jack russell dog ready to go travelling with plane ticket in mouth and red sunglasses sitting at airport with red travel case

Travelling with Dogs and Cats this Easter

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The Easter period is perfect for a family getaway, thanks to its mostly-mild weather (usually – go away, rain!) and plenty of public holidays. And for a lot of Aussies, pets are part of the family. So the idea of travelling with your dog or cat over Easter makes sense.

It’s not impossible to bring pets along on your trip, but it does take a bit more planning. Whether you’re flying or driving, you’ll need to ensure your dogs and cats don’t get overheated or dehydrated. Plus, that doesn’t even touch on the logistics of making sure they’re not bored, frustrated, travel sick, or ready to jump out and ditch you at any minute.

With Easter fast approaching, we’ve founded up the best trips for travelling with dogs and cats, whatever your preferred type of getaway and travel.

Up first: the good old Australian road trip.

1. Travelling with your dog or cat by car

Travelling with your dog or cat by road gives you more flexibility than by plane (or even boat!).

There are places you can access which would be very hard to visit otherwise, and you can break your journey along the way to suit your pet’s needs. When it comes to car travel, you’re in the driving seat. So you can do whatever you please.

However, it does come with challenges. Like you being fully responsible for your pet – unlike when they fly in the cabin of a plane. All this means is you need to be totally prepared if you’re travelling with your dog or cat via road.

Luckily, we have some pretty helpful resources, starting with our pets in cars: rules of the road article and then moving onto all the info and linked articles below.

Keeping your car happy

If you’re planning a road trip with pets in tow, you’ll have to make sure your car is up to the trip. One of the first steps is to pet proof your car. Trust us, prevention is better than cure when it comes to protecting your car from pet mess and distractions.

Then you’ll want to make sure your car is ready to tackle whatever else you throw at it. Before you leave read our car servicing checklist and get yours serviced if needed, check your car tyre pressure, and kit out your car survival kit, just in case. Make sure you know how to change a tyre too!

Now, for those who are more about taking to the skies than to the road…

cat and corgi dog looking out of open window of car they are travelling in

2. Travelling with your dog or cat on a plane

Not interested in hours spent on the roads? If you’re more about the destination than the journey, maybe you’re investigating the possibility of travelling with your dog or cat by plane. It’s definitely a quicker way to get where you’re going.

Keep in mind some airlines don’t fly brachycephalic breeds. Also known as flat-faced breeds (like the Pug, French Bulldog and Persian cat), these animals often struggle with breathing problems and overheat easily. Flying can exacerbate this, so some airlines won’t take the risk.

Once your flight is booked and your pet will be joining you in the sky, make sure you know what type of pet carrier the airline accepts. If you have time, it’s a good idea to do some crate training prep beforehand.

Here are a few helpful articles on pet friendly accommodation:

3. Leaving your pets behind

Not all pets are good to travel with. Maybe they get nervous in new places, don’t take to travel well, or are likely to run away and get lost if you’re on a roadtrip or holiday. In those cases, it’s best to leave your pet behind. (If the worst does happen, here’s how to find your lost pet on a holiday road trip.)

When travelling without your dog or cat, ensuring they’re safe and cared for helps you enjoy your holiday without guilt.

Think about whether pet boarding is a viable option and what type of facility your pet would like best. If they’re more of a homebody, consider whether kennels or pet sitters are a better choice for your furkids.

If you’re just popping out for a night, you should be able to leave your cat home alone for those few hours. But although people often wonder if they can leave cats for extended periods like a few days, the answer is no. Not even if they’re seemingly very independent kitties!

grey nomad lifestyle allows this woman to unwind

Whether pets are at home or away

One more thing. Whether you choose to bring them along for the ride or leave them at home, pet insurance can provide travelling pet owners with peace of mind.

If they break the vase at your pet-friendly hotel or eat something they shouldn’t at the pet boarding place, the right pet insurance plan will provide financial protection so you can enjoy your getaway without worry.

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