April 29, 2013 1:02 am
• Don't wait until the last minute to make travel arrangements: Planning ahead is the key to success when traveling with pets. Allow enough time (ideally, three-to-six months, at least) to make informed decisions about the best way to get there, where to stay, what to bring, and what to do. Try to avoid any stressful, last-minute surprises, which can really put a damper on the vacation.
• Ask the right questions: The term "pet-friendly" is often widely used in the tourism business, so asking the right questions is essential. Does the hotel or vacation rental company charge additional clean-up fees and deposits for pets? If traveling by air, what are the airline restrictions for pets? Also, when zeroing in on where to stay, ask about what pet-friendly beaches, restaurants, parks, etc. are nearby. Try to take the time to jot down questions in advance before asking them.
• Consult the Internet: Today, there are more options than ever before for consumers traveling with pets. However, more choices also means there are more decisions to make. The good news is that the web offers a plethora of information on all aspects of pet-friendly travel. A few good places to start are BringFido.com, FidoFriendly.com, and the AAA Pet Book.
• Pack smart: Traveling with pets and big, heavy baggage can not only be stressful, but expensive, as well, especially when traveling by air. At the same time, there are certain must-have items when traveling with pets, such as dog bowls, beds, pet food, toys, and crates. Find out in advance if the hotel or other accommodation comes equipped with these necessary things to help avoid over packing. One particular advantage to staying in a pet-friendly vacation home versus a hotel is that it is more likely to come equipped with beds, feeding supplies, etc. for pets.
• Take steps to help keep pets happy and relaxed: Before heading out for a long journey with pets, try to create an environment that will help soothe and relax them. Some travelers even find aromatherapy or essential oils in the crate, such as lavender, to be an effective way to put their pets at ease when confined to a small space.
Source: Luv San Diego Surf
Published with permission from RISMedia.