Travel is way more fun when your furkid comes along. That’s even truer when you’re going solo. Taking a trip with your pet requires a little extra preparation when you’re on your own, but if you plan ahead, pack smart and stay aware of his needs, you and your four-legged excursionist will be rewarded with amazing memories. Check out these six tips for solo travel with your dog before you set off on your next pet-friendly adventure!
1. Know Before You Go
Before you embark on your “pawdyssey,” double-check that tags and microchip information are accurate, vaccinations are up to date, and he’s healthy for travel.
2. Plan Your Route
When you’re globetrotting with your pet, the journey is nearly as important (and fun) as the destination. The last thing you want is to be stranded with an anxious pet by your side. When you’re adventuring by vehicle, take the time to plan a route that allows for plenty of pet-friendly stops along the way. It’s generally agreed that dogs should be allowed a break from the car every 3-4 hours, but some will need more frequent stops. Furry friends who tend to get restless in the car will need breaks where they can get in a long walk.
3. Make Reservations
When it’s just you and your pooch, we recommend booking a pet-friendly hotel before you hit the road. Some hotels have a limited number of pet-friendly rooms while others sell out months in advance. Finding pet-friendly accommodations is easy when you use TripsWithPets. Getting this done ahead of time is one less thing you have to worry about when traveling alone with your pet.
4. Pack Your Car for Convenience
Arrange your space so that you can easily access what you’ll need for your furkid at stops along the way, like pet travel bowls, treats, waste bags, pet meds, leash, first aid kid, toys and blankets. You’ll also want to make sure your pet is properly secured in the back seat or cargo area. This will not only ensure his safety, but it will prevent driving distractions.
5. Stay In Touch
One of the smartest ways to stay safe when you’re traveling solo is to designate someone to be aware of where you are along the way. Give your pet-friendly travel itinerary to another human and update them during your adventures. With location-sharing apps, it’s easy to let loved ones know where you are, where you’re headed, and what Fido’s up to. And of course, regularly sharing photos on social (#tripswithpets) will let folks know when to start worrying and when to just be jealous at the great adventures the two of you are having.
6. When Nature Calls
What do you do when nature calls and you’re traveling solo with your dog? For your four-legged companion, it’s simple: the world is his toilet. When you’re on the road or exploring a new destination, keep waste bags and supplies on hand to clean up after Rover.
Managing YOUR potty breaks, however, requires a little more thought. Pups should not be left unattended in a vehicle, so what’s a human to do?
Pop into a pet-friendly business to use their restrooms. Pet-friendly hotel chains, like Red Roof Inns, La Quinta, Motel 6...as well as pet stores and big box stores (e.g. Petco, PetSmart, Home Depot, Lowes, etc..), veterinarians, and groomers will let you use their facilities so you never have to leave your pet alone.
If you think you may be in a remote area for a while and happen to spot one of these pet-friendly potty areas, it’s a good idea to be “proactive” and make a potty pit stop.
Photo credit: Istock/Liudmila Chernetska