Travelling with pets and children bear many similarities. Both depend on your protection and guidance between destinations. That said, lodging and transportation companies rarely discriminate against kids whereas many prohibit animals.
The most common pets travellers bring along are cats and dogs. Pet-friendly establishments usually accept these domestic animals but refuse exotic ones (i.e. birds and reptiles). There are reasons for this:
- Maintenance—animals that live in aquariums and cages are harder to clean, consume more electricity (i.e. heaters and lamps) and sometimes smell;
- Environmental threat—if a foreign animal escapes, it can threaten other native species and/or ecosystems;
- Preference—pets like amphibians and arachnids freak some people out and that’s bad for business.
If staying in a hotel, check the pet policy before arranging travel plans for your little friends. Some allow all types of animals while others accept only small mammals.
Airline Policies on Pets
If driving on your vacation, then transporting your pets is less of a concern. When taking public transit, though, more restrictions apply. For instance, city buses typically allow pets only after peak hours. Shuttles and coaches are often people-exclusive, too.
Commercial airlines are more lenient when it comes to animals. That said, your pet may need to go in the cargo chamber depending on its breed and size. Thankfully, these areas are pressurized and temperature-controlled.
For smaller dogs and cats, you can actually bring them aboard as carry-on! So long as the chosen crate allows your pet to sit, stand, turn and lie down, the airline will let you place the crate between your legs. This is great for animals that experience travel anxiety and need their owners close.
For transporting multiple pets or exotic species, you will need to consult the rules of your chosen airline. You might need to provide documentation proving ownership and/or permission, too.