Planes, Trains & Automobiles: How To Travel With Your Pet

3. Ride the Rails

Train enthusiasts haven’t always been allowed to bring their pets on board, but such animal-unfriendly thinking is increasingly a thing of the past. Now select lines welcome cats and dogs, though size restrictions still apply – basically, all four-legged passengers should be small enough to fit in a carry-on bag. On the flip side, this is great news for pugs, Persians and other pets whose delicate respiratory systems generally disqualify them for air travel. More info on this below.

4. Fly Right

The number of animal co-passengers has soared in recent years, with growing numbers of travelers finding animal travel companions key to reducing flying-related stress. Your choice of carrier, routes and destinations frequently determines whether your pet rides in your lap or the cargo hold, while especially large or flat-faced breeds, including pugs and Persians, might not be invited on board at all. Regardless, co-flying with your pet will require extra time and money, so contact the airline well in advance, allot extra time for check-in and security, don’t feed your animal right before boarding and, for goodness sake, book a direct flight.

5. Sleep Tight

Back in the day, one might have had to look closely to find a hotel that would welcome Fido inside – nowadays, a record number of options roll out the red carpet to four-legged guests, with complimentary dog beds, chew toys, snacks and, at least at Kimpton Hotels, a standing invite to happy hour. Regardless, even if your hotel is among the growing number of properties to offer doggie day care and special canine events, you should still spend some time helping your dog getting familiar with his or her new space, then put the “Do Not Disturb Sign” on the door to keep him from being startled by (or startling) the housekeeper.

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J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.