While summer officially starts on June 21, the busy travel season is definitely underway. According to Bankrate, 63% of adults in the US plan on traveling this summer. And that had me thinking, will their pets be coming along? According to Forbes, 66% of U.S. households (86.9 million homes) own a pet, so pet owners will need to start thinking about all the logistics involved with traveling with a pet or finding proper care for them while they are gone. If you know me, you know the latter option is not my favorite, as I even wrote a book titled No Pet Left Behind and my philosophy has always been to do what you love in the places you love with the people and pets you love. But I understand the difficulties involved with traveling with a pet in today’s world, especially when flying is involved.
As a former flight attendant and the woman who is responsible for changing the policy to allow pets in the passenger cabin of airplanes, it is sad for me to say this, but air travel might not be the best option this summer if you are traveling with your pet. I was not surprised when I read The New York Times article that discussed the frustration pet owners are feeling with flying, so much, that the ones who can afford it are opting for a private jet to fly their pet! I, too, have experienced those frustrations while flying this year with my dog, KoKo. The delays, the cancellations, and the disorganization on top of the increasing costs, it is just becoming too much. I know we can do better and am making it my mission to continue to work with the airline industry to improve traveling with pets, as I know that not everyone has the luxury of flying their pets on a jet!
In the meantime, I hope pet owners find that traveling with their pet in the car can be enjoyable and easier and consider making travel plans that are in driving distance so their pet can join in on the fun. Just remember, the journey starts at home. What I mean is you can’t just expect a pet to transition to a car (or plane) without proper training that needs to be done at home. From day one, it is your job as a pet parent to train your pet. If you are like me, and know you want to travel with your pet, the training might be more rigorous. Only you will know if your pet is ready to go on adventures with you after you put in the time at home! I previously shared tips on how to get your pet accustomed to traveling whether it be by car, train, foot, or plane!
If you are opting to travel with your pet by car, I want to share with you the best way to travel with your pet in the car. AAA wrote a great article, that is on my website, that provides great information including how pets should be seated/restrained, how to prevent motion sickness, how frequently you should stop for breaks, and more. I highly recommend reading the article!
I would love to know if you plan on traveling this summer with your pet? And if so, what mode of transportation will you be taking? I will be traveling to Paris at the end of the summer, so air travel is a must for KoKo and me, but with every trip I take, know that I am trying to make the industry standard for pet travel better for us all!
Gayle Martz is the SilverDisobedience Pet Ambassador who will be sharing her insight on a variety of pet-related topics. Gayle is the founder of The SHERPA Pet Trading Company, where she single-handedly designed, manufactured and marketed the iconic SHERPA Bag you see everywhere! This carrier, which millions have bought for their dogs, cats and other animal companions, continues to be THE top-selling, prize-winning, globally-popularly soft-sided pet carrier. Further, it is because of Gayle’s advocacy and entrepreneurship that pet travel on airlines is now possible and common. Gayle’s the author of “IT’S IN THE BAG”, which is part memoir and part business book.