Traveling with Your Number One Sidekick
Making the decision to travel with pets is often very difficult and can come with many questions. If you have a service animal, more often than not, traveling with them is absolutely necessary and is generally always permitted as long as the proper documentation is on hand.
The Humane Society recommends to avoid traveling with your pets if it’s not necessary, however it is also understandable that there may be no other options available. In this case, we here at TravelPirates can provide you with some quick and dirty advice on hitting the road with your furry companions.
Traveling by Car
Besides not traveling at all, the next best thing for your cuddle buddy would be to travel by car. It’s important to keep your pets crated in the back seat of your vehicle or the cargo area — as long as it is openly connected with the passenger zone — at all times. Make sure to never leave your pet alone in the car as extreme temperatures can quickly inflict a lot of damage to their internal organs or even cause death.
If possible, it would be helpful to bring along a human buddy to share the responsibilities of driving and pet sitting. Also, be sure to take plenty of rest stops for your companions to get fed, watered, stretch their legs, and have a potty break. Whether you’re moving cross country or just want to take your beloved pet across the country, then traveling by car is the safest option.
Travel by Rail or the Ocean Deep
Depending on which type of animal you are taking with you, traveling by train or ship may be the next best option for you and your pet. While each cruise line and railroad company is subject to its own rules and regulations regarding pet transport, service animals are allowed on all train and ship journeys.
If you would like to take your pet on a cruise or a train ride, then we would highly recommend that you get in touch directly with the ocean liner or rail company in order to find out whether Señor Whiskers is approved for travel.
Flying with Fido
While flying by plane is often the quickest way to get to your desired destination, it also, unfortunately, one of the most dangerous options for your favorite fluff ball. Generally speaking, most airlines allow cats and small dogs to accompany you in the cabin for an additional fee, however, this fee is not applicable for guide dogs or service animals. Each individual airline has it’s own particular rules and regulations regarding service animals and regular pet transport via cabin or cargo, so we would highly recommend that you look into these as well as checking the statistics of pet safety and handling programs for each airline before booking a flight.
Once you’ve chosen an airline and booked a flight it is very important to call the airline to register your furry friend. You should also take this opportunity to ask the airline any questions you may have including regulations and requirements for pet carriers, passports (for foreign travel), health records, necessary immunizations, and cargo versus cabin travel. If you are bringing a service animal with you, then this would also be the time to ask what medical records and certifications you will need for the owner and the pet alike.
To Bring or Not to Bring
Traveling with pets is never a particularly easy decision and it’s up to you to judge whether bringing your companion is the best option for the both of you. In any case, rest assured that if you do some research and take the proper precautions, then your buddy should make it from point A to point B happy, healthy, and unscathed.
Have Other Travel Related Questions?
Then be sure to check out our extensive list of travel tips.