Pet travel is on the rise. Many people love to travel with their pets and more places are welcoming them more than ever before. It is estimated that almost half of American families that own pets take their furry friends on a trip with them. However, despite the joy of traveling with your pet companion, it can also become stressful. Here are a few pros and cons to help you decide if you want to travel with your pooch.
1. More hotels, airlines and restaurants are recognizing pets as "family." About 95 percent of US airlines now allow pets on board. Hotels declining pets in 2018 is almost becoming rare. Even luxury Vegas resorts, like Bellagio, Four Seasons, and the Cosmopolitan, which have been un-pet-friendly for decades, have recently begun allowing pets.
2. Bringing your pet along can give you peace of mind. All pet owners have some anxiety when they're separated from their pet for a few days. When you bring them with you, you don't have to worry about their care.
3. Pets can help you explore areas you’d never think about. You will probably find yourself spending more time outdoors in parks and pet friendly patio restaurants.
4. Pets make flights a little more fun. Most passengers and flight attendants will give them considerable attention and they love seeing cute little dogs on their flight.
5. Pets will be totally spoiled. Depending on the hotel, staff will spoil your pet with toys, treats, pet dining menus and even massages! Pets really do get a vacation out of your vacation.
6. Pets can help you make a lot of new friends on your journey. You will find many people coming up to talk to you and your pet.
1. Some pet friendly hotels are misleading. They may allow pets, but they don't truly cater to them. Whether they lack pet amenities, the staff is difficult with them, or green areas are miles away by foot, these things can be an inconvenience for you and your pet. Definitely read all the fine print at a hotel before booking, because some have very strict pet policies.
2. Pet travel can be expensive. Most airlines charge at least $125 one way with an in-cabin pet. This can cost as much as your own plane ticket for a round-trip flight. Driving can save money, but make sure your pet can handle being in a car for several hours. Some hotels are also known to charge high fees so definitely look into their rates or look for a free pet policy.
3. Your pet could become anxious in a place they don't recognize. Dogs love routine, so a new hotel room might be confusing to them, often resulting in barking or strange behavior.
4. You might develop a pet travel addiction. It can definitely be fun to bring your pet on vacation. But be careful-you and your pet might get addicted. That's the biggest con!
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Ann Jones, CTC, MCC