In Planning on
October 19, 2016

Pros and Cons of Pet Travel

pros and cons of pet travel

Ok, let me ask you guys an honest question. How many of you guys love to take your pets everywhere with you? Errands? Outdoor activities? As your plus one to a friend’s party? Ya….totally raising my right hand on all and no shame in my pet game. So with that said, how many of y’all with pets actually travel with them? If you follow me on Instagramthen you know that my little Pheeb’s is quite the well traveled pup. Recently, I’ve been getting frequent questions on how we travel with her, if it’s expensive, and if it’s worth it. Essentially asking for the pros and cons of pet travel. 

If your not sure whether or not to bring your fur baby on your next vacation, check out my pros and cons of pet travel to help you make the best decision.

san clemente beach trail

Pros of Pet Travel

You don’t have to miss them

Having your pet along for the ride is hands down the biggest advantage of pet travel. It’s fun, cute, and simply makes for amazing memories when your furry friend comes along. Also, being away from your pet can be stressful – for both you and your fur baby. Whether you have to wait to get an update on your pet or if you’re a worry wort, you can avoid that by bringing your pet with you! Plus, you can avoid separation anxiety, which can be a stressful event for both human and pet. 

Your pets are safer with you

No one knows how to handle their pets quite like their owners. When pets are in the hands of someone else, it can cause a lot of stress on animals – which can cause them to act up. Additionally, when pets are boarded, owners worry if their pets are receiving the care they hope (and are paying) for. So when you have your pet with you on vacation, you can have better peace of mind knowing your fur baby is safe and sound.

Your pets can partake in the adventure

Personally, I love taking Phoebe with us because it’s so much more fun having her there. The idea of having her on vacation is definitely just as fun as experiencing it in reality. And pets, especially dogs, are pack animals and want to be with their pack leaders (i.e. Josh and I). When Phoebe gets to be with us, she’s at her happiest. And when she’s happy, we’re happy. In addition to that, pets get to see a new destination by exploring, sniffing, and playing in new place! Plus, huge bonus, the memories of bringing your pets make for such amazing times and memories. 

pros and cons of pet travel

family photo

phoebe in zion

Chloe and Phoebe in the garden of the gods

Cons of Pet Travel

It can get expensive

Bringing your pet on vacation can get costly. Between the costs of flights, hotel fees, and deposits, it can all add up. There is also no guarantee that your beloved pet will act like an angel while your away from your hotel. If your pet destroys your hotel room, be ready to pay up for damages Begging the question, is it worth it to bring your pet on vacation?

On the flip side, it can be just as expensive to board your pet, especially if you don’t have a trusty relative or friend to watch them. Pet hotels run $50-$80/night (on average), so depending on length of trip, it might be cheaper to just bring them along.  

Pets can interrupt plans

Pets like to run on schedules: go potty, eat, and sleep around the same time each day. Their schedules get thrown for a loop while you’re on vacay. This is especially true when you plan to go on a full-day excursion, but may have to cut apres drinks short to take Fluffy potty. Something to bear in mind when you travel with pets  – they still need the same attention that they do at home. So if you’re planning a 14-hour day, you may want to see how you can fit in your dogs potty and feeding schedule while your away. 

Additionally, traveling with pets can be limiting. For example, not all US National Parks, beaches and campsites allow pets. When planning your trip, you’ll want to make sure you have a back up plan for your pet – just in case they can’t come on all the adventures! 

It might not be safe for them

Traveling can be hard on pets: from flying, to being in new surroundings, to visiting somewhere thats, well, not necessarily the safest. All of these factors can be very stressful on both the human and pet. Flying can be a very stressful experience for pets and if your pet’s first time, speak with your vet to see what they recommend. Luckily for us, Phoebe has always done exceptionally well on flights (mind you, we’ve never flown internationally with her). These are all key factors that should be considered before deciding whether your fur baby should come or not on your next vacation! 

pros and cons of pet travel

San Clemente Trails

pros and cons of pet travel

Our experience traveling with a pet

Traveling with Phoebe has always been an amazing experience and we love to bring her along for the adventure. Whenever we can, we always bring Phoebe. Since I suffer from anxiety, Phoebe acts as a service dog – providing me with a sense of ease whenever I fly or feel anxious. The downside for us for flying with her is it can be stressful taking her through airport security and waiting in airports without pet relief areas. Luckily, she doesn’t freak out or get stressed on flights. 

Also, it can be stressful when it comes to staying in hotels. Be sure to stay in a hotel with a pet relief area or park near by. On the flip side, staying in new hotels can be a fun experience for your pet We’ve stayed in hotels where Phoebe was treated like a Queen with huge beds, snacks, and even offers for hotel dog sitters. We’ve had amazing experiences with the Four Seasons in Las Vegas, The Sofia in San Diego, and the The InterContinental in San Francisco. Seriously, first class treatment for VIP pets!  

So as you can see, traveling with a pet has it’s up and downs. We, personally, love taking her for all the fun. Just know, there will be pros and cons of pet travel and it gets easier with each trip. Thank you for coming by and if you have any additional questions on pet travel, feel free to reach out to me chloe (at) timetravelblonde (dot) com! 


Chloe & Phoebe

Bryce Canyon Sign

pros and cons of pet travel national parks colorado

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  • The dog is such a cutie! I want one, but my flat is too small.

  • Kemkem

    We brought our dogs with us from the U.S to Malta when we moved and they are with us now in Spain. It does get pretty expensive. We offset this by using reputable pet sitters. So far so good. Your dog is so cute.

  • Practical Wanderlust

    Phoebe is so cute!! I love the idea of taking pets along on your travels. We don’t own any pets yet, because we have this mindset that along with pets comes staying in one place. But now we know that there are other options! This is yet more fodder for my husband to use to beg me for a dog. Hehe!

  • Very cure doggie! I think traveling with a pet is really hard, I wouldn’t do it myslef, but I really admore people which take them. I think your article is very useful for those who would like to take their pet and don’t know if they will manage and how they will manage in the hotels and so on.

  • I love taking my dog with me during my travels, but I also realise the struggles we face sometimes. We cannot always go in the shops and restaurants we would like to, because they do not accept dogs and there is no place for them outside.

  • We travel a lot with our pet bird. It’s not always easy, but at least there are no extra bathroom breaks! He absolutely loves the car and tolerates planes / trains.

  • I think it is wonderful that you have found success in bringing your pet with you! Personally, I think I would find it difficult, as I feel like traveling with a pet would be quite limiting (since they can’t often enter museums, national parks, some hotels etc). I would, however, love to bring a pet along on a hike or short road trip!

  • I don’t have a pet dog yet but if I own one I would like to take along with me. The expense part is bit worrying though. Traveling with pet comes under luxury travel I think… one of the reasons why I haven’t taken up one yet.

  • Interesting read and that’s great that you can take your dog away with you.

  • TravelBlond

    I don’t have a pet but friend of mine has. We took her dog once to a road trip and it was a totally different level of fun! Pets are part of the family and I think its great that you take Phoebe with you. She is very cute, btw 🙂

  • David Johnston

    I’m often impressed by people that are able to take their pets with them on trips because it seems like it adds a whole other level of planning. I met some travellers who were bringing their dog with them around Europe and the vaccination requirements varied quite a bit from country to country. But I do imagine the separation anxiety can be quite rough for both, so totally get the desire to bring them along. #FlyAwayFriday

  • Young And Undecided

    This is so cute! I’ve seen more and more people travelling with pets and it is my absolute favourite!!

  • Cute dog! I’m impressed when people take their dogs with them as it does take more planning and effort.

  • So I’m not a pet person- two kids keep me plenty busy as it is- but I had to chuckle at some of these tips because of the similarities between pets and young kids. The one about keeping the same schedules is especially true. #FlyAwayFriday

  • claudi

    Hey Chloe! Thank you for sharing all the information. Its always so interesting to read or hear about the experiences of others. I have a dog too and her name is Mischa. I love taking her with me everywhere I go, but I’ve never taken her with me on an international flight. I think that this would be too stressful for her, but I’m very lucky because my parents love to take her for a few weeks and my little puppy loves to stay with them! 😉

  • We had to adopt out our cat when we moved overseas. Unfortunately it was just too expensive to take her with us and we didn’t feel it would be the right thing to do. Saying goodbye was so hard! But we found a great family who treat her so well, the best new family we could have asked for her. We had her since she was 5 weeks old so we were very attached! We get updates and there’s a possibility we may take her back when we return permanently to NZ.

  • I don’t have a pet because I am basically traveling all the time–it would be impossible (and unfair) to have a pet that I never see. Someday when I settle down a bit more, I hope to get a dog. In which case, I’ll have to take all of this into account for short trips! I think I’d rather bring my pet with me for domestic travel versus boarding it. #FlyAwayFriday
    P.S. Phoebe is so cute! 🙂

  • Editor-in-Style Good

    I sadly don’t have a pet yet, but I adore dogs and found your post very thought-provoking. My mother in-law has 4 dogs and does struggle to go on holidays as she dan’t find people to look after them and 4 to take away would be too much.

  • nattiekaf

    Thats so awesome that you travel with your dog, I’ve always felt like I didn’t want to a pet because I wouldn’t want to leave it when I travel, I’d never considered the fact that I could travel with a pet. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kat

    Oh my goodness Chloe is adorable! When I went away for a year I missed my cat SO MUCH if I could’ve taken him with me I would’ve. I totally see why people travel with their pets. #FlyAwayFriday

  • With respect to the topic, I have decided not to have pets. We go out of town almost every other weekend. And, that doesn’t count long weekend trips and full vacations. I adore dogs (grew up with 4) but believe that is a good decision for the moment. You Phoebe is very cute and I am sure she is the sweetest dog. So good you can have her close to you even when you travel. #flyawayfriday

  • Tracy McConnachie Collins

    Lovely that you take your dog with you on her travels. I choose to put mine into kennels but she loves that and gets pampered. She hates car travel with a passion – the only dog I have ever had that does! So kinder for her to take her bed and toys to the kennels for a week. 😊🐶

  • I just love your dog! So adorable!! My partner has a dog too and we haven’t been able to take him with us as he lives with my partners parents and has a dog friend there. They are impossible to separate as they will both cry like babies without each other. Traveling with both of them would be very difficult though as the other one is not a very good traveller. I guess we will just have to keep missing them! I had no idea hotels can be dog friendly though, as I once met a traveller who was walking the length of Spain with his dog and said it’s been so hard finding places to stay where they accept dogs. Great article though, as always!

  • I absolutely love that you guys travel with Phoebe tons! Missing my dogs is the hardest part of travel for me, I really wish that international travel was easier, cheaper and less stressful for them! #FlyAwayFriday

  • AdventuresOfAjerseygirl

    I think it’s great that yo travel loads with your phoebe. Most people would love to go everywhere with their dogs and I think if you can find pet friendly establishments and they are happy to travel then go for it especially when in country #flyawayfriday

  • It’s so nice to hear from another girl who loves travel AND having a pet! My husband and I have a dog but we’re living in China right now and the dog had to stay with my parents for the duration 🙁 Abraham is 80 lbs of anxiety and pure love, so he’s a little hard to travel with, but I’m planning some road trips with him soon when I get back to the US 🙂 #FlyAwayFriday

  • Tiffany

    I Love a few of those close up pics with you and Phoebe! So nice! Nice to hear some of those hotels that give the vip service! That sounds dreamy. Great post with the pics. 🙂 #flyawayfriday

  • Such an interesting read! I don´t have pets: mainly cause we travel a lot and it would probably feel like leaving a family member at home… cause, as you say – you can´t take them everywhere and sometimes it´s just not safe for them! One way or another, Phoebe looks lovely – she has these really “smart” eyes #flyawayfriday

  • These are so good to know since we’re planning on getting a puppy next year! Always love posts with tons of Phoebe! xo

  • Kelly | A Pair of Passports

    Agree with this so much! We love traveling with our little guy, but it’s definitely a different type of travel. We spend more time outdoors at parks and seeing attractions from the outside as opposed to exploring museums and seeing attractions from the inside.

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