A woman and her dog enjoying a dog friendly travel adventure in a car.

Driving, Flying and Staycations with Dogs and Cats this Easter


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Is cat or dog friendly Easter travel on your wishlist? You’re one of many! Travelling with dogs, cats and even some other critters (think bearded dragons and goldfish) is becoming more and more popular. In this article, PD Insurance rounds up top tips for air and road travel with pets. We’ve got tips for keeping them safe, hydrated, and happy, plus we cover off several must-see pet friendly destinations.

Step right this way, cats, dogs, humans and… er… feathery and scaly types.

A Maltese poodle enjoys sitting in their pet parent's suitcase as they pack for a holiday trip

Pet travel is the new norm (but do plan ahead)

Pet travel is being ushered in as the new cultural norm. Australia is home to a wealth of pet friendly destinations making it entirely possible to bring pets along on your trip. But, a note of fair warning, like any family trip it takes solid planning to iron out wrinkles before they happen.

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.

Easter travel tips and destinations to mull over

The Easter period is dotted with extended weekends. This makes it perfect for an Australian road trip with family. 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.

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

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

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 boat!), to say the least.

Driving is a great way to do cat and dog friendly travel

A driving holidays allows plenty of places to access that 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.

Pet safety in cars

Some pets prefer (or maybe you prefer them) to travel in a carrier, in which case, learn pet carrier selection criteria. Others will be tethered with a car leash – the animal equivalent of a safety belt. Either way, you need to ensure they don’t become flying missiles in an accident or cause an accident to happen by wandering around the car.

You’ll also want to get read up with these great tips:

Then watch our PD Pet Care vlog with Dr Cath Watson on pet road safety:

Pet proofing your vehicle beforehand

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…

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

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.

Pet friendly air travel

In Australia you need to book pets on flights well in advance. The number of crates with animals allowed in the pet cargo area is limited. Plus, not all the flights or routes and stop-offs accommodate pets, though many do. We’ve listed pet friendly options in our flying with pets this Easter holiday article.

Get in touch with your preferred airlines and talk to them about your needs. They too need to plan ahead to make the whole trip run smoothly.

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.

And if you’re flying with a guide or service dog, find out more about the requirements of flying with an assistance dog.

Brachycephalic breeds

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.

A cat looking out of a circular window.

3. Pet staycations

Cat and dog friendly Easter travel isn’t suitable for all pets – not every furry friend likes to travel. 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 road trip 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!

A woman drives an open top car and smiles at her trusted dog in the passenger's seat

Pet friendly travel destinations

To get you started on dog friendly Easter travel, we’ve rounded up some excellent destinations. Regardless of where you opt for, keep in mind that even places that welcome pets with open arms tend to have a quota on how many pets can be on location at the same time.

For this reason, you’d want to secure your booking sooner than later. It’s a good idea to talk through the details of your pet with the manager of your accommodation – whether it’s camping, staying at a hotel or a holiday home. The more info they have on the size, type and any specific needs of your pet, the better planned they and you will be.

Most pet friendly holiday rentals make it a prerequisite for pets to be well behaved. This would mean that they’re well trained and socialised. Read our tips for choosing a good puppy school and using positive reinforcement dog training.

Travelling with pets and third party liability cover

Of course, you might want to consider having third party liability pet insurance for cat and dog friendly Easter travel. Juuuust in case they end up eating all the furniture/scratching other pets/accidentally swallowing the fancy fish in your holiday home’s pond.

This type of cover is included in all tiers of award-winning PD Pet Insurance plans for dogs and cats. Third party liability helps cover costs for damage your pet causes to people, their pets and their property.

Whether travelling with dogs and cats or at home

Further on that. 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, break a leg jumping off the AirBnb balcony or eat something they shouldn’t at the pet boarding place and fall ill, the right pet insurance plan will provide financial protection so you can enjoy your getaway without that worry. We’ll also give you one or months FREE when you buy our award winning pet insurance online!

Click below to start a simple and free quote.

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