Summer Time Travel with Pets
Pets normally tag along on a vacation in one of two ways, road trip, or airline.
If your cat, dog, rabbit or household bird (loud squawkers are excluded) and its approved carrier weigh 20 lbs. or less, they are welcome in the cabin with you on most airlines. Additional charges usually apply and vary between airlines.
Always check with your Airline of choice first to guarantee your pet is welcome!
It's important to keep in mind the emotional stress on your pet though. You will be exposing them to noises, smells, and movements that they will not understand. Bring treats and toys to keep them comfortable!
If your pet is too large for the cabin rules, they will be traveling in cargo.
It's important to check out the airline you choose for their specific safety record, policies, conditions (temperature control is imperative) and breed or species restrictions. These factors can vary between airlines. If you have a travel agent, ask them, they are usually well prepared to help!
Many people consider sedatives. This is something you should discuss with your Veterinarian and if agreed, get a prescription. Using your human sedatives for your pet is a very bad idea!
Certainly Service Dogs are welcome in the cabin of most airlines!
Some allow Emotional Support Animals (ESA) that can be verified in advance as well but check restrictions first.
Or, consider a pet-friendly road trip!
We emphasize, pet friendly!
Pet-friendly starts with a proper crate that can be anchored with a seatbelt or other secure means. Belts and harnesses for your pet do little to protect them in a crash, and letting them roam freely in the car is just a bad idea!
The glasses are cute, but having a dog or cat looking out the window is exposing them to a risk of injury from debris. Cold air forced into their lungs can make them sick.
Keep exposure to heat in mind at all times when you are traveling with a pet. A 75-degree car can reach up to 116 degrees within an hour.
Don't leave your pet alone in the car!
Once you've provided for their safety, make sure they are comfortable as well! Bring along plenty of food, water, and snacks. Take plenty of rest stops to allow for a little exercise and elimination. You'll feel better as well!
Make sure to know your pet's welcome at any overnight stops along the way and at your final destination. It's important to have both host and guest expectations clearly discussed before arrival.
Whether it's paid lodging or a stay at relative's home, it's good to know your pet will not be rejected or resented at any stop.
You might be wondering about Cruises, or Railway or maybe a Bus Tour?
There are a number of local events for these three modes of transportation, the cross country or ocean options are either non-existent (as in cruises other than transatlantic on the Queen Mary 2) or heavily restricted.
Amtrak is on the right track with recent opening up of their policies, but it's the same restrictions as Airline cabins and there are other restrictions you should read about here before you book.
Most Bus lines are not Pet-Friendly, but again local tours are the exception, just make sure to ask first!