Pet friendly vacation rentals have contributed to the rise in the number of pets going along on trips with their owners. After all, it's tough keeping a dog in a hotel room, and impossible to bring a cat.
But when you're staying in a pet friendly vacation rental, you often have the luxury of a yard and the space to accommodate the needs of your dog, cat or other pet.
If you're flying, be sure to check regulations specific to your airline. Most, if not all, only allow dogs or cats in the cabins with you, and you'll need an airline-approved carrier. You'll probably need a health certificate from your Veterinarian. If your pet is traveling as checked luggage, the airline may also have temperature restrictions (meaning they won't accept a pet if the day-of-travel temperatures aren't within certain ranges). Airlines also have restrictions on how many total pets are allowed on one flight and have special check-in procedures. You'll likely be asked to go through a checklist with the agent at the counter.
If you're traveling by car, you'll want to provide your pet with a secure, safe, well-ventilated crate or carrier. They should be able to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in it. The crate or carrier should be strapped down with a seat belt or bungee cord. Your pet will get as uncomfortable as you on a long car ride. Treat your pet like you'd treat one of your kids. Don't leave them in a car by themselves. Keep them entertained with toys. Interact with them so they don't get grouchy. They may not be able to ask "are we there yet," but they'll be thinking it just the same.
Other traveling tips: bring your pet's vaccination record, even if you're not traveling by plane; don't let them your pet ride with his or her head out the window -- it's dangerous and they could jump out; plan on extra time for bathroom breaks -- your pet will be "going" in an unfamiliar area and that can take more time.
Once you reach your destination, allow your pet to get acclimated to their environment, but keep a close eye on them. It's an unfamiliar area to you both. In no time at all, you'll both be settled in and enjoying your vacation together.