This holiday season one-third of Americans will travel, totalling 112.5 million people getting to their destinations by bus, car, airplane, and train. Many of these travelers will be leaving pets at home, but a good amount will be devising strategies to take their furry friends with them. Pet owners have a lot to take into consideration when planning their trips and should be aware of these tips for traveling with pets on various forms of transportation.
About 81.5 million cars are projected to be sold in 2018, but not every pet will appreciate riding in the car, new or old. If you know that your pet does not ride in the car well or gets car sick, strongly consider leaving them at home in the care of trusted friends or family.
For pets that do travel well in the car, the ASPCA offers a few important suggestions to ensure they have a safe trip. You can try preparing your pets for a long trip by taking short drives and gradually lengthening them. Be sure to pack a pet travel kit with their treats, food, toys, and anything else you might need. Even though you might be traveling in the winter, never leave an animal alone in the car, as the car can act like a refrigerator in the cold weather.
Flying with animals is often rather complicated, as each airline has its own policies in addition to the TSA regulations. In general, animal experts warn against bringing your pets on a plane in the interest of their safety. If you absolutely need to travel by air with your furry companion, be sure to check the airline’s website for restrictions, policies, and fees. Many airlines allow emotional support animals to ride with passengers rather than in cargo, but there have been several recent changes in response to a sudden increase in the number of emotional support pets flying.
Traveling by bus is an affordable and efficient travel option for many people across the country, accounting for 751 million passenger trips annually. However, riding a motorcoach is not a great option for those attempting to traveling with pets. Most motorcoach lines do not allow animals on board besides service animals. While an airline’s policies regarding this are a bit more relaxed by opening it up to emotional support animals, motorcoaches typically restrict it to passengers who have a physical disability and need the animal to get around.
All in all, traveling by car is typically best for your four-legged companions. You can make as many pit stops as you need to and you will have your pet in your sight at all times. Be sure to make all necessary preparations and you’ll have a safe and simple trip with your pet.