Written by Melissa “Mia” Metzger
Your pets are part of your family, so they should be in on the family vacations! My pup, Prim, and cat, Katniss, have joined me on several adventures. Here are some lessons learned while traveling with my furry companions:
1. Test Drive
Going on a road trip? Plan ahead and see how well your animal will take to your vehicle. I used to take my cat and dog on trips around the city to see how they handled the drive. Short rides anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour can be incredibly helpful!
2. Plan Out Bathroom Breaks
No one wants to be in a car or kennel for 15 hours without a break. Plan your time to budget in enough stops for you and your animal to either relieve themselves or just to get some exercise and stretch their legs.
3. Double Check Pet-Friendliness
Make sure you check with your hotel that they will accept your pets. Pet-friendliness isn’t universal by brand either. Just because one hotel is pet-friendly, doesn’t mean the next one within the chain will be too. Always confirm!
4. Do Your Research
Look into fun activities your pets can enjoy with you. I always look for pet friendly beaches, restaurants, and parks. BringFido.com is a wonderful place to start.
5. Pack Savvy
Some great items I find helpful to have on hand when with my pets:
- Travel Bowls: I recommend collapsible ones like these.
- A seatbelt/harness like this one if you don’t put them in a kennel or have them gated off in the back can help keep your dog safe. This pet hammock can also be a great addition to your trip!
- An exercise pen or animal play pen. This will help them stretch their legs with a little fresh air either at pit stops or outside your hotel.
- Lots of treats! Treat pouches are super convenient if you are looking forward to plenty of park time and hikes.
- Going in the water? I recommend a life jacket.
- An extra towel or two to use solely on your pet.
- A first-aid kit just in case.
- Lavender essential oils can help in calming them down if they get overwhelmed at any point in route!
- Interactive toys like Kongs to keep them entertained on a long trip.
- Plenty of animal waste bags. You definitely don’t want to run out of those!
Where is your favorite place to explore with your pets? What have you found helpful when traveling with your four-legged friends?