As many military families hurriedly prepare for the PCS season, the lucky ones among us may also be planning a family vacation. Some of us are sight-seeing en-route to our new homes, while others are planning a family vacation. Either way, taking trips is a great way for families to connect, especially after periods of absence. At SargesList, we never forget one of the most important members of the family in our travels – our pets!
While many of you will be traveling your pets as a matter of necessity, some of us just don’t want to leave the family dog behind and out of the fun!¬† Fortunately, the options for vacationing/traveling with a pet are growing as more and more people look for pet-friendly options.
If you’re looking for more information about PCSing with your pets, be sure to check out the extensive coverage on pet travel in our PCS Guide as well as these past posts:
- ¬†Tips for Brining a Pet to Hawaii
- Best Expert Tips for PCSing with Pets
- Military Pets PCS
- Pets and Your PCS
Flying with a Pet
Flying with a pet can be a little intimidating, especially if you and your best pal are first-timers. Traveling by air has its benefits, but please do your research well ahead of time. Every airline has it’s own unique set of rules, regulations and procedures that may or may not be a good fit for your travel plans. For example, if your pet is small, some airlines will allow them to travel under the seat in front of you, while others may not. Fees will also vary, as will the number of pets allowed on each flight. It’s a good idea, no matter which airline you choose, to speak to a representative before you make plans. If you’re traveling internationally, you should pay special attention to rules pertaining to documentation, shots and records, as they differ from country to country.
¬†Driving with a Pet
While dogs are known to enjoy a good car ride, don’t forget to consider your pets safety and comfort. Carsickness, anxiety, driver distraction and injury are a possibility, as is losing your pet in an unfamiliar area. Timing food and water access, car temperature and taking frequent breaks can help, but be sure your pet is wearing a collar and/or is micro-chipped if you’ll be letting them run around. Also, don’t forget a gear check – believe it or not, dog car seats aren’t just a novelty – they’re also a great idea and can keep everyone safer.¬† While only a few states have passed laws specifically outlining where and how you pet may travel, you should consider the best and most comfortable way to get everyone where you’re going.
Staying with a Pet
Many hotels and resorts that previously did not allow pets in a stay are changing their rules to accommodate guests’ requests. The key is to never assume, and just like every other aspect of travel, plan and research ahead of time. You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised as you find places that will accept your pet – although you should be prepared to pay a fee at least part of the time. There are many pet-centered companies and travel agencies popping up that can help you if you need assistance.
Enjoy your travels!
Leaving your pet at home? We know you’ll miss them! Be sure they’re in the best hands by leaving them with a friend, reputable kennel or consider looking for a pet sitter on SitterCity. Their DOD program is free to join for military families and they list pet sitters.