Nothing compares to the excitement and joy of seeing the world with your dog by your side. Costs can quickly skyrocket, however, when you’re traveling with your dog. You need to budget for any extra expenses ranging from travel supplies to pet fees. Fortunately, many nomads and vacationers have found tricks for budget-friendly travel with dogs.
Here are some budget-friendly tips you can use to plan a trouble-free adventure for you and your pup.
Save money on dog travel essentials
Of course, traveling with a dog means bringing along a few extra supplies. You’ll need portable food and water bowls, treats, pet bedding, waste bags, a leash, grooming supplies, a towel, and a first-aid kit. Consider also picking up a lightweight carrier to keep your dog safe on flights and public transportation. Make sure you acquire these supplies before leaving on your trip. Certain pet items, like dog beds, can cost a lot more in other countries!
For any items you don’t already have, shop online to save money—specialty pet stores tend to charge a premium for pet products. Often, you’ll find that similar pet items cost less from online retailers like Amazon. To save even more money on your pet supplies, grab some Amazon promotional codes before shopping, and don’t forget to check out their daily Gold Box Deals.
While you may need to buy a few new items, remember to pack some of your pet’s old favorites. Their favorite toys or bedding will help them feel comfortable among unfamiliar surroundings.
Choose your destination
If you work remotely, put extra consideration into your destination and accommodation choices. Digital nomads spend longer stretches away from home and have to choose more affordable cities and lower-cost accommodations to stay under budget. Consider booking a vacation rental rather than staying in a hotel — many locations offer discounts for long-term bookings. Look for homes with kitchens so you can save money by cooking your food. You also should choose dog-friendly rentals that don’t charge pet fees. If you do opt for a hotel, look for deals on booking sites like Hotels.com to save as much as possible and search for pet-friendly hotels and dog-friendly vacation resorts.
When it comes to cities, pick a location with your pet in mind. Denver, for example, is ranked as the third most dog-friendly city and offers great places to walk and dozens of pet-friendly activities you and your dog can enjoy together.
Dogs often experience anxiety when they’re left alone in new places. Although you’ll be able to share many travel adventures with your dog, you may be attracted to some activities that aren’t precisely pet-friendly. When you have to leave your pup at your rental, make arrangements with a local pet sitter to keep your dog company.
Bring important documents and certificates
Before booking your trip, do your homework. You may need to provide a pet health certificate or proof that your dog is vaccinated when you arrive at your destination. If you try to enter a country or state without the required documents, you can face severe fines. Colorado, for example, requires a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) issued within 30 days of travel as well as a current rabies vaccination certificate. If you plan on driving to your destination, remember to check the pet import requirements for each state you drive through.
Many airlines also have special pet requirements and will not allow dogs on board without specific paperwork such as a health certificate.
Save yourself from this expensive mistake by gathering all of the essential documents you need. To avoid a costly vet visit, shop around for veterinarians and find one that offers low-cost pet health certificates and vaccinations. Also, call your airline a few days before your departure to confirm that you’ll be bringing a dog on the flight. You may need to fill out a form issued by the airline.
Ready to go?
If this is the first time you’ve traveled with a dog, you’re likely feeling a bit anxious and overwhelmed. But don’t worry! About 37 percent of pet owners take their pets on trips every year. Travel companies, airlines, and accommodation options are becoming increasingly pet-friendly and provide opportunities for budget-friendly travel with dogs.
With the proper preparations, you’ll be able to enjoy a hassle-free trip without spending a fortune on pet travel expenses.
Nick Burton and his wife Mary started OurBestDoggo.com after Willie, their 15-year-old lab/terrier mix, died. They created the website to share dog information and help people who are mourning the loss of a dog.