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Pet Friendly Vacation Traveling

Jul 25, 2008
The first question you need to ask yourself is, will taking your pet with you to your vacation rental improve your vacation, or will it be stressful and keep you from relaxing?

Let's be candid, sometimes pets can be a lot of work, and sometimes it's peaceful to have a little time away. Further, think of it from your pet's point of view. Traveling is nerve-racking for animals. Relaxed, in-cabin airline travel is typically limited to smaller pets, and even then it can be a scary event in a pet's life.

That being said, there are more pet friendly vacation options than ever before, particularly if you're not vacationing locally and don't have to deal with customs. While most hotels and resort-style hotels don't accommodate pets, you'll find a large quantity of vacation rentals by owner that not only accommodate pets, but are actually run by pet owners who make every attempt to make certain you and your pet's stay is enjoyable.

Types of Pet Travel
Airlines generally present three options for pet travel: checking your pet as baggage, pet cargo shipping, and co-location in the cabin. Cabin price ranges from $75 to $200, and while most likely the easiest for you and your pet, many come with some pretty hefty restrictions. Pets normally must fit happily in a kennel that will sit under the seat in front of you. For pets to travel in the main cabin, they must stay in their kennels for the length of the flight, and there can be no more than one or two (depending on which airline you fly) in each cabin.

Pet travel as checked baggage implies that you'll be separated from your pet until you get to your arrival gate, at which point you can travel to your vacation rental together. Stringent size requirements for kennels goes into effect for this type of travel, the minimum size usually being so your pet can turn around effortlessly without touching the sides of the kennel. Airlines generally have temperature-controlled facilities so pets will be taken care in comfortable surroundings in the event of a flight delay. Fees for this means of pet travel can be as much, or more, than the carry-on method.

Pet travel as cargo means your pet will not be on the same flight as you, but instead on a cargo plane going to your same destination. They'll by and large be afforded all the perks and benefits of pet travel as checked baggage, and will be brought to the cargo terminal of your destination airport upon arrival.

Pet Travel Tips
The list below contains suggestions to maximize your pet's comfort during air travel:
* Familiarize your pet with the kennel before travel.
* Keep your pet calm before the flight. Have a leash handy for walking your pet prior to departure. Do not place the leash inside the kennel for travel.
* Include ID tags with your address and phone number, as well as the address and phone number of your destination.
* Never use a muzzle or choke collar when shipping. They can be dangerous when an animal is not supervised.

Finding a Pet Friendly Vacation Rental
Stay calm - it's not as difficult as it all seems. With one vacation down, you'll be an old pro at pet friendly vacations with your four-legged best friend. Most vacation rental property sites allow you to search specifically for pet friendly vacation rentals, and I think you'll be pleased at the number of options. If going somewhere hot and near the beach with your dog, look for a leash-free area where you can both run and exercise. If going somewhere cold, look for snowshoe, cross country ski, or hiking vacation rentals.

No matter where you end up, make sure you get in touch with the vacation rental owner before you leave to make sure everything will be prepared for you, your family, and your pet upon arrival.
About the Author
Allen Wright is a freelance writer who loves traveling and is an expert on Outer Banks vacation rentals, Destin vacation rentals , and Hilton Head vacation rentals.
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