Traveling can be overwhelming, let alone traveling with your dog. From the booking + costs, to having all the right paperwork and knowing where dogs are welcome, it can seem like an endless amount of red tape and information. I love reading other travel + fashion bloggers’ (bloggers without dogs!) diaries to get tips and ideas on where to go. 1) that’s actually how I get inspiration and ideas on where to go/stay and then I just look up separately if it’s dog friendly. 2) and why I started writing this blog. To share chic destinations, boutique hotels and fun city guides for dog moms (dog mom life). So, I put together this list of handy travel hacks and insider tips from other bloggers + myself that could potentially save you money, time and lessen anxiety.
Search for flights “incognito.”
Have you ever used incognito window? In your Chrome browser, under “File” there is an option for “New Incognito Window.” In Safari, it’s under “File” then “New Private Window.” This allows browsing with no cookies, so no history.
From Through Julia’s Lens: “This is my number one tip to save money on flights because it’s so easy! If you’ve bought a flight recently, websites will remember that and will bump up prices, even after you’ve cleared your cache and history. This may not work if you only buy plane tickets once a year, but if you’re buying tickets every few months, it can make a big difference.”
I’ve also been a little paranoid about airline sites tracking my searches and increasing prices but doing it incognito ensures that at least you know you’re getting the best, true price.
Search by month instead of days.
(Another tip from Through Julia’s Lens)
On Skyscanner, if you have a month in mind that you’d like to travel + flexible on dates, you can search for the whole month and find the cheapest days to travel!
If you want destination ideas and open to pretty much anywhere, you can also search by cheapest destinations and find places to go sometimes as low as $100 for international.
Most airlines fill the available in-cabin pet spots on a first-come, first-served basis and most only allow a certain number of pets on board (sometimes as little as 2-4). So, it’s always best to call ahead and reserve a spot for your furry one.
Seating Hack: how to get extra room on your flight.
From Olivia Christine: “I often score extra room on my flights by pre-selecting a seat in a row that has only two spots open (including the middle seat). When I choose either the aisle or window, it leaves a middle seat available — which is a last resort for any passenger — increasing my chances of having no one sit next to me. Using this trick, I’ve been able to fly with the middle seat empty, leaving extra room for myself and my row companion!”
I’ve actually used this tip twice and it WORKED both times!
Use the pockets on the outside of your pet carrier.
Flying with your pet in carrier means they become your carry-on item. Once you get on board, the carrier goes under the seat and your personal item (bag) has to go up in the overhead bin. Take advantage of those extra pockets in the pet carrier!
From Jessica at You Did What With Your Weiner: “While you CAN get up mid flight and get one or two things out of your bag, it’s a hassle if not impossible. You probably want your Kindle, noise-cancelling headphones, a magazine, or something with you during takeoff, landing and during the flight.”
Skip the security line.
This is the besssst thing I ever did. CLEAR, which is offered at most major airports, is a program that allows you to skip the lines at security and get taken right to the front. It honestly saves SO MUCH TIME. + so worth it if you fly a lot. It’s about $15/month and with just a finger print and/or eye recognition on their easy-to-use kiosks, you’re whisked away by a CLEAR associate straight to the front (you don’t even need to show your ID + ticket to the TSA agent again).
5 Pet Friendly Hotel Chains Where Pets Stay Free.
- La Quinta
- Motel 6
- Red Roof Inn
Make sure to check with the hotel or the post at GoPetFriendly to find out if there are any weight limits etc.
Travel by RV.
Traveling by RV with your dog could be your next big adventure! A few of these RV companies don’t even charge for pets (Cruise America, El Monte RV). You can browse RVs on Outdoorsy with the pet-friendly filter.
Time to potty.
From Stephanie at Pupventure Pack: “Lots of rest stops do not want you bringing dogs into the restroom and it’s way too hot to leave them in the car. So if I can, I try to plan my bathroom breaks to coincide with pet store locations. I have used Petco and PetSmart so many times for that reason. Plus it allows the dogs an easy little outing to stretch their legs.” And to get them a new toy!
If you’re at the airport and don’t see a pet relief area in sight, Jenna from Articles de Voyage relies on pee pads. “I find a handicapped or family restroom—they are much larger than regular stalls, so you can put down a few pee pads. My dogs are trained to use pee pads but they also make special drops you can put on the pad to encourage them. It’s helped put my mind at ease more than a few times when traveling with a dog.”
UBER & LYFT.
Uber’s policy is that it is up to the discretion of the driver to allow your dog to ride. When you get matched with a driver, just send a quick message to ask if it is ok to bring your dog. They do have the right to say no.
Lyft’s policy is that all drivers allow dogs! (another reason why I prefer Lyft)
However, be sure that it is not a pool or line, as the driver can say no to dogs if they choose to. This happened to me at JFK and I didn’t know this—I chose a Lyft Line and even though the other passenger said they didn’t mind at all, the driver said no and cancelled my ride.
Be a kind rider by bringing a bag or blanket for your pup. Even better, if your pup is small enough, have them rest on your lap.
Smell like a daisy.
Stuff a dryer sheet in your luggage, especially where your pet’s items + food are being stored (even use a floral tea bag in a pinch) and you can even run it over your pet’s fur to remove static buildup and calm your pup.
Pack your common sense.
Brynn from A Dog Walks Into A Bar shares this tip: “Don’t keep your valuables all together. Bags get lost, things get stolen + if all of your credit cards and cash are in the same space, you’ll be really struggling if they get lost or misplaced.”