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18 Cheapest Way To Travel With A Dog

Cheapest Way To Travel With A Dog

When we travel, most people have their favorite spots when they want to visit or go somewhere new. For those who love traveling but hate flying because of long hours spent in airports, there’s always another option—travel by car! While driving may be more expensive than taking flights, going on road trips offers so many benefits like visiting beautiful landscapes, meeting local people, sampling different cuisines, etc., which makes it worth every penny. If you’re planning to drive across country, here are some important things to know about traveling with your pet.

Travel is stressful enough without having to worry about your pet’s wellbeing along the journey. Luckily for you and Fido there are plenty of options when it comes to traveling with pets — from hotels to airbnbs, campervans to hostels and beyond.

Wherever you decide to go, you need to prepare yourself mentally as well as physically. This article lists down top ten cheapest way to travel with a dog. Read this guide carefully to ensure that you don’t get into any trouble during your trip.

1. Airlines

If you’re looking to fly somewhere within North America, airlines like Southwest and Alaska have policies that allow dogs onboard provided they’re small enough (up to 25 pounds) and remain calm during take-offs and landings. If your pup isn’t so friendly, carriers can be rented at both airports. There are even special areas where pups can stay while their owners shop. The charge per day depends on which airline you choose.

Southwest charges $75 plus tax ($50 each way), depending on size, breed and weight limit. Dogs who require more than two hours boarding will not be allowed if you book online. To avoid this fee, call ahead directly to the airline. Alaska Airlines allows up to 50 pound dogs as long as they fit in an approved carrier. They also accept smaller sizes but may need additional fees based on age, breed and other factors. Call them beforehand to find out what exactly those guidelines entail. For international flights, Delta only accepts service animals. Some airlines provide preboarding services by contacting them before booking tickets.

2. Hotels

It might seem obvious, but many hotel chains now welcome canine guests. Pet Friendly Hotel listings have been popping up across the country over the past few years, indicating accommodations that cater specifically to travelers with furry friends. Most hotels offer doggy treats, beds and rooms suitable for large breeds. You’ll usually pay extra for these amenities, though. Depending on how far away the destination is from home, you could end up paying upwards of $200/night just for lodging alone. But hey, you saved money on plane ticket!

PetFriendly.com has compiled lists of all major hotel brands that welcome pets. This page breaks down costs and locations specific to certain types of vacations. It includes information such as whether pets are permitted indoors or outdoors, what kind of food they should bring, tips on keeping your pet entertained, etc.

You don’t necessarily need proof of vaccination or licensing to check into most hotels with your canine companion. However, if you plan on bringing your dog inside, ask first. Many places won’t permit it unless proper containment equipment is used. In addition, be sure to know local laws regarding animal interaction before taking off.

3. AirBnBs

Airbnb hosts worldwide rent entire homes to visitors by the night. Users can browse through thousands of properties listed under “hosts with pets” until finding one perfect match. As long as there aren’t any complaints against a property, its cleanliness, location, security features, and available kitchen and bathroom facilities are evaluated. Only then does a potential renter decide whether to book. Pets are welcomed in almost every listing.

Pricing varies widely among regions throughout the world. Rentals typically range between $100-$300/night. While rates fluctuate daily, prices often increase during peak seasons. Guests must request permission to enter private spaces, including bedrooms. A deposit is required upon arrival to cover damages, loss, cleaning fees, and incidentals.

For anyone planning to use AirBnb multiple times, users can save big bucks by signing up for longer stays. Plus, people tend to put lower ratings onto listings with multiple cancellations. So, consider using a platform like Booked.net, which connects homeowners with renters.

According to research conducted by HomeAway last year, 89 percent of respondents were happy to let their dogs hangout in their apartments. That said, make sure you discuss rules and regulations with hosts prior to renting. Otherwise, you risk being evicted or fined if you violate terms. And yes, you can still leave your pet behind when visiting family members’ houses too.

4. Airbnb alternatives

One of the biggest issues people face when trying to book an Airbnb rental is that most of these spots are located outside city limits. If you want to explore nearby towns, look no further than Couchsurfing.org. Its network covers approximately 6 million hospitality offers and tens of millions of unique experiences offered by locals. Members post free ads for short term housing, couch surfing, car sharing, cooking classes, tours, hikes, visits to art galleries, bike rides, picnics, parties, business meetings, conferences, weddings, reunions, and everything else imaginable. Sign up for membership here.

Families and solo adventurers can also join groups hosted by locals for camping trips, sightseeing adventures, weekend roadtrips, theme park days, beach days, shopping outings, wine tastings, bar crawls, ghost tours, walking tours, pub quizzes, dinner cruises, yoga retreats, hiking treks, cycling excursions, kayaking expeditions, and much more. Browse the site’s search function to see what interests you. Then filter results by dates, region, category, language, guest rating, price range, number of guests, distance, type of accommodation, activities, and safety score.

5. Camping

Camping is another popular activity enjoyed by families and singles alike. One option is to camp with pets at designated sites. Some public campsites already accommodate pets, while others require permits or reservations. Other folks set up tents near trails or lakeside. Even if you don’t own a tent, you can buy one cheaply. Here are websites dedicated to helping you find cheap deals for recreational vehicles (RVs). Just keep in mind that some RVs don’t allow pets.

To protect yourself from unwanted critters, secure garbage cans properly and carry repellents that kill ticks, mosquitoes, spiders, ants, and roaches. Also, wash dishes after meals, especially human poop since raccoons love to eat it. Bring a portable sink and water supply. Keep food locked up tight and clean up after each meal. Don’t forget nonstick cookware, matches, lighters, flashlights, and bug spray. Check weather reports and follow safety precautions on national park websites to prevent heat stroke, hypothermia, and drowning.

6. Travel trailers

There are lots of reasons why someone would prefer living in a trailer rather than traditional dwellings. Not least because the latter come equipped with built-in kitchens and bathrooms. On top of that, trailers are easier to move around. They can easily navigate narrow roads, parking lots, and crowded sidewalks. Plus, they’re cheaper to maintain. Since a typical mobile home can cost hundreds of dollars monthly to live in, buying a tiny house instead makes financial sense.

But if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, try hitting up flea markets and yard sales. Trailer manufacturers sell used ones for less than half of retail value. Or visit Craigslist to see if anybody wants to trade theirs in for something similar. Before purchasing a new one, always consult local zoning codes. Make sure you understand all restrictions associated with owning a trailer, such as length requirements, noise limitations, trash pickup schedules, and insurance coverage.

7. RV parks

An RV is basically a motorhome with added sleeping quarters, storage space, electricity, running water, toilet, shower, stove, fridge, TV, dining area, gas hookups, and WiFi. Although RVs are generally spacious, they aren’t meant to serve as permanent residences. Unless you’ve got a really nice rig, you probably shouldn’t stick around once your trip ends. Instead, think of staying in RV parks. These establishments usually consist of laundry centers, grocery stores, restaurants, recreation areas, swimming pools, playgrounds, Wi-Fi hotspots, and cable stations.

In general, they vary significantly in quality. Therefore, read reviews carefully and select wisely. Look for signs of wear and tear and inspect the surrounding area thoroughly. Ask management questions related to crime prevention, emergency response, and upkeep procedures. Finally, don’t assume that you’ll enjoy amenities such as hot showers and 24-hour support staff simply because you paid for full access. Often, these perks come attached with hefty nightly fees.

8. Stay in Cheap Hotels

The first thing you should do if you wish to save money on accommodation is staying in cheap hotels. You won’t find luxurious accommodations at these rates, but you’ll still enjoy clean rooms, good service, and great value for money. The best part? Most budget hotels welcome pets.

If you prefer to book online, sites such as Booking.com offer discount deals for stays longer than three days. Also check Expedia website for last-minute discounts.

You can also use websites like Hotel Tonight for discounted options.

One of my personal recommendations is Hostelworld, which has over 250,000 hostels worldwide. It lets users compare prices from hundreds of booking sites, making it easy for travelers to find cheap hostsels around them.

Hostels are becoming increasingly popular among millennials. Partly due to rising popularity of social media platforms, and partly due to the fact that these lodgings are sometimes cheaper than regular hotels. Prices depend on the room, bedding, availability, and other factors. Typically, dormitory style units start at roughly $25/night, whereas double occupancy goes for $35/person.

Most hostels prohibit pets. However, if yours fits reasonably well in a crate, you can inquire for a separate cage. Sometimes, hostels will allow dogs under the condition that they remain leashed at all times. If you’d like to invite your pet along, contact facility managers beforehand to figure out if it’s possible.

9. Find out the rules about dogs and where you will stay

Before heading off on a road trip, read up information related to pet regulations followed in certain regions. In case you bring your pooch to one of these countries without knowing its laws, you might end up getting fined heavily. So make sure you research about whether your dog is accepted in each place you intend to stop at.

Also, make sure that the location you choose doesn’t allow large animals (like camels) inside public spaces. Even though you’d never see them roaming free outside, you could encounter stray camels wandering near gas stations and restaurants. That would lead to problems especially if you own a small dog.

In addition, keep track of how far you drive per day. Many states limit vehicle miles driven daily. These restrictions vary between states, cities, counties, and even neighborhoods within cities. Check with state departments of motor vehicles to learn details about maximum distance traveled before returning home.

10. Use your time wisely

While you sit behind the wheel, consider using your downtime efficiently. Besides listening to music, talk to locals, try delicious foods, and explore the surrounding area, you can also catch up on reading. There are numerous books available that tell stories of adventures and journeys made by humans. And, yes, you can borrow them too!

Since you’ve brought your furry companion, why not let him/her join you on a stroll through nearby city parks, beaches, forests, etc.? He/she would definitely appreciate the chance to stretch his legs after being cooped up in the back seat all day.

11.Don’t take your dog to places it is not allowed

A lot of drivers tend to disregard traffic signs posted at junctions stating “no bikes” or “bikes prohibited.” They assume that since no bike rider was present, it must apply only to cars. But what happens if someone does ride a bike right next to you? Or, worse yet, he falls asleep right beside you? Then your dog would wake him up, resulting in a big accident.

So, whenever possible, avoid stopping at locations where cycling facilities exist. If you absolutely cannot skip it, then park your car away from cyclists.

Don’t forget to check the parking policies for specific destinations. Some require advance reservations while others accept walk ins. Before stepping foot out of the car, study the map thoroughly. Know exactly where you’re headed, including street names, landmarks, bus routes, distances, etc.

12. Bring along food, water, leash and other essential items

Make sure you carry enough supplies for your pet to survive throughout the journey. Pack snacks, bottled drinks, medicine, treats, blankets, and toys. You can buy these essentials at roadside carts, supermarkets, convenience stores, and markets. Also pack enough cash for tipping the driver.

Besides basic necessities, make sure you include a leash in your luggage. Pets often run alongside the car window, which causes danger. Plus, leashes come handy when dealing with aggressive animals like German shepherds or chihuahuas.

It is advisable to keep your pet hydrated despite having plenty of drinking water. During hot summer months, temperature rises quickly and humidity levels increase. Hence, bringing extra bottles helps maintain body temperatures. However, it is better to check availability of fresh running water prior to departure.

Bring your pet’s medical records with you and contact vet immediately in case of emergencies.

13. Make sure that your pet can access all areas at the destination

Your pet shouldn’t face difficulty accessing all parts of the destination. Check beforehand if there are stairs or elevators, ramps, slippery surfaces, narrow entry points, etc., that would affect your animal’s mobility.

For example, if you live in California and head towards Maine via New Hampshire, make sure your pup isn’t scared of heights or nervous around tall fences. Otherwise, it might panic and cause accidents. Similarly, watch out for busy roads with lots of honking sounds, sudden stops, and turns.

14. Plan ahead and make arrangements before leaving

Once you hit the highway, it takes two minutes to turn off your GPS. But unless you set aside sufficient amount of time, you probably wouldn’t notice the view until you reach the exit sign. If you leave everything in the hands of fate, you might end up losing valuable time. Instead, keep a pen and paper ready to jot down address, phone numbers, business addresses, gas station stops, etc., wherever necessary.

After dropping your pup off, call ahead to confirm pick up times. Ask the person to meet you at the designated spot and return the keys once done.

15. Have an emergency plan

Have a contingency plan in place to handle situations that arise unexpectedly. For instance, if you get stuck in heavy traffic due to an accident, arrange for alternate transportation. Keep copies of current license plates plus registration papers with you. Call local authorities if required.

Similarly, if you feel something wrong with your pet, act fast. Seek immediate assistance from vets and proper treatment centers. Having a healthy canine buddy is priceless, but it pays to remain alert at all times.

16. Be prepared for extreme weather conditions

During winter, frosty winds blow dust particles loose from cracks of doors and windows. On cold nights, carbon monoxide leaks out from exhaust pipes causing health hazards. When driving, keep windshield wipers working properly. Avoid stopping at night under trees or power poles.

On rainy days, puddles form beneath car wheels, creating slick surfaces. Therefore, clear gutters and remove debris regularly.

Avoid putting metal objects underneath vehicle hoods. Items like air conditioner compressors, hoses, antennae wires, etc., create sparks that ignite gasoline vapors. Moreover, sparks from tailpipes can damage fuel lines.

17. Take care of the needs of your pet while traveling

As soon as you start moving, make sure to provide adequate space for your pet to move freely. Since it usually feels uncomfortable sitting upright, position seats accordingly. Also, give room for stretching and relieving itself.

Pets aren’t able to adjust themselves easily to unfamiliar environments. For those who suffer anxiety upon entering confined spaces, bring familiar chew toys or treat dispensers. Likewise, pet beds help relieve stress caused by lengthy drives.

Remember to feed your pet frequently to prevent hunger cramps. Carry snacks and water bottles for thirsty dogs. Additionally, if your puppy becomes ill, consult veterinarians for medication advice.

18. Travel Safely With Your Pet

Whether you’re looking forward to exploring a new continent or just enjoying scenic views passing by, traveling with a pet comes with unique challenges. Follow our simple guidelines above to safeguard both yours and your pet’s safety.

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