One of the most stressful parts of planning a holiday is deciding what to do with your beloved pets. For a lot of people, this may play a big part in where and how you travel, as well as how long you go for. With a little planning, you can make sure your pet – and you – has a great experience.
If you have decided to bring your pet with you, make sure you check with whoever you are travelling with before you make your plans. While you can only bring service dogs with you into the cabin on Australian airlines, on domestic flights you can book your pet travel when you book your own seat. However, different carriers have certain rules, and you may need a certificate from your vet and a specific type of crate. If you are planning a road trip, you will want to make sure your pet is as comfortable as possible – make sure you know if they get terrified or carsick before you start your three week driving holiday!
Finding accommodation that allows pets can be tricky. You will find a lot of hotels and BnBs won’t let you have your pet on site. A great option is Airbnb – just tick the “Pets allowed” box and you’ll have a list of place happy for you to bring them along. Of course, if you’re camping or staying with friends this might not be an issue, but, again, always check ahead that this is okay.
The best option for you might be finding somewhere to board your pet. Entrusting them to a stranger can understandably provoke some anxiety, so make sure that you do your research. A great option is word-of-mouth recommendations, so ask around your local area for places that people have liked using, especially if they have chosen to return there. Read online reviews, call your vet, and if you can, try and visit the location before you book. Ask lots of questions – how often they get fed and walked, if they will get to socialise with other pets, if they get brushed and how much attention they will get. Make sure you leave the kennel with any instructions you have, plus all your contact details as well as a few of your pet’s favourite things.
Sometimes the best thing will be to leave your pets at home, and find someone to come and stay with them. This is a great option for elderly, sick or anxious pets. Ask friends or family to find someone you know, or for a trusted referral who you could meet first to see if they are a good fit. You can also hire a professional pet sitter, who will be vetted and have references from previous jobs. If your pet is low-maintenance, you could always schedule in a friend or sitter to feed, walk and play with them for an hour a day.
Preparation is important to make sure the trip is as fun as possible for all of you. Whether they are going to a kennel, to stay with a friend or travelling with you, make sure that you have things that are familiar for them – their bed, toys and treats. Check their vaccinations are up to date and that you pack any medication they take. You might want to take a crate or carrier, and don’t forget small things that you use every day, like a leash or brush. Also, make sure you include them in your plans, and make sure you have things to do that they will enjoy