Traveling with a pet: how do people do it

Traveling with a pet: how do people do it

Many people enjoy traveling with their pets, on planes, in car rides, and even on trains. How do people do it? It requires a bit of planning, preparation, and patience. Some pets are natural born travelers, calm in new surroundings and friendly toward strangers; it depends on their personality. Read more about how to travel with your pet.

Ways to Travel

If you want to travel with your pet, you can take them on a plane, in a car, on a bus, or a train. Most cruises and other ships do not allow pets on board. Depending on the size and type of pet you have will determine which ways to transportation make the most sense. You can bring a small dog or cat as a carryon on a plane, but you likely can't bring your horse or iguana. 

Flying with Pets

You can fly with your pets on most domestic flights as a carryon, emotional support animal, or the cargo hold for larger pets. There are fees for pets traveling as carryons or as cargo. Airlines cannot charge a fee for pets traveling as emotional support animals (learn more).

Carryon Pets

Many airlines allow small cats and dogs to travel in an airline approved carrier as a carryon. The pet must stay in an airline approved carrier throughout the flight and be well-behaved. The cost for a one-way ticket for your pet costs between $75 and $200 depending on the airline. Airlines have size, weight, age, and breed restrictions. Some will not allow short-nosed breeds for health reasons.

Emotional Support Animals

According to the ESA laws, technically any animal can become an emotional support animal, but many airlines only accept dogs and cats as ESAs on board the aircraft. The ESA must be small enough to fit in your lap or in the space directly in front of your seat without extending into the aisle. Check with your airline before traveling with your ESA. Airlines are updating their policies regarding ESA travel and adding additional paperwork and restrictions.

Cargohold

Larger pets and more exotic animals may be able to fly in the cargo hold of the plane, depending on the airline. Animals traveling in cargo travel in airline-approved crates and the airline transportation process is similar to checking luggage. Airlines do have breed and animal type restrictions, and some airports restrict cargo pet travel by season. It can be dangerous for animals to travel in the cargo hold if its too hot or too cold.

Instead of leaving their pets at home, many people choose to take them on trips. You can bring your pet on many domestic flights or take a road trip with your furry best friend. It's important to be well prepared when traveling with a pet, especially flying, making sure you adhere to all of the airline's rules and have the correct paperwork. Some airlines only allow cats and dogs to fly. Choose pet-friendly hotels and destinations to make sure your pet has just as much as you do on vacation. 

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