Looking to take an end-of-summer vacation soon but can't fathom the idea of leaving your beloved pet behind? Don't worry - we got you covered! Traveling with pets may seem like it can't be done but we are here to tell you that with proper planning, helpful tips & tricks, and lots of preparation, you can bring your furry family members along for the adventure no matter what they may look like.
Sometimes "getting away" does not require traveling far. There are plenty of pet-friendly hotel options right in your vicinity. One of our favorite tools for traveling with pets is BringFido.com you can find local pet-friendly restaurants, shopping, hotels, and fun experiences that are all dog-friendly. You can even read reviews from other pet owners who have traveled with their pups and learn some insider experience before booking your final destination!
If you are opting for a full home rather than a hotel, we totally understand. Sometimes you just want your own privacy and ample space to play with your kiddos and furry friends! If this sounds like you, then we recommend checking out AirBnB for pet-friendly spaces available all across the country.
The Top Pet-Friendly Destinations
- San Diego, California
- Flagstaff, Arizona
- Bar Harbor, Maine
- Scottsdale, Arizona
- Palm Springs, California
- Austin, Texas
- Wilmington, North Carolina
- Key West, Florida
- Huntington Beach, California
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Seattle, Washington
- Portland, Oregon
- Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Charlottesville, Virginia
- Washington D.C.
Whether you are driving to your final destination or simply bringing the dog on a camping trip this Summer, here's what to pack to ensure a pleasant experience and ensure you have all that your pet will need while you're away.
- Pack the Snacks - Include a variety of their favorite treats, bones, biscuits, and chews to keep them entertained (and satisfied) on long drives, or if you have to leave them alone for an hour while you go grab dinner.
- Food & Water Supply - Have more than enough pet food on hand in case you end up staying longer than you originally anticipated. If you'll be gone for 4 days, be sure to pack 7 days worth of food just in case. Also, bring along their food & water bowls.
- Cozy Blanket - Keep them comfortable and cozy...Dogs like to sleep in on vacation, too.
- Favorite Toy(s) - They will want to play and it could happen anywhere, anytime.
- ID Tags - This one is an obvious one, but be sure that their ID tags are up to date especially during travel.
- Important Paperwork - Vaccination Records & Proof of Ownership is always a good idea to bring along copies of and have them laminated to avoid them getting wet or ruined. You never know who will need to see them should problems arise...and it's always better to be prepared.
- Pet Medication - Does your pet require special medication? Pack a supply along with written instructions.
- Leash & Poop Bags - C'mon - Everyone expects common decency everywhere you travel!
IMPORTANT INFO FOR AIR TRAVEL
Research Airline and Airport Security Policies
TSA controls who and what gets to the gate, but your individual airline ultimately determines if your pet flies. While United allows online in-cabin pet bookings, Delta requires calling. A few other airlines (US Airways, Southwest) do not carry “checked” pets -- an important point to know before you buy a ticket. Check with your airline directly -- policies differ on weight, season, breeds and more. In-cabin crates can be hard or soft-sided but should still be durable, fit beneath the seat in front of you, and allow aeration and ability for your pet to stand and turn comfortably. For “checked” transport (pet stowed on your own plane) or cargo (sent separately), again, consult your airline and use carriers that meet International Air Transport Association (IATA) guidelines -- for example, size, labeling and staff access. Also, ask if your airline requires a vet certificate; you may need clearance within (usually) 10 days of travel so you and all pets and passengers are safe from illness. (Info courtesy of the Travel Channel)
Prepare for the Price of Pet Travel
If you've never flown with a pet before, keep in mind that you may be paying more for your pet than you would just for yourself. Do your research, as different airlines have various pricing. Also, keep in mind in-cabin pets are your one “carry-on” luggage item. So budget for checking or shipping your other bags ahead of time.
Book in Advance
Always prepare and be sure to book ahead of time. Experts recommend doing so 4-6 weeks before you travel if possible with pets.
Don’t Run Your Pooch Through the X-Ray!
Surprisingly so, people often leave their pets in carriers during x-ray screenings. Remove your pet first, then send the empty crate through. Walk or carry your pet through the metal detector with you, including collar and leash (you may be subject to additional screening).
Make sure to carry extra dry dog food, a collapsible/reusable water bowl, and an extra leash. It's important to keep your pet comfortable during air travel, so it is a good idea to also bring along their favorite blanket and favorite toy. Include important documents, paperwork, and any medicine that is needed.