By Penny & Ed Cherubino
The prospect of traveling seems like a distant promise right now. Yet here we are reminding you to think about reservations for traveling this summer, fall, and right into the holidays.
When you have dependent creatures in your life, travel plans have some added requirements. If your furry family members are going with you, there are restrictions on where you can stay and how they may travel. If they are remaining behind, you have to arrange for their care.
We do travel with our dog Poppy. This puts some serious restrictions on the places where we are welcome. Once you find a pet-friendly hotel or rental, you may learn that not all the accommodations within that property are available to travelers with animals. We understand this since some rooms are reserved for people with allergies or special needs.
Over the years we’ve discovered that some rentals are only available to specific people whose animals have proven themselves to be well-behaved and whose guardians have left the property in the condition that they found it. If you have built this kind of reputation with certain hosts, ask those people for references to use when they have no vacancies or you are traveling to a different area.
On the other hand, those who have broken the house rules, whose animals have disturbed other guests, or have left a mess for the staff to clean up, find there are never any vacancies when they call.
Planes, Boats, and Trains
If your animal is small enough to fit in a carrier as required by the airlines and Amtrak, you will still need to reserve earlier. The number of pets on a plane may be restricted and the length of a trip when your dog or cat must remain in the carrier without a potty break may determine which trips you can and can’t make.
Ferries around New England have proven to be very open to companion animals. You can hop onto a ferry to the very pet-friendly town of Provincetown. Boston Harbor Cruises is our usual choice. Their Provincetown ferry website says, “Well behaved, leashed pets are welcome aboard.” The Casco Bay Lines ferry in Portland ME says, “… please be aware that dogs need their own tickets, unless they are in a pet carrier or are a service animal. All dogs need to be on a leash. Dog tickets are $4.10.”
There are times when your cat or dog must stay behind and you must find someone to care for them while you are away. If you have a regular dog walker or cat sitter, you may be able to extend their service to longer-term care. This is more likely to happen if you are the first person to ask for specific dates.
Some doggie daycare centers also offer to board their regular customers. And, of course, there are cat and/or dog boarding facilities that are set up just for longer visits. Be certain the facility you opt for always has a responsible person on-site with the animals.
Finally, friends and family are another way to provide trustworthy care for your animals while you travel. We know a couple who have a friend move into their city condo or beach house to stay with their dogs. They gain peace of mind while they are away and their friend has the opportunity to have a lovely home, all to herself, away from her usual housemates. That is her favorite kind of vacation!
Do you have a question or topic for City Paws? Send an email to [email protected] with your request.