Traveling with pets is easier said than done. Knowing all the airline pet policies, finding pet-friendly hotels, and having everything your pet needs on hand can make for a stressful travel experience. So today I share some of the best tips for frequent travel with pets.
Know which pets you can fly with on which airlines
While there are mandates on how and which types of animals can fly, airlines have their own individual policies. United, for example, allows domesticated cats, small dogs, rabbits and birds to travel accompanied in the cabin on most flights within the U.S. Others only allow certain cats and dogs, while still other airlines forbid pet travel in the cabin. Do the research, and make sure to book well ahead of time, even calling the airline to have the latest information on hand to prepare for your trip.
Know the pet laws of new destinations you visit
In addition to knowing airline policies, it’s equally important to know the policies of the destinations you’re visiting, especially if it’s a new country. In some destinations, pets are subject to quarantine, while special permits and documents (beyond just a health certificate) are often required, too. Furthermore, know expectations and etiquette for things like dog parks, walking your dog, cleaning up after your pet, etc.
Stay up-to-date on vaccinations and veterinarian visits
This is perhaps the most important part of frequent travel with pets. If you don’t have the required vaccinations and a health certificate for your pet, then your pet won’t be allowed to travel. The policies on this can vary by airline and destinations, so do the research ahead of time, and do a veterinarian check-up prior to the trip.
Have proper identification and tags for your pet
Having proper identification of your pet is imperative when traveling with them. This includes having info on their tag like their name, a contact phone and home city, which should also be on their carrier or crate. What’s more, many countries are now also requiring microchips implanted to identify your pet.
Keep a pet travel kit on hand
Simply put, it’s a given that travel delays are going to happen when traveling with your pets. As such, have a carry-on bag with the essentials that could last for at least a couple days. Your pet’s travel kit should include things like a leash, traveling bowls, pet waste bags, grooming supplies, medication, first aid kit, food, toys, and treats.
Have a safe, comfortable carrier for your pet
As I mentioned before, some airlines allow pets in cabin, while others require them to be in the cargo hold. This will dictate what type of carrier or crate you’ll want. Have a carrier that falls within the airline’s requirements, while also keeping your animal safe and with enough room to move around comfortably.
Look for the most pet-friendly hotels
While many hotels advertise themselves as “pet-friendly,” there are simply some that are much more pet-friendly than others. Look for hotel brands that cater to and have special perks for pets, like Kimpton, which has a long list of pet perks at many of their hotels. Kimpton’s pet perks include pet beds, courtesy bags, a concierge list of nearby pet-friendly businesses, and no additional deposits and charges for pets.
Earn reward points for your pet
Lastly, earn reward points for your pet like you would for yourself. JetBlue, for example, has a free pet program, JetPaws, which includes a special carrier bag tag and 300 TrueBlue points on each flight segment with your pet. Korean Air recently launched a frequent flier pet reward system, SKYPETS, in which pets receive stamps that can be used to pay for pet fees or to even pay for a flight after a certain number of stamps.
Frequent travel with pets doesn’t have to be hassle. In fact, traveling with your four-legged friend can help take some of the travel-related stress away. Tell us what your best tips are for traveling with pets in the comments below.