With the upcoming holiday, I know some people may be traveling and I wanted to share some tips if you plan to take your pup. If you’re someone like me, you looove your pup and want them to experience everything with you! I know that preparing to travel with your dog can be an anxious time (trust me- I stress over everything), so I wanted to try and ease that tension with sharing my experiences and a few good tips.
I recently got back from a trip to San Francisco with Nala (my pup) and this was actually her second time to California! Since getting her (about 2 years ago), I’ve traveled with her to many places like Boston, Atlanta, DC, and of course California.
If you’re heading out of NYC via Metro North, you have it the best because dogs are allowed to walk right on the train no problem. I recently took a trip to Boston and traveled via the Metro North and it was so accommodating and Nala enjoyed the ride.
If you will be traveling via Long Island Rail Road or Amtrak, the good news is that pets are allowed on both of these trains, however they must be in an approved carrier where the dog must be able to “sit and lie down without touching the sides of the carrier.” From my personal experience with LIRR (I travel back and forth to Long Island with Nala all the time), this bag rule can be dependent on the conductor and I’ve had her in a smaller tote-like bag with no issue. These guidelines also go for the NYC Subway, but again from my experience, I have taken Nala on in a tote before.
Check HERE for more tips on traveling in/out/around of NYC.
RENTAL CAR or TAXI
I have really never had an issue with traveling via a taxi. Most drivers only ask that I hold her if she’s not already in a carrier. When I rent a car, I don’t bring up the fact that a dog may be in the vehicle. A good idea is bring a blanket to lay down to avoid any hair or anything else getting on the seats. This being the case, I’ve only once had a car charge me an extra cleaning fee for having the dog in the car. From my experience, the times where I have dropped the rental car off at the airport I have not been charged any extra fee.
If traveling on a plane, make sure you call and let them know you’re bringing your pup and find out anything you may need to bring. Typically, you need to have proof of their vaccinations. I always like to bring a little water bottle like THIS (make sure it’s empty before going through security) or like THIS. I like to walk Nala right before going through security and try and keep the water drinking to a minimum to help avoid any accidents.
When going on the plane, I keep in her a luggage-type bag (EXACT LINKED HERE). Nala is ~32lbs so I got the large size. This has wheels and a long handle that I can pull her with. Also, her head can be out (like a little periscope) and she can see what going on.
Since your pup will be your carry-on luggage, I like to bring only a small backpack and check my luggage so I don’t have to worry about carrying anything else. Managing the pup can be enough sometimes! You can typically walk them around the airport which is convenient, but I’ve heard people’s experiences can vary, so be aware.
I noticed that finding a place to stay with your pup is easiest through AIRBNB. There are so many unique places that are host dogs! If you find a place you really like but find they don’t allow pets, you can always send the host a message and just ask if it’s okay (I’ve been able to stay at a place with my pup this way!). If you’re truly only looking for a hotel, there are also plenty of dog friendly hotels that you can find.
I also recommend researching some good places to take your pup once you get to your destination such as fun parks and pet-friendly restaurants/bars (they exist!!)
I always pack some treats and a favorite toy to help make it a comfortable space while traveling and when we get to the destination. Depending on how long your trip is, you can see if you can get their food where you are traveling. This can help save weight on your checked items.
Most importantly, there is no need to worry and you just need to remember that your pup is there to help you relax and for you both to enjoy yourselves. There have been times where Nala has really helped make the traveling experience better for ME and I don’t want you to not bring your pup because you’re nervous about the actual traveling. Trust me, it won’t be that bad and totally worth it in the end.