Popular attitudes toward pet travel are changing quickly! Whereas once it was rare to find hotels, airlines, and vacation rentals willing to accommodate four-legged family members, now policies are changing and pets are more welcome than ever before. So plan on taking your dog or cat along with you on your next vacation -- all it takes is a little extra planning to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Not all hotel chains allow pets, so call ahead to find out your preferred hotel's policies. In some cases, pets may be allowed for an extra fee. Some hotels also charge a deposit, which is refunded after the room is inspected for damage. Be prepared to allow a little extra time for your journey in this case.
Similarly, not all airlines accommodate pets well. If yours is a cat or very small dog, chances are excellent that your pet can ride in the cabin in a small carrier approved by the airline. This carrying case must fit under the seat or under the feet without disturbing other passengers in the row. If the pet can stand up and turn around in the small carrier, the airline shouldn't have an issue with the pet riding in the cabin. However, if your pet must travel in the cargo area of the plane, you should do serious research before selecting an airline. Join a pet travel forum, use Pet Airways, or find an airline that takes the responsibility of flying pets very seriously.
Pet friendly vacation rentals are also far more plentiful and easier to locate than ever before. Many vacation rental companies and private owners realize that families who want to relax in a home away from home want to enjoy quality time with every family member, including the dogs and cats. Pet-friendly condos, townhouses, and private homes are available in a wide range of locations and sizes, accommodating nearly every budget. And with the rise of dog beaches and
parks in many coastal areas, a beach vacation with the entire family is now easier than ever!
Other accommodations for pet travel include rental car companies, some of which now allow pets to ride in their vehicles, as well as dog daycare centers in tourist-heavy cities. These facilities offer affordable rates for watching a dog for a day while the vacationing family visits sites that do not allow pets.
Wherever you travel, it is important to avoid booking travel plans on discount sites when bringing a pet. Always book directly with the hotel, airline or rental company, so that you can discuss your situation and verify pet-friendly accommodations.
Traveling with pets is certainly feasible in today's world, and with some advance planning, it can be convenient and easy. Start your preparations early, and enjoy your time away from home with your four-legged friends!