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Traveling With Pets: 5 Helpful Tips for Success

May 17, 2023 By CityPASS

Traveling with pets is almost like traveling with children. You'll want to know your pet will be safe, you have every essential packed (including numbers in case of an emergency), and you're adhering to any pet policies while you travel.

Some pets will enjoy traveling, and some pets will not. Either way, you want to ensure you have covered all the bases when traveling with your pet. So, whether it's your pet's first trip or they are seasoned travelers, here are five tips for traveling with pets.

Follow These 5 Tips When Traveling With Pets

You should check with airlines and hotels to find out all of the pet requirements before you leave so that there won't be any surprises when you travel. For example, traveling internationally with pets will have different rules than traveling to another state. If you know every step you need to take to understand how to travel with pets, the experience will be more enjoyable for you and your four-legged friend.

1. Check the Pet Policies of Your Airline and Destination Country

Air travel companies and foreign countries have different rules regarding pets. So you'll first want to check the pet policies for the airline you'll use to travel.

Most airlines allow pet owners to bring small pets as their carry-on baggage. You can often have small cats, dogs, or household birds capable of traveling by your feet in the cabin. Any pet carrier must fit under the seat, and you'll have to keep your pet inside the carrier at all times during the flight. When flying with a carry-on pet, there are some requirements to ensure your pet is safe. These include:

  • One pet per carry-on kennel, except for one mother and her unweaned babies or two animals younger than six months.
  • The pet must be 16 weeks old if traveling internationally to the U.S. and 15 weeks to the E.U.
  • The pet must be 10 weeks old for domestic travel.
  • Some airlines will charge an additional fee.
  • Pets must be vaccinated.
  • Some flights only allow a certain number of pets total on the flight.

Some flights may not allow pets in the cabin besides service animals. For example, most flights to Hawaii require that you board your pets in cargo.

If you have a larger pet, you can choose to ship them via freight. The most important factor when you need to send your pets is finding the right-sized kennel or crate so that they are as comfortable and safe as possible. Generally, you will have to pay a separate ticket price for the pet; they may or may not be able to fly on the same flight as you.

Regarding traveling with pets to a foreign country, rules will vary depending on your destination. Some countries require specific paperwork, and others have restrictions, such as banned breeds. Study up on all the pet policies before you book your trip.

2. Keep Your Pet in a Comfortable and Well-Ventilated Travel Crate

Traveling is stressful for most pets, so you want to reduce their stress levels as much as possible. A well-ventilated travel crate is required for most flights and will help reduce stress. You want your pet to be able to turn around, stretch, and lie comfortably. You will want a crate that is wood, metal, fiberglass, hard plastic, or some other sturdy material. Containers will also keep your pet safe in hotels or at bed and breakfasts.

3. Pack and Take Along a Pet-Friendly Travel Kit

When you pack for yourself and your family, you want to pack everything everyone will need for the trip to remain comfortable and safe. So you'll want to do the same for pet travel.

Ensure you have treats, travel water bowls, rain coverings, toys, collars, leashes, safety vests, and anything else to help your pet stay happy. You will also want to make a pet travel kit for the airplane, train, or other modes of transportation you will be utilizing. Some items to pack include:

  • Documentations and records
  • Favorite toys
  • Blankets or pillows
  • Treats
  • Contact information for the vet
  • A travel or collapsible bowl
  • Dry or wet food
  • Waste bags or a litter box
  • Water
  • Medications

If your pet has a different arrival time than you, be sure to have your pet's travel bag handy when you meet up to give them any comfort items they didn't have during the flight.

4. Always Have Your Pet's Documentation Handy

You will need a health certificate signed by a veterinarian within a few days of your travel time. Most health certificates should include the following:

  • Your name and address
  • Tag numbers or chip I.D. of the animal
  • Proof that the animal is in good enough health to travel
  • The animal's age
  • List of vaccinations the animal has had

You may also need documentation of blood tests, certain vaccines, and proof of rabies shots. Certain countries may require more documentation than others. Some hotels may also want to see the paperwork on your pet if they allow pets to stay. In the event of an emergency, you will want to have paperwork handy as well.

5. Know Your Pet's Tolerance for Travel

Getting your pet used to traveling before you make the trip is a good idea. Practice traveling with pets directly in the car or a crate, and drive them around a few times a week. It is always a good idea not to overfeed them before the trip but to ensure they have enough water, so they don't get nauseous. You can always ask your vet if your pet would benefit from being tranquilized for the flight or long drive.

Experience America's Greatest Attractions Alongside Your Pet

Traveling with pets can be enjoyable for everyone involved. You'll want to see the top attractions when you make travel plans for you and your pet. CityPASS® tickets offer discounts to some of the most incredible places in America and Canada. So purchase CityPASS® tickets and save on your next trip with your favorite pet.

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