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Road Trip Planning: How to Travel With Your Pet

Planning a road trip is stressful enough with all the work of packing, booking lodging, and mapping routes. 

Traveling with pets adds more complexity. 

However, if your life includes pets, you know that making travel plans means deciding whether to bring them with you or leave them in the care of a trusted sitter. 

Taking your pet on your backpacking adventures can be one of the most fulfilling experiences of your life. 

Research the Pet Policies at Your Accommodation

Imagine driving all day to your destination. You’re ready to relax, only to discover your dog is over your hotel’s weight limit for pet entry. Yikes! 

Review your accommodation’s pet policy before placing a reservation. Do your research about the property’ pet restriction, such as weight and breed policies. 

The easiest way to find pet-friendly hotels is to look for pet amenities, such as a pet-relief area or a treat station. Read through their hotel policies or call them to confirm. 

Emotional support animals are more likely to get leeway, especially if you have an ESA letter. If you’re staying at your destination for an extended period and need temporary housing, an emotional support animal can help you gain better housing accommodations. 

All you’d need is an ESA letter and an emotional animal support registration to verify your pet’s status. Once verified, the Fair Housing Act allows you to avoid pet fees and prevents you from being denied housing for having an animal. 

Keep Your Pet Comfortable in a Travel Crate 

You might be tempted to provide your pet plenty of room on car trips, but giving them a confined space is the better option. If they’re crate-trained, placing them inside a crate keeps them comfortable and offers a feeling of security. Your pet is much better off in a sturdy crate than sliding around untethered in a car. 

Invest in quality gear to protect them from a big impact. For example, a crash-tested carrier or harness can keep your pet safe even during an accident. 

Get Your Pet Acclimated to Riding in the Car 

If your trip is months away, you can practice traveling with them ahead of time. You can make their car experience positive by placing their favorite treats or toys inside the parked car. This helps your pet familiarize themselves with their new environment. 

Once your pet is comfortable sitting in the parked car, take them on a ten-minute drive. After the ride, offer a treat or visit the dog park, allowing them to positively associate a good experience with being in a car. 

Pack a Supply Kit 

You know your pet best. That’s why it’s essential to bring along all their favorite items that make them feel more at home, even while traveling. 

Of course, pack the basics such as food, water, bowls, collar, leash medications, toys, treats, and waste bags. 

Additionally, make sure to keep their microchip information or pet identification information up-to-date. Consider getting pet GPS tracks to help locate them if they get lost or run off. 

Wrapping It Up 

Your pet doesn’t like to be alone away from you. Bringing your pet along piques their curiosity and allows them to explore new territory. It also lets you visit places you’ve never thought of going to, such as pet-friendly cafes and attractions. Follow our simple tips to make traveling with your pet much smoother. 

Ruben Arribas is the co-founder of Gamintraveler and a Spanish traveler who has traveled to more than 100 countries around the world. He is now a full-time digital nomad.