A digital nomad lifestyle is a popular option for many individuals who find jobs that allow them to travel all over the world. But what if you’re a pet owner looking to become a digital nomad? A lifestyle of traveling becomes more challenging when you have pets, but it’s still a lifestyle that you can accomplish with a little extra planning for yourself and your animals.
Start with your pet’s health
As you plan your first destination, it’s essential to consider how you’ll keep your pet healthy during your travels, especially when you’re heading to foreign countries. Research your planned destination area and identify the available veterinary care for your pet. It’s a good idea to know already where the local veterinarian offices are located before you arrive.
Investing in pet insurance is an excellent way to reduce the costs of unexpected expensive vet bills for emergencies.
Many pet insurance companies work on a reimbursement model, meaning you’ll still need a way to cover the initial bill, so be sure that you also have a credit card with a generous limit, just in case. Before you enroll in a pet health insurance plan, make sure that the insurance will apply within the destinations that you plan to travel to.
When it comes to planning your trip to another country, start with thorough research. Different countries have different regulations for incoming pets. At a minimum, your pet will probably need an international health certificate, and getting one of these certificates can take months. Additionally, your pet may need certain vaccinations or tests depending on the diseases present in the area; talk with your veterinarian, so you have all of the specifics covered for your destination.
Learn how to travel with your pet
Some pets, like many dogs, love traveling, while others may find it more stressful. When traveling with your pet, plan, and make sure that you can keep your pet comfortable. If you’re driving by car, ensure that your pet is well-secured in case of an accident. Always bring plenty of extra supplies, including water and snacks for your pet, in case of travel delays.
Be sure also to avoid common pet travel mistakes. One of those common mistakes is failing to update your dog’s microchip. A microchip is only helpful if the information in the microchip database is current. Before you do any traveling, contact your pet’s microchip database and make sure that you provide contact information that will reach you during your travels.
By planning, you can take advantage of many budget-friendly travel tips. For instance, if you’re traveling to a foreign country, you may pay much more for your pet’s medications in your new destination than they would cost you at home. See if your vet is willing to fill a more significant prescription before you leave, or try to find a pharmacy that offers international shipping so you will have steady access to your pet’s medication at an affordable cost.
Prepare for plane flights
As a digital nomad, plane travel will quickly become a part of life, and that means that your pet will need to go with you. Pets do fly every day, and some airlines even offer frequent flier programs for pets.
If you’ve never flown with a pet, you’ll need to start with some research. You may have the option of having your pet travel in the cabin with you, or of having your pet travel in the cargo area. This will depend on the number of pets on the flight, your pet’s size, and additional factors. Contact the airline to find out the specifics about your flight and always make sure that you arrive with plenty of extra time before your flight. If possible, book a direct flight to minimize the amount of time your pet spends in transit and to keep the flight low-stress for you both. If your dog is a nervous traveler, consider using calming bites, a stress-relief supplement, or CBD-infused dog treats.
To keep your pet safe, invest in a high-quality airline-approved carrier, and verify that you’re following all of the airline’s regulations for flying with your pet. International flights typically have additional rules, like mandatory quarantine periods for pets. It is best to contact the airline well in advance of your flight to verify any specific requirements to ensure that the flight goes smoothly for everyone.
Prepare for housing challenges
When you’re a digital nomad with a pet, you’ll face more challenges in finding housing than you would if you were traveling alone. Pet-friendly housing is available, but it can be more limited than traditional housing. Be prepared to pay a pet security fee for your housing, and realize that each time you move, you’ll need to start looking for your next housing option early on to ensure you and your pet have an ideal new home.
Being a digital nomad with a pet requires some extra planning on your part, but it can also be a rewarding experience to take your pet along on this journey with you. Rather than travel the world alone, the journey is so much better with your best friend by your side.