Is there anything more heart-wrenching than leaving your dog behind while you go away on vacation? Instead of feeling guilty over your pooch’s anxious whines and puppy dog eyes, invite your pet to tag along on your next trip! Traveling with dogs can be a great experience, and when done correctly, it’s even cheaper than hiring a pet sitter. Here’s what you need to know about staying safe and saving money while traveling with your dog.
Plane, train, or automobile? Driving is without a doubt the cheapest option for dog owners, as well as the most convenient. On a road trip, you can stop for bathroom breaks whenever you need, and you won’t be separated from your pet.
Most airlines charge around $100 one-way for pets and require a veterinary exam. Since only small dogs are permitted to travel in the cabin, large dogs have to travel in cargo, where they’re separated from their owners. Cargo travel is also more expensive — around $200 one-way. Cargo travel may not be acceptable based on outside temperatures and breed of dog. Consider carefully before having your dog travel in cargo. Also, research the airline to find out what considerations they provide for pets travelling in cargo.
Train travel may be a happy medium for dog owners who prefer not to drive. Amtrak accepts small dogs up to 20 pounds for $26 one-way. However, like airlines, Amtrak has specific requirements for pet carriers so be sure yours meets the criteria.
Choosing a Dog-Friendly Destination
The destination has a big impact on your vacation’s price tag. For an affordable vacation, look for destinations with dog-friendly outdoor activities like hiking trails and dog-friendly beaches. Serious outdoor lovers can take it a step further and camp for cheap or free lodging. If camping isn’t your style, look into cabin rentals at state parks. In many smaller state parks, you can rent a pet-friendly rustic cabin for around $60 or less per night.
Not the outdoorsy type? Don’t worry. An urban vacation can be just as pet-friendly as a backcountry one. Look for cities known for their dog-lovers — you’ll be more likely to find bars and restaurants that welcome pets, a big convenience when you’re on the go with your dog.
Dog Safety While Traveling
Keeping your pet safe while traveling requires more precaution than at home. You’ll need to buy new gear to keep your dog safe everywhere you go, but you don’t have to go broke doing it. When shopping for pet travel essentials, look for coupon codes that you can enter at checkout for savings. For example, you can locate an eBay coupon today and have it ready to go whenever you find the gear and supplies you need to get started.
Below are a few of the essentials you should keep in mind:
Owners should also carry their dog’s veterinary records while traveling. This leads to quicker treatment in an emergency and prevents unnecessary (and expensive!) testing. While getting records from your veterinarian, check that your dog’s microchip is registered using your current address and phone number.
Traveling with your pooch may cost a little more than jet-setting solo, but at the end of the day, you’ll have more fun and pay less than if you’d hired a pet sitter. While traveling with your dog averages $103 in extra costs per trip, pet sitting can run $75 or more a night. Now that’s a great excuse to bring your four-legged friend along!