Traveling With Pets

Traveling with pets can be daunting if you’ve never done it before. Different airlines have different rules and it can be difficult to keep all those rules straight sometimes. I’ve never traveled with my pets before, but since I’m planning a long international trip for next year, I thought I would share a few things I’ve learned when researching the subject.

When deciding whether you should bring your pet along on your latest adventure, you’ll want to take four things into consideration:

1. Does my pet do well when traveling?
This one is a no-brainer. If your pet needs a Xanax to travel anywhere then it’s best to leave your pet at home or with a trusted friend or family member. It’s not advantageous in the long run for your pet to travel if he/she is going to be traumatized by the experience. However, if your pet deals with traveling fairly well, feel free to bring your fur baby along!

2. Is my trip domestic or international and how am I getting there?
It’s much easier to bring your pet with you on a domestic trip than an international one because you don’t have to deal with restrictions and quarantines for another country. If your trip is international, obviously you’ll be taking a plane or boat. But if your trip is domestic you have the option of flying or driving, time permitting. If you’re adamant about bringing your pet along on a domestic trip, consider driving. You won’t have to deal with airline restrictions and you’ll be able to let your pet stretch his/her legs and play for a bit during stops.

3. How long is my trip?
If you’ll only be gone a week, leave your pet at home. If you’ll be gone for 6 months, a year, or longer you should bring your pet! Unless the quarantine period is as long as your trip, or longer… Which brings us to the next question:

4. What are the pet restrictions and how long is the quarantine period?
Much like airlines, other nations also have their own sets of rules when it comes to traveling with pets. Some nations restrict the type of pet you can bring into the country, for example, dog breeds that are considered dangerous. Some nations also have long quarantine periods.

Years ago, when I was preparing to study in Australia, I read that the quarantine period was 1-2 months. I remember trying to figure out how I would arrange visits because I was going to be studying in Adelaide and the closest quarantine facility was in Melbourne! Nowadays, the quarantine period is only 10 days. Australia doesn’t allow pets to be imported on weekends or national holidays and pets must be imported through approved ports. You must also book a reservation with the quarantine facility in order to ensure a kennel for your pet is available when your pet arrives.

As a side note for those who want to take their pet to Australia: The Melbourne quarantine facility is closing in October 2015, which means the quarantine facility in Sydney will be the only one in the whole country, that I’m aware of.

When traveling with your pet you will be required to pay airline fees as well as quarantine fees. Make sure you have enough money to pay for any associated travel fees, as well as the equipment you will need for your pet to travel.

Aside from airlines and quarantine periods you’ll want to choose a hotel that allows pets. If you’re staying stateside, check out Trips With Pets to find a pet-friendly hotel. Bring Fido is a great site for those who want to travel international with their pets. It includes pet-friendly hotels, airlines requirements and country requirements.

Here’s a fantastic article about traveling with your pet, written by the Huffington Post. It outlines and discusses the things I’ve mentioned above in greater detail plus so much more! There really are a lot of various factors to consider, so do read up!

Happy traveling!

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