For dedicated pet owners, travel can be tough. It’s certainly normal to feel a degree of guilt for leaving your fuzzy pal behind, let alone stress over the logistics of finding a sitter or caretaker willing and able to keep them safe, healthy, and happy. These elements combined may even deter pet owners from travelling altogether! All this time, a better alternative goes relatively undiscussed: pet-friendly travel is possible! Here are our tips to help relieve any anxiety about travelling with your 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. As with any trip in the planning phase, it’s crucial to evaluate each potential destination by how suitable it is to your travel needs and limitations based on budget, time and logistics. 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 your pet on board, and under what conditions.
Look into accommodations
If there’s one thing every traveller knows, it’s that you should always try to know everything in advance, and that definitely goes for your hotel when travelling with a furry (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 temporary home while in a foreign country, just because of some unclear communication.
Thinking of loading up on pet food, medicine, toys, and other paraphernalia? Unless you have the means to pay baggage surcharges, think again. Any pet accessory or product which is single-use, cheap, or non-essential should be left behind. Travellers should verify the accessibility of pet stores at the destination so that such products can be acquired if the need should arise. We recommend packing enough food for a day or two in a spill-proof container or sealed bag. Additional food can be purchased locally along with any other essentials.
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 you should always make the effort to keep them happy and comfortable, whether it’s by packing their favourite cozy blanket or bringing along a snack-sized treat.
Our pets really can feel like family members, and integrating them into travel may seem silly to some but it can make for some of the most unique and precious memories!