There are approximately 1,577,496 things to think about when you’re traveling for the holidays (and that’s a conservative estimate). Between remembering to pack a gift for your second cousin and trying to find a flight that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, you have a lot on your plate. If you’re traveling with a pet, your travel to-do list practically doubles.
If the prospect of holiday travel with a pet makes you want to say bah humbug (or have a strong holiday-themed cocktail), don’t throw in the dog bone just yet. We’re here to help.
Read on to learn our top four tips for holiday travel with your pet.
1. An Ounce of Prevention…
…is worth a pound of fur—whoops, sorry, cure.
This old adage is particularly true when it comes to traveling with a pet. The last thing you want is to arrive at your relative’s house only to find out they’re allergic to your fur baby. Do your homework and stop problems before they start by looking into things like:
- Airline policies
- Pet-friendly hotels or Airbnb listings
- Rental car rules
- Your loved one’s allergies and personal preferences
We know it’s hard to imagine someone not wanting your precious pet at a family gathering, but you should still ask before bringing Fido to Christmas dinner. You want to enjoy your favorite holiday recipes, not worry about offending your great uncle.
2. You’re Not the Only One Who’s Stressed
Traveling can be extremely anxiety-provoking for cats and dogs, especially if they aren’t used to hitting the road or soaring through the skies. Imagine being put in a carrier and taken away from your familiar surroundings without knowing why! Sounds stressful, right?
Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to make traveling a more positive experience for your pet. Packing their favorite toy, feeding them tasty treats, and giving them plenty of belly rubs will help ease their minds. You can also give them a whole other kind of treat: CBD for pets. It’s safe, all-natural, and will do wonders to relieve their anxiety.
3. Lists Are Your Friends
Santa has to make a list and check it twice, and so should you! Between packing for yourself, your pet, and your relatives (so. many. presents!), you’re bound to forget something if you don’t write it (or type it) all down. Here’s a cheat sheet for what you’ll need to pack for your pet:
- Collapsible food and water bowls for the journey
- Their favorite chew toys
- Leash and Halti head collar, if your pup is prone to pulling
- Waste bags
Packing your pet’s familiar favorites can also help them feel at ease during your trip, making it even more important not to leave anything behind.
Bonus tip: If you do forget something, don’t beat yourself up! There’s a pet store in almost every town, so your cat or dog won’t go hungry—we promise.
4. Streamline Your Route
That discount flight with a layover in might be right for your wallet, but it won’t be good for your pet. Do yourself (and your pet) a favor and take the most direct route possible. Finding the most direct path from point A to point B will reduce the amount of time your pet has to spend in their carrier.
Even if you’re driving, you can still find ways to speed up the journey. Pack lunch ahead of time and consolidate pit stops to reduce the time you spend on the road. That said, be sure to take enough potty breaks for your pet, and remember that they need to stretch their legs, too.
Don’t Forget to Pack Their Present!
Now that you know how to make traveling with your pet a breeze this holiday season, we have one more (fun) piece of wisdom—don’t forget to pack your pet a special holiday treat. After all, they deserve it for being the world’s best travel buddy.