Traveling can be an incredibly rewarding, memorable bonding experience. Because of this, it is no surprise that many of us want to bring our furry friends on our trips and adventures. If you’re considering an upcoming trip with your pet, here are 10 tips to make the trip go as smoothly as possible.
1. Plan Ahead
While winging it may be lots of fun, when travelling with pets planning ahead can decrease stress for both you and your furry friends. Many popular stops, such as National Parks or shopping centres, may not welcome pets in some areas. And if you’re travelling by plane, long layovers may be unideal for pets. Planning ahead will allow you to figure out any applicable pet policies, as well as have a smoothly running schedule.
2. Find Pet-Friendly Lodging
Finding pet-friendly lodging is another factor you’ll want to take into consideration if travelling by plane or car. While finding a hotel last minute on a road trip is a possibility, pet-friendly lodging may be limited in some more remote areas. Using sites such as Petswelcome.com can allow you to locate places you and your pet will be welcome ahead of time.
3. Look Into Day-time Pet Sitters If Needed
If you’re planning a trip to locations where pets are not allowed, such as various National Parks, or you’re looking to add activities to your trip that your pet can’t tag along on, you’ll want to look into pet sitting options at your stop. Many larger cities will have various doggy daycare services that you could drop your pet off at for the day. In smaller towns, consider checking out sites such as Rover to find pet sitters in the area.
4. Consider Your Pet’s Personality
Every pet is unique, and travelling with some pets may be easier than others. It’s important for your pet’s sake to be honest with yourself about what situations they do well in. If your dog is shy or easily stressed around other dogs, for example, group doggy daycare stays while you explore the area may be unideal. Or, if you have a dog that loves swimming, a river trip may be a great experience for both of you – but not so much for a cat that hates water. Planning around your pet’s personality will create a better trip for both of you.
5. Schedule Extra Time
Travelling with a pet can include extra paperwork, restroom stops, or time for exercise. Because of this, it’s not a bad idea to schedule a little extra time into your itinerary to make sure everything goes smoothly. This will allow for a stress-free traveling experience should anything unexpected arise, and make for an all-around fun experience for you and your pet.
4. Don’t Forget Supplies
It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it! When planning a trip with your pet, make sure you bring any needed supplies, such as an easily portable water bowl, your pet’s favourite toys, or a travel crate. It’s also a good idea to make sure items that you’ll need throughout the trip are packed in an easily accessible location.
5. Be Willing To Compromise
Travelling with pets might end up including some compromise, and this is a possibility it will help to be comfortable with beforehand. Your favourite hotel may not allow dogs, for example. Or a gorgeous hiking trail might be closed to pets. Travelling with your furry best friend can be a wonderful experience, but you will also need to be sensitive to their needs and capabilities.
6. Paperwork May Be Needed
If you’re traveling within one country or traveling by car, you may not need to have any paperwork to travel with your furry friend. If you’re planning on crossing country borders or traveling by plane, however, there will likely be some paperwork you will need to fill out. Planning ahead to make sure you have everything needed ready ahead of time will make the actual trip go smoothly.
7. Keep Pets Hydrated
Whether you’re road-tripping or flying, make sure to keep your pets properly hydrated! Long road trips may not provide much time for pets to stop for a drink of water. Because of this, you’ll want to bring a travel bowl and plenty of water to make sure they remain hydrated regardless.
8. Give Pets Their Space
This one’s especially applicable to road trips – the trip will likely go much smoother if both the people and the pets in the car have some comfortable space. This might mean making sure your pet has their own seat or a travel crate they can stay in, depending on their size. It also may mean packing fewer items, in order to assure everyone is the most comfortable and least stressed.
9. Make Your Pet Easier to ID
Most likely, traveling with your pet will go off without a hitch. On the off chance your pet is to get separated from you, some pre-planning assure a quick reunion. Make sure there’s some way your pet can be easily identified and returned to you – collar, microchip, etc. Additionally, check that any listed contact information is up to date.
10. Have Fun
There are some extra factors you’ll have to take into consideration when traveling with a pet. However, more than likely, you and your furry best friend will have a fun and memorable trip! By planning ahead for some details, such as lodging and paperwork, you can also make sure that the whole experience goes smoothly and stress-free.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories