flight, check your animal for injuries and take them to a vet right away if you suspect that they are hurt or ill. Finally, do not just assume that every airline will allow pets on board. Call first to confirm what the airline requirements are.

International Travel

Each country has different rules and regulations for bringing in animals from abroad. Some require an official health certificate from a veterinarian, while others may insist on proof of vaccinations. Some countries may even have a mandatory quarantine for all pets regardless of their health status. Look into government customs laws before traveling to a foreign country with your pet.

Being well prepared is the key to having a safe and happy journey with your pet. As long as you do your research and plan ahead, there is no reason you cannot have an enjoyable and memorable holiday with your furry friend.


Helen Billet is a freelance writer based in MA. She shares her home with 2 dogs, 4 cats and a handful of fish. And oh yes, her husband and 3 kids too.

2 Responses to “Planning Your Vacation Series: Traveling With Your Pet”

  1. Billy
    April 30, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    I tried to travel with my dog once, and I swore never again. Just way to much work. I could not relax. The only way that I would do it is if we were going to rent a house. Even then I am not sure.

  2. August 8, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    I don’t have any pets anymore. My siterss, brother and I used to have cats and dogs when we lived in small rural places so they could be outside since I’m allergic. I tried to have fish once but I didn’t do a very good job of keeping them alive. What’s your cat’s name? Why would you describe him as weird? Ms. SimonsenYorkton, SKCanada

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