Traveling is always more fun when you get to share it with someone. It’s an opportunity to make memories together, get to know each other more, and overall have a more enjoyable time. While some people bring their partner along and others their best friend, there are those who prefer to bring along their pet (which yes, is technically also a best friend).
Maybe you prefer to bring them along for your peace of mind. It’s better than leaving them at a pet kennel while you’re away right? Whatever your reason, modern travel does accommodate pets, but you need to be organized and prepare well.
Know the rules
The biggest hurdle of getting your pet to travel with you is all of the regulations regarding both flying with them and the destination which you are traveling to. Knowing and preparing for these regulations takes a lot of research, so if you can, it’s best to involve a travel agent. For example, some countries require that your pet is vaccinated several months before your arrival and that they have passed all of the relevant medical tests just one or two days before you leave.
Some airline companies allow pets to travel in the cabin if their container is small enough to fit at your feet without interfering with other passengers. Other airlines don’t allow them in the cabin at all. Check the rules of the airline you are traveling on so that you can prepare adequately.
Get them prepared
Traveling can be quite a stressful experience for a pet. The more they become used to it, the less stressful it becomes for them. Start by getting them well acquainted with their carrier. Leave it lying around the house, put some treats in it, and let them sleep in it. Start this months before you even travel. That way, when they get in their carrier to go, it is nothing out of the ordinary for them.
Before you leave, make sure they are equipped with a microchip or name tag with your contact details on and that you are aware of the nearest vet to the place where you are staying.
Feed them the night before traveling, not on the morning and let them sort out their business one last time before you leave your home. Some airports have pet relief areas, so if you can get them to go there, that will also help.
Just before and on the flight
Many pets require some form of anxiety-relieving medications or homeopathic treatments. Check the instructions to see exactly when these should be given before the flight so that they have maximum effect.
If your pet is to be placed in the cargo hold, you can monitor them with an app and some fancy devices if you’re that way inclined, or you can ask the flight attendant just to check up on them (usually through cameras and a temperature monitor).
At the hotel
Again, it is very important to understand the rules of the hotel you are staying at. Some require that you don’t leave your pet unattended at any time, so be prepared to spend all day with them. Otherwise, be sure to check if the hotel offers a pet sitting service – they can come in real handy.