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Planning For Long Haul Air Travel With Your Furry Friends

While I don’t have pets and probably won’t ever given the fact that I travel often and live in a small space, I do see folks travel with their pets all the time and always wondered what that process was like for them and their little babies. Figuring out how to travel with pets internationally can be easy, though, with some homework done ahead of time. Read on for some tips and steps to have your pet with you every step of the way. If you’re hoping that you can travel internationally with your pets, the good news is that it is possible to do. While there may be a few hoops to jump through and different regulations that you’ll have to follow, it’s a safe bet that you can rest easy knowing that your pets can join you on your travel journeys. Before you start booking a trip right away, you’ll need to become familiar with these tips on how to travel with pets internationally. 

Always check the regulations of the country you’re flying to and from
You never know if a country has different rules or regulations when it comes to pets. Take the time to educate yourself on what shots your pet needs to have and if there are other items or documentation that you need to bring with you as well. There’s nothing worse than arriving at a new country and being denied entry due to lack of research and planning on your part. Having to part with your buddy at that time is sure to cause heart ache, so definitely start your research way ahead of time if you intend on your pet making it with you on your journey.

Find an airline that is pet-friendly and stick with that brand if you can
Not all airlines are pet-friendly, so this is extremely important to figure out before you make travel plans and book tickets. Also, keep in mind that your animal will be treated like cargo and they’ll be stored in a safe area that is separate from you (some airlines allow other options, but check with them for more specifics and choices). This will take some planning on your part to make certain that your pet is groomed and ready to be separated during your travels. Ensure a visit to your vet is also in the works so you are aware ahead of time if you need to make arrangements for any other health concerns.

Be prepared to pay fees for your pet to travel internationally with you
Many airlines also require that you purchase an airline compliant pet carrier that your pet can be in and travel safely. This cost can vary but it’s good to budget around US$300 at a minimum for this. Check ahead for how this changes for different breeds or sizes and also ensure that your pet is comfortable in the process. International journeys are sometimes pretty long and that means your pet is going to be uncomfortable in a restricted space so keep that in mind when planning.

Check if the country you’re traveling to requires your pet to have a microchip
This can vary from country to country but is also something that you just may want to consider on your own. The thought of losing a pet internationally can be stressful, so knowing that your pet has a microchip can be calming and comforting. Microchipping is easy to do and can be done quickly before your trip. Make certain that you take your documentation with you as well during your travels so you have proof showing it was completed if you need it. The last thing you want is to have your pet separated from you at any point and then not know how to track them down.

Understand that not all pets can travel to other countries
Cats and dogs are the typical animals that travel internationally, but that doesn’t mean that the doors are open for all animals. Contact the local airline to make certain that whatever pet you want to travel with is on the approved list. If it’s not there, there’s a good chance that your pet just may not be able to make the trip. In that case, you will need to plan on alternatives pretty quickly to see if you can have them at a boarding space or get friends and family to care for them in your absence.

Traveling internationally with your pet isn’t difficult if you can remember to ask the right questions and follow these steps. You may find that it’s not as difficult as you think but it does require you to tie up loose ends and plan ahead. Start prepping your paperwork and your veterinarian as well so that they know that your animal is going to be traveling internationally. They may have some advice or insight on what needs to be given to your animal as well as what you might be overlooking. Above all, remember to stay relaxed about the process and journey. Traveling internationally with your pet can be a lot of fun if you prepare well for the experience. If you’ve experienced travel with your pets, I’d love to hear your version – good or bad – in the comments below please so we can all learn from each other on how to travel well with our pets.   

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Written by Ruksana

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