How to Travel With Your Pet

Preparation is key when traveling with your furry companions.

Pet travel is becoming easier and more accepted than ever. Plus, there are a ton of great benefits to it. Traveling with your pet can boost your mood, save you money on hiring someone to watch them while you’re gone and improve your pet’s social skills. See these tips on how to travel with your pet to get started.

Know your pet’s limitations

petsWhile many pets love to travel and can adjust easily, it’s not for everyone. It’s important to understand your pet’s physical and behavioral limitations before traveling with them. For pets that need medication, make sure you have as much as you need to get you through the trip.

If you are unsure or have concerns about your pet’s ability to travel, check with your vet first to get confirmation. They may be able to provide additional resources to decrease stress and motion sickness as well.

Always be prepared for an unexpected pet travel emergency. Check with the American Animal Hospital Association for the name and number of a local veterinarian and animal hospital when traveling within the U.S. if you run into an emergency.

Try it out first

If your pet has never traveled with you before, you may want to start them off with short, low-stress trips before taking them on a plane or extended getaway. Try taking your four-legged friends for a long drive or a weekend getaway to see how they do. If your pet gets car sick, it’s better to find out before starting that cross-country adventure.

Tips for first-time pet travelers on the road:

    • Make sure your pet wears a collar with your current contact information on the tags. A microchip is even better!
    • Take a collapsible food and water dish.
    • Bring their favorite treats and toys to help calm their nerves and keep them occupied.
    • Use a pet seatbelt or crate. Some states have laws requiring animals to be restrained in cars and it is illegal for them to sit on the driver’s lap.
    • Stop for regular bathroom breaks to avoid accidents.

If you’re looking for some road trip inspiration to get you started, check out our road trip page here!

Bring the right documentation

International pet travel usually requires special documentation for entry and each country is different. Some may require quarantine. For air travel, all U.S. airlines require a domestic health certificate. Always check with your airline to determine its health documentation requirements.

Make sure your stay is pet-friendly

Woman working from home with her dogMany major hotel chains and bed-and-breakfasts are pet-friendly—including all Drury Inns and Suites, Loews Hotels & Resorts and most La Quinta Hotels. Check the AAA Pet Travel page for a more complete listing.

While it’s best to stay with your pet as often as possible while traveling, if you do have to leave your pet alone in a hotel room, put up the “Do Not Disturb” sign to avoid frightening them with loud noises and unexpected guests.

While traveling with your pet does require a lot of planning and consideration, it is well worth the shared experiences and memories you will cherish. For more advice on pet travel, go to AAA Pet Travel – Traveling with Your Pet.

Ready to book your trip with your furry friend? Head to our travel page today to get started!

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