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The best vacations are the ones that include your loved ones. For many people, that means their pets! Pets are good for mental health, they keep you active, and they can help you cope with stress. But what happens when you want to travel with your pet? It’s harder than it sounds—you have to be extra careful about local laws, disease control, and safety issues. But don’t worry; we’ve compiled some tips on how travel with a pet can be easy on both of you!

You have to brush up on local ordinances.

  • You have to brush up on local ordinances.
  • Check with the authorities.
  • Depending on where you’re going, it may be necessary to get your pet vaccinated against rabies or other diseases. If so, make an appointment with your vet at least four weeks before leaving for vacation; this will give them time to administer the vaccinations and give you time to recover from them before traveling.
  • Find out if they allow pets in hotels/hostels/apartments that have pools and hot tubs (sometimes they don’t).
  • Check with airlines before booking tickets; many airlines require pets to fly in cargo holds instead of under seats like regular humans do—and there are restrictions about how big a pet can be and whether it has to travel with its carrier or not! Also make sure your airline allows for such things as food, water bowls, toys and treats that may be necessary during flights (and don’t forget water itself).

You have to be ready for diseases.

Vet consultation

Let’s talk about the disease. Whether you’re traveling by car or plane, it’s important to make sure your pet is healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations. Pets who are sick could infect other travelers, especially if they’re coughing or sneezing in a confined space. You don’t want your dog spreading its germs around the plane! If your pet is already under the weather, sitting next to someone else’s poorly-behaved pooch isn’t going to help them feel better (and probably won’t make them feel any worse).

An important factor in keeping your pet healthy during travel is making sure they stay clean—especially when flying with pets! A clean kennel will protect both the inside of the kennel and those who touch it from any germs that may be present on our pets’ fur and skin. The same goes for any gear we bring along with us: cleaning supplies like wipes can help keep surfaces sanitary while we’re on the road (or at least minimize their grossness).

You have to be ready for emergencies.

Pets can get sick and injured, too, which means you should know what to do if they do. And while most things are covered by travel insurance—including lost pet expenses—some of these situations will require a little extra legwork on your part. For example, if your dog gets bitten by a snake while on vacation in Mexico or Costa Rica, he’ll need treatment at a vet hospital back home. You’ll have to make sure he gets there safely, then wait around for the bill (which could easily run into the thousands of dollars) before filing a claim with your insurer later on.

You can cut costs by NOT flying your pet.

If you’re not a fan of flying with your animal companion, there are plenty of other options. You can drive instead of flying, for instance. Or you could just go on a road trip and drive in a car instead of renting a plane or taking Amtrak or something else that doesn’t involve driving yourself around the country like some kind of weirdo who probably shouldn’t be allowed to cross state lines with his pet dog in tow.

It’s important to note that driving yourself around on vacation is also cheaper than traveling by plane—but only if you do it alone! The reason? If you’re traveling as part of a group but want everyone to see each other somewhere along the way (or meet up at another location), then it’s going to cost more money than just having one person drive their car while everyone else flies separately (or drives separately).

You can cut costs by driving with your pet.

French bulldog in a truck wearing a pair of pilot goggles ready to go. Travel concept with pets

If you’re planning to drive with your pet, there are some things you should know. First, it’s important to get a good car seat for your dog or cat. You can find these at any pet store, but if you want something that will fit in the backseat of your car without taking up too much space and is easy to clean when accidents happen, consider one that attaches directly to the seat belt. Second, get a harness rather than a leash; they’re more secure and won’t hurt your animal if it decides to jump around while you’re driving (which they will). Thirdly…

You can cut costs by NOT staying in a hotel that charges a pet fee.

If you’re planning a trip with your furry friend(s), there are some things to keep in mind. You can cut costs by staying at a hotel that either allows pets or doesn’t charge a pet fee. This could mean getting a room in an Airbnb, or it could be something as basic as checking into the right hotel. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Hotels that allow pets

Hotels that charge a pet fee (or just have no specific rules about pets)

  • The Four Seasons Hotel New York City at Lincoln Center
  • The St Regis San Francisco

You can cut costs by getting an airline-approved carrier for free.

  • Check with the airline first. When you’re planning your trip, check with the airline to see if they have a pet fee or weight limit for carriers. This can save you loads of money in the long run and make your travels easier! If they don’t allow dogs in the cabin, then take them on board as long as they aren’t too big or heavy.
  • Don’t leave early! That is, don’t leave home without time to spare—just in case there’s an accident on your way to the airport or something else happens that delays your departure. We recommend at least three hours of extra time before heading out for an international flight; local flights may require less time than this (or none).

With proper planning, you can take your furry loved ones on vacation with you, even on a budget!

With proper planning, you can take your furry loved ones on vacation with you, even on a budget!

  • Consider driving. You won’t have to worry about flight times or airline fees. Plus, if you’re traveling with two or more pets and need to rest in between the legs of the journey, it’s much easier to do so behind the wheel than it would be in an airport waiting for the lounge.
  • Pet-friendly accommodations are cheap! If they don’t charge per pet per night (as many hotels still do), then they might only charge one standard fee that covers both people and animals at once. This way, all those nights spent curled up next to each other under blankets will feel just as cozy as ever; plus there won’t be any extra charges for having four legs instead of two!
Woman care of her pet

With proper planning, you can take your furry loved ones on vacation with you—even on a budget! We hope that this article has helped guide you through some of the most important steps, from making sure your pet is healthy enough to travel, to ensure that they’re in an airline-approved carrier. If you have any additional questions about traveling with pets, please feel free to reach out to us here at PetMD for more information.