Whether you’re cruising with a canine companion or flying with felines, traveling with pets can make any trip more fun. Use these pro tips and helpful links to make planning your pet-friendly getaway a breeze:
1. Choose your destination
Whether you envision exploring a big city or the great outdoors, there are many destinations that encourage you to bring your pet with you. From Portland to Tampa and San Francisco to Atlanta, you’ll find pet-friendly cities across the country. For an outdoorsy getaway, consider taking your cat to a pet-friendly beach or your dog on a hiking adventure. Travel Channel recommends Key West, San Diego, and Austin for pet travel experiences you won’t forget
2. Find the purrfect accommodations
Before you begin your adventure, make sure to find lodging that’s happy to house you and your four-legged friend. Search websites like OfficialPetHotels.com or add a pet-friendly filter to your favorite booking engine to view your options. If you have a large dog, make sure to check the hotel’s policies for weight limit or use this handy search tool—you don’t want Clifford to be left out of the fun. Check for nearby dog parks and walking paths as you choose your home away from home.
3. Pack the essentials
Ensure there’s room in your luggage for everything your pet may need for the trip. In addition to food, bowls, leashes, toys, and carriers, consider splurging on a special item or two to make traveling with pets seamless. Create a checklist of everything you may need like medications, pet passports, and a name tag with up-to-date contact information. Plastic waste bags and a sheet to cover hotel furniture will help you be a courteous guest.
4. Hit the road, Jack
Flying or riding in the car can be stressful for pets, so be sure to prepare them for your adventure as much as possible. Brief visits to the airport or short drives before your trip can help animals become accustomed to the sights and smells they’ll encounter while traveling. For nervous pets, consider a Thundershirt or calming sprays in addition to their favorite blanket—items from home can help them feel relaxed. Read detailed travel resources for planes, cars, and other modes of transportation before you go.
5. Things to do: the pet-friendly edition
Bringing your pet along for the ride is great, and it’s about to get better. From restaurants that cater to canines to attractions that encourage pet participation, you’ll discover activities that you’ll both love. Many state parks and tours are fun for families with fluffy members to explore. There’s nothing like fresh air and stretching your legs to make your tail wag! Search for nearby attractions, and don’t forget to include plenty of time in your itinerary to relax and re-hydrate. Traveling with pets requires extra down-time, but that just means more time to snuggle!
6. Photos with Fido
No matter what you decide to do during your pet-friendly trip, photo opportunities will be plentiful. Take a variety of shots that showcase your pet’s personality and highlight how they perceive their new surroundings. Check out our tips to improve your travel photos and must-download photo-editing apps before your photo shoot for the best results. Make sure to snap some pictures near the iconic locations your vacation destination is known for. If you tag the visitors bureau—your pet could become Insta-famous!
The memories made while traveling are even more heartwarming when your favorite furballs are included. Our most important tip? While traveling, take a moment each day to appreciate your pet, your trip, and the time you get to spend together.