With the holidays approaching, millions of people are booking trips and wondering if it’s possible to bring their pets along. According to Sheron Long, a frequent traveler and author of “Dog Trots Globe -To Paris and Provence,” with the right pet care it is possible – and worth it.
As someone who owns a Shetland sheepdog, Long told the The Associated Press she couldn’t imagine being away from Chula.
“Every trip was better when Chula could be with us,” Long said. “It causes you to explore and go see different things and meet people.”
Long isn’t alone in preferring to travel with a pet. The AP reported that 2 million pets and other animals are transported by air each year. To make travels comfortable for pets, it’s crucial that pet owners make arrangements ahead of time and ask lots of questions.
Pet owners should check with specific airlines to see if their cat or dog’s weight and age requirements will allow them on the flight. Some airlines allow small pets whose carriers can fit under the seat to travel in the cabin, while others require all animals to travel in cargo, according to ABC News. Some airlines don’t allow pets at all, and they’re not allowed on Amtrak trains, Greyhound buses or cruise lines. Check regional train, bus and boat lines for their pet rules.
Once pets and their owners reach their destinations, the next question is where to stay. In the United States, lodging chains of all types – from Motel 6 to Marriott – offer pet-friendly rooms, according to The Seattle Times. Even some boutique hotels allow cats and dogs, and will give pets and their owners special treatment such as offering a pet food menu, pet drink bowls and maps of pet-friendly walking routes.
Gwen Cooper, the author of “Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat,” told the AP that cats and dogs usually can pick up on their owners’ moods, so if they owner is nervous, the cat or dog is going to be nervous too. Cooper said that the easiest way for a pet owner to ensure their pet travels comfortably this holiday season is to prepare themselves and their pet “ahead of time and think through as many contingencies as possible.”