Butterfly Diary

How to Travel with Your Pet on Vacation

Are you traveling for vacation and wondering what to do with your furry friend?


You’ve got three options for your cat or dog when going on vacation. First, you can let someone take care of your furry friend in your own house while away for vacation.

Secondly, you may get your pet to a neighbor’s, friend’s, or family’s place. Thirdly, you can bring your pet with you to your travel destination. The duration of your travel, budget, and how much you trust others with your pet determine the right option for you.

When traveling with your pet, it’s best to travel by a car or motorhome and stay in one place for a long time. If you’re going to a different country, check border requirements for pets to ensure you meet them.

For example, countries such as England impose long quarantine periods for pets entering the nation. However, some countries don’t have strict requirements and only demand a vet’s certificate of good health and proof of vaccines.

A National Pet Owners Survey carried out between 2017 and 2018 found that 68% of American households own a pet. This figure translates to about 89 million dogs, a 56% increase since 1988.

And, 37% of pet owners in the U.S. do travel with their furry friends annually. This figure indicates a 19% increase over the last decade. According to the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association, over 4 million animals worldwide travel by plane every year, worldwide.

The transport industry has adapted to this growing travel demand, making traveling with pets easier. Whether you’ve traveled with your cat or dog before, or not, here’re tips to ease your transition:

6 Tips to Help You Travel with Your Pet on a Local or International Travel

Choose Pet-friendly Destinations

More pet owners are traveling with their dogs on vacation. Search for pet-friendly hotels and restaurants on social media and blogs or their official websites.

Some places claim to be pet-friendly when they’re not. Make calls or send an email to your potential hotel or restaurant to ascertain that they’re pet-friendly. This can save lots of confusion, time, and frustration.

You’ll be happy to know that Rio de Janeiro is home to dog-friendly shopping malls if you’re traveling to this destination.

Create Copies of Your Pet’s Documents

You need your dog’s or cat’s health records for international or cross-border travels. They indicate the health status of your pet and show that they’ve been vaccinated. Border officials will either make copies of the documents or keep the originals.
The health records also come in handy in case you need to visit a vet while on vacation for insight into your pet’s medical history. Make multiple copies of the medical records and vet information to bring with you on your travel. Keep both hard and soft copies of the documents.

Download Pet-friendly Apps

Various apps can help ease your trip when traveling with your pup or feline friend. Some apps to consider include:


  • Bring Fido – helps locate nearby pet-friendly attractions, hotels, and restaurants nearby. It’s the Yelp of the pet world.
  • All Trails – gives access to over 50,000 trail maps, including search filters and reviews. You can make searches based on hikes known to you or dog-friendly trails.
  • American Red Cross’ Pet First Aid – helps locate emergency animal hospitals near you. It also gives guides on how to handle common pet emergencies.

Choose Hotels with No Extra Fees on Your Pets

Most hotels can increase your accommodation costs by up to $10-$50 daily or a one-off fee of $50-$250. This can strain your vacation budget. Instead, choose hotels that don’t charge extra fees on your dog or cat. Some pet-friendly hotels to consider include:

  • Red Roof Inn – this hotel has over 580 branches in the U.S. and other locations in Japan and Brazil. They accept pets weighing a maximum of 80 pounds.
  • Kimpton – with no limit on the number of pets allowed, including the weight and size of your furry friend, this hotel ranks high for pet-friendliness.
  • Motel 6 – going on a road trip across the U.S? Motel 6 has more than 1,400 locations in Canada and the U.S. to choose from for your pet. They accept a maximum of 2 pets in every room.


Filter for pet-friendly homes on airbnb.com if you can’t find a good hotel option for your local or international travel. Ask the right questions when looking for the right cat-friendly hotel.

Pack Pet Essentials

Just as you pack your travel necessities, you must do the same for your pet. You may not find everything you need on the go, hence the need to pack essentials for your pup.
The need for dog food and water goes without saying. Pack clean, fresh water for your cat or dog for drinking purposes. Your friend may not like the water in your travel destination, explaining the need to bring some from home.

Check out various canned food comparison websites to find the right food to buy your dog or cat. Pack a mix of wet and dry cat food for your feline. Other items to include in your checklist are as follows:

  1. Toys
  2. Collapsible bowls
  3. A portable bed
  4. Tick and flea medication
  5. Travel documents and medical
  6. records

Microchip your dog or cat and make sure they’re vaccinated with the most recent vaccinations.

Invest In a Pet Carrier

Find a pet carrier that’s suitable for your pet. Available in different weight capacities, brands, colors, designs, and features, choose what suits your pets most for easy travel.

Check product reviews to help you choose a good carrier for your pet. Opt for a carrier with many positive reviews.


With proper planning and preparation, you’ll be on the right track to enjoying a great vacation with your feline friend. Be respectful to the people you come across, check airline travel policies and cross-border requirements, and make cat or dog friends. Don’t forget to teach your pet good manners and say hello to other pet owners you meet.

2020 Must Check Destinations



United States
Yosemite, CA