When it comes to car technology, the industry is ever-changing, with more and more vehicles fitted with the most revolutionary and handy pieces of tech you can find – and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

At Advantage Rent A Car, we have a range of vehicles fitted with the best automotive technology suited for your needs. Our vehicles range from economy basics to the best of luxury vehicles suited for business executives, and more!

Most cars are fitted with too many high tech features to count, but here’s an outline of 5 of the most helpful tech features a car can have.

Adaptive Cruise Control

It may seem like cruise control is nothing new to shout about, but the developments with cruise control are certainly worth knowing – and for most-drivers, they are a miracle in gridlock traffic. Vehicles fitted with advanced cruise control systems are able to come to a complete halt in traffic rather than just controlling speed, and can even set off a little bell to let you know when the car in front of you has begun to move. Not only that, but it is a must-have safety feature to keep you cruising at the correct speed and prevent accidents. They’re also great for avoiding speeding.

Cooled Seats

A lot of drivers these days swear by having high tech cars fitted with warmed seats. They can be a blessed relief in the colder months, especially if you’re commuting during the dark, early hours and your car has transformed into a block of ice. There’s nothing like the feeling of being warm and toasty in your seat.

However, being unbearably warm when driving is just as bad as being frozen solid when needing to drive – in fact, some may consider it worse when you’re slowly sweating your sanity away. That’s why cooled seats are an amazing feature. The air con can only get you so far during those hot summer days, and cooled seats are a quick and easy way to lower your body temperature right down and have a pleasant driving experience without turning into a puddle on your seat.

Apple CarPlay

One of the biggest beneficial changes regarding automotive technology is the development in car radios and the ability to connect your smart device to your vehicle. Having a vehicle fitted with CarPlay capabilities means you have access to an easy-to-use system which displays all your usual and helpful apps, and allows you to use your car radio as you would your smartphone. This means you can make calls and construct messages easily and safely, and also have access to the best music from your smart device and enjoy it all while you’re driving.

Wireless Phone Chargers

There is nothing worse than tangled, long wires, no matter where you are, but especially inside your car. The charging ports for your vehicle are usually found right by the stick, meaning you usually have a long wire getting tangled every time you want to shift gear. Not anymore, with the wireless phone charging capability! This means no more wires, no more mess, and a discreet little port to charge your devices without anything getting in the way. The world is going wireless, and so should your vehicle!

Driver Profile

It’s wonderful when you have your own vehicle and can set everything up how you want it, just right. A lot of people don’t have that luxury, however, when needing to share a vehicle within a household – which means jumping in your car for the morning commute and realizing somebody has fiddled with all the knobs, adjusted the seat and moved the mirrors.

With driver profile capabilities, however, the stress is significantly limited. This feature allows a driver to save and store their driving preferences, in order to easily return to how everything was before another person began messing with it.

This feature varies depending on the level of driver profiling in the car – it could be anything from storing your favorite radio stations to remembering how you like your preferred climate setting, to larger details such as the position you like to have your mirrors in.

This saves a lot of time and effort, to say the least.

If you’re looking for a rental car with specific high tech features and automotive technology, don’t hesitate to speak to the team at Advantage Rent A Car, and let us find the perfect vehicle for you.

No matter how careful you are regarding road safety, sometimes the worst accidents can happen to you at the complete fault of another driver. That’s why it’s important always to be aware when you are driving and constantly be attuned to the behavior of other drivers, even if you are being safe yourself. Learning how to be a defensive driver can help you feel more equipped for the road.

Not only is this mentality paramount for everyday driving, but it’s also relevant when using a rental car, especially if you are driving in another country which may use a different side of the road and follow different road rules.

At Advantage Rent A Car, we ensure that we always offer vehicles suited to your needs and which you are most comfortable driving, especially in an unfamiliar country.

By taking steps to be the best defensive driver you can be, you are actively avoiding crashes and helping to escape the risks which come with being behind the wheel. Below are some of the best defensive driving tips to help you learn how to avoid car accidents and remain safe.

Stay Focused

This may sound like an obvious piece of advice for any driver, but it’s so easy to let your attention slip when driving, whether through the noise of the radio, your phone going off or trying to eat while you drive during a long road trip.

Staying focused means keeping your eyes on the road, at all times, looking ahead to analyze the road and other drivers, and constantly checking your side and rearview mirrors. If you need to eat or drink, then ensure you pull over when it is safe to do so, or consider visiting a rest stop. If you need to check something on your phone, then always pull over.

Stay One Step Ahead

Driving defensively includes anticipating what another driver may do before they do it. You may not be psychic, but you can read the signals of any driver on the road and act accordingly.

For instance, if you have just been overtaken by what appears to be a reckless driver but the road in front of you is narrowing, chances are they will make a quick move to pull back over in front of you. Leave a wide berth and room for them to do so.

Stay attuned to your instincts and initiative. If you’re ever unsure, slow down and ready your foot on the brake. Look ahead at the route and calculate risks.

Always Treat Other Drivers as The Worst

Even if you’re a generous driver who always lets people pull out into the road, or move over into your lane on the highway, never assume that other drivers will do the same for you. Other drivers may be ready to run a red light even if yours is on green, may be willing to pull out onto a road even if you haven’t signaled for them to do so, and may force their way into your lane without you permitting it. By preparing for the worst, you’re being prepared when it comes to road safety.

Research Road Rules Before You Travel to a New Place

When getting ready to drive a rental car in another country, it’s important to research everything you can about their road rules. Never assume that you’ll easily be able to pick it up as you go along during the journey, as you’ll need to be educated before you set off in the car. Be sure you know which side of the road the country drives on, that you are comfortable using an automatic, for example, if you’re used to driving a shift stick, and that you’re aware what their speed limits are and what their road signs mean.

Muscle memory kicks in when you are driving, and you need to stay focused. You may be used to looking a certain way to check for traffic in your home country, but in a foreign country the cars may be coming from the opposite direction.

Alter Your Driving to Fit the Weather

You may be knowledgeable regarding reducing speed if the roads are wet or during nighttime driving, but other drivers may not be so willing. Ensure that you put extra distance than normal between you and the car in front if there is wet and stormy weather, just in case they decide to slam on their brakes or are driving too fast for the conditions.

It’s 2019 and travelers are continuing to seek out new experiences and adventures. They thirst for more than just visiting a destination. They want to get out there, meet and hang out with locals and explore alongside them. They want the freedom to be able to make frequent stops along the way on their own time schedule. They realize that the journey is just as memorable as the destination.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that road trips are growing in popularity. Road trips represented 22% of vacations taken by American travelers in 2015, and the portion of travelers in the United States taking a road trip has surpassed 40% in just the last few years, according to Travel Insights at MMGY Global​, one of the largest travel and hospitality marketing firm​s. In addition to the aforementioned experiential aspects of road trips, practicality is a major factor driving this trend.

Road Trips vs. Air Travel

Road trips eliminate the need to arrive hours before scheduled flight departure times and long airport security lines, as well as the need to deal with the ever-changing TSA regulations around what you can and can’t pack and how much you can safely transport (plus the threat of losing your favorite lotions, potions, and potentially dangerous grooming devices 😊).

Throw in ever-increasing baggage fees for smaller and smaller allowable suitcase dimensions along with the hassles and dangers associated with flying with pets and it’s no surprise that more travelers than ever are hitting the road.

Rental Car Road Trip Advantages

By renting a car for a road trip instead of using one’s own vehicle, the need to worry about surpassing mileage limitations associated with a car’s lease or the wear-and-tear that comes along with racking up mileage is eliminated. Plus, with the flexibility of rental car sizing options, one can bring along as much luggage as is required.

Showing Support for LGBT+ Travel 

As one of the largest car rental companies in the United States, Advantage understands the importance of helping LGBT+ travelers and their allies explore the world and experience the joy of hitting the road.

To demonstrate its ongoing support of the LGBT+ community, Advantage teamed up with GayTravel.com as a part of their Let’s Get OUT There! campaign to create awareness of the firms’ combined efforts to inspire travel in the LGBT+ community.

As part of the campaign, travelers who book an Advantage rental car with the promo code GAYTRAVEL save 20% on their car rentals and receive a free additional driver. In addition to these perks, Advantage Expressway members who use the GAYTRAVEL discount code are automatically upgraded to the silver tier level after vehicle return.

The Ultimate Pride Road Trip Through SoCal

In celebration of Pride, Advantage and GayTravel.com teamed up last month with popular travel blogger Adam Groffman, who took the wheel and headed out from Los Angeles International Airport with the mission to drive to San Diego Pride over the course of seven days, sharing his epic adventure with LGBT+ travelers around the globe.

Adam sought out the region’s best gay-friendly attractions, activities, and experiences on the Advantage Gay Pride Ride 2019 through some of Southern California’s best cities and towns.

And of course, he did it in style, with the rainbow-painted GayTravel mobile designed and provided by Advantage!

Below are details of Adam’s trek from Los Angeles to San Diego, highlighting the sights, sounds, and flavors he experienced along the way. In Southern California, where the typical road trip itinerary runs through many beach towns and piers, there’s no shortage of gay friendly hotels and gay welcoming destinations to stop in or travel through.

Los Angeles: Shopping, Gay Nightlife, and Dining

There’s a bevy of LGBT+-friendly things to see and do in Los Angeles and surrounding Los Angeles County, home to a number of distinct cities with their own special things to do. To take in the most of the region, book a hotel in central Los Angeles—close enough to the coast for day trips out to Malibu, Venice, or Santa Monica—but also close enough to all of the tourist sites in the city proper.

The Elan Hotel in Beverly Hills is close to all the shopping in Beverly Hills—in fact, it’s just across the street from the Beverly Center. The hotel is walking distance to the LGBT+ nightlife and top-tier restaurants of West Hollywood, and driving distance to every other part of Los Angeles.

In West Hollywood, don’t miss some of the best of Los Angeles’ gay bars. Mickey’s WeHo has drag shows almost every night and The Abbey is a longtime gay institution with an excellent patio. West Hollywood is also famous for its restaurants, from the French-American Café D’Etoile bistro to the local Ivy Restaurant, a hot spot for celebrity spotting.

In downtown Los Angeles, there’s of course the Hollywood Walk of Fame, plus the Hollywood Museum, which has a lot of celebrity memorabilia throughout history. And of course, there’s the hike up to Hollywood Hills for that iconic selfie in front of the Hollywood Sign!

Coastal Attractions Near Los Angeles

Santa Monica is a bustling coastal city to the west of Los Angeles, where a more chill atmosphere can be enjoyed along the beach boardwalk and its iconic Santa Monica Pier. Directly south of Santa Monica, Venice Beach is best known for its bohemian culture along the boardwalk. Visit at sunset for some great people watching.

La Jolla’s Famed Black’s Beach

A northern suburb of San Diego, the beach city of La Jolla boasts a great diversity of wildlife, landscape, and nature. The city sits along seaside cliffs where seals and sea lions lounge alongside swimmers, kayakers, and snorkelers, making it a great spot for adventure road trippers!

But the best LGBT+ thing to do in La Jolla is a visit to Black’s Beach—the region’s unofficial “gay beach,” where nudism is the norm. The gay beach is at the bottom of a cliff, so it’s not the easiest beach to access along the coast, but its pristine nature and warm water make it worth the trek!

Accessing the beach involves a walk down a dirt path along the side of a cliff—maybe a 20-minute walk if you’re healthy. There are no amenities on the beach, though, so make sure you bring enough water and sunscreen. At the top of the cliff, you can join paragliding experiences for an even more incredible view over the coastline!

Activities and Attractions in La Jolla

La Jolla itself is a great town to stay in for a few nights during a road trip. You can easily visit nearby sites such as the Birch Aquarium, renowned for its seahorse collection. You’ll find a lot of great restaurants, bars, and cafes in the town center of La Jolla, and plenty of luxury fashion shops, too!

Stay at the gay-friendly Empress Hotel, which is right in the city center and walking distance to the shore where you can see wild seals and sea lions resting on the coast.

Gay-Friendly Fun in Sunny San Diego

Like most Californian cities, San Diego is a warm and welcoming destination with a relatively long history of LGBT+ equality. There are a handful of neighborhoods where you can choose to stay, but the Gaslamp Quarter near downtown San Diego is especially lively (and convenient to reach other areas via public transport).

The gay-friendly Bristol Hotel, part of the Greystone Hotels group, is a design-focused property with great on-site amenities and a nice hotel gym.

San Diego’s Premier Gayborhood

Hillcrest has been San Diego’s premier gay neighborhood for decades, and it’s where you’ll find a mix of LGBT+ bars, clubs, shops, restaurants, and cafes. LGBT+-owned insideOUT is a new restaurant and lounge that serves food in an outdoor patio and even shows LGBT+ movies once a month on a projector as part of their event series. Just around the corner is an LGBT+-owned brewery, Hillcrest Brewing Company (HBC for short), which serves delicious craft beers.

Also in Hillcrest, there’s a large monument to the city’s LGBT+ activists in the form of a 65-foot flagpole. A monument since 2012, the flagpole features four plaques and an informational stand highlighting the LGBT+ rights movement and local leaders through history. The massive rainbow flag serves as an important and very visual monument to the local LGBT+ community, and it’s the kickoff point for San Diego Pride each July!

Balboa Park

San Diego is a city built on more than 200 canyons, so there are a lot of natural wonders throughout. In fact, in the center of the city, there’s a massive green space, Balboa Park, where a number of trails, gardens, and museums are located. Balboa Park’s San Diego Zoo houses over 3,500 animals in one of the world’s most famous zoos.

GayTravel.com

GayTravel.com was created to be a model for the type of community they want our world to be diverse, inclusive and safe. For more than 20 years, they have traveled the globe seeking gay-friendly, welcoming and inspiring destinations, accommodations, cruises, tours, events, entertainment, attractions, clubs, restaurants and venues to bring their readers meticulously curated recommendations that represent the rarified taste of our LGBT+ travelers, editors, experts and GayTravel Gurus.

The U.S. Department of State has sought GayTravel.com’s feedback in developing safe protocols for LGBT+ travelers abroad. GayTravel.com has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Smart Money Magazine.

Adam Groffman

Adam Groffman is a freelance writer, marketer, and gay travel blogger based in NYC, where he covers city trips around the world, expat life, LGBT+ issues, festivals, and nightlife on his blog, Travels of Adam. His writing has been featured in Thrillist, The Guardian, AFAR, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Condé Nast Traveler, and countless online publications. Additional travel tips (and embarrassing stories!) are shared in real time through his fun and engaging social media @travelsofadam.

If you’re flying into Houston, Texas, you may have noticed that you have a choice of two airports to choose from. You will have the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and the William P Hobby (HOU). There are certainly some big differences between the two – and you may have already noticed this when trying to book flights. If you’re planning a business or leisure trip to Houston, here are the main pros and cons to consider when choosing between IAH vs HOU.

Location

IAH is located further outside of Houston. If the location of a city airport is crucial to you, then you will need to consider the added time of catching a shuttle service or cab, or perhaps even the time allowed to register with your car rental company. However, all the terminals are connected by useful transport links, which include a large people-mover or an underground train service. HOU is much closer to Houston’s city center and is renowned for having a friendly, local approach.

To put it plainly, if you aren’t planning on staying in Houston, or are happy to opt for car rental Houston airport, then IAH shouldn’t be a problem at all. If you are looking to stay close to the city and search for a convenient flight that’s not too far away, then HOU might be your best bet. Both airports have a variety of transport services to and from the airport. You will find hire cars, cab services, and other bus shuttle services. What you opt for will depend on where you are planning to stay and what is most convenient for your timeframe and luggage.

Airport Size

When it comes to airports, location isn’t necessarily everything, but it can indicate certain features. Size can determine the regularity of flights, the quality of stores inside and the airline you end up flying with. IAH is the bigger airport out of Houston’s two options. You’ll find many more airlines to choose from and, therefore, far more flights daily. On top of that, it has over 50 catering and shopping outlets to choose from, which means you won’t be stuck for choice and that everyone will have something to choose from. There is also Wi-Fi and currency exchange on-site for extra convenience before traveling. If you are planning to pack lightly and get your supplies at the airport, you will have plenty to choose from here.

However, as anyone who has visited a large airport will know, this comes with its own set of drawbacks. The bigger the airport, the lengthier the process is to navigate it. A larger airport means that you’ll have a longer distance to traverse to get to gates and make your way around in general. If you want a simple and easy check-in to gate process, IAH might not be your best choice.

As one might expect, HOU’s small size makes it much easier to navigate. As a result of this, you can also expect fewer airlines to choose from. Some of which may be operating from IAH. However, this airport does still have 15 food and drink stores to grab something to eat, as well as retail opportunities. This airport also comes with Wi-Fi, which is ideal for travelers who want to check their boarding pass online or check their flight details. The smaller size means that it has less shopping and food outlets than IAH, and, therefore, less to choose from. On the other hand, if you’re willing to sacrifice the convenience of multiple food options for a swift getaway, then you may wish to opt for William P. Hobby.

If you are looking for airports in Houston to fly into or fly from, you will likely be swayed by capacity, size, or distance from the city center. IAH and HOU have plenty in common – after all, you will be treated to exceptional Texan customer service in both of them. However, significant factors such as which airline you are choosing to use may make that decision for you.

If you do get to decide for yourself, you may want to take into consideration the size and distance of the airport. If you don’t want to spend too much time traversing the airport itself, HOU is probably the one for you. If you want to have as many amenities and shopping opportunities at your disposal before you fly, however, IAH is the most comprehensive airport. One aspect you can rely on is that you will have plenty of transport options when you land!

Renting a car abroad is basically the same as renting at home. In fact, you may find you can even work with the same trusted rental networks you use in the States – look for Advantage Rent A Car, for instance. With that said, there are a few facts you should check before you set off for an overseas rental car adventure. Getting these squared away in advance will help you keep your trip relaxing.

Checking the regulations

The rules dictating who can rent a car differ between countries. Making sure you’re the right age to rent is therefore an essential step in preparing for an overseas journey. If you’re under 25 or over 70, you should be especially attentive, as these age ranges tend to attract most of the restrictions. Furthermore, the country you’re visiting may not accept U.S. driver’s licenses as valid credentials. In many of the countries that don’t allow American licenses, an International Driving Permit will be the document you need.

Verifying your insurance status

Does your insurance coverage apply to overseas driving? This is a vital question to ask yourself before stepping onto your flight. In cases where you are not insured for foreign driving, the local authorities may require you to buy a certain level of additional coverage. Checking with your insurer is the easiest way to find out if you’re covered in case of an accident abroad.

Paying for the car

The accepted payment methods for your overseas rental may be different than those at home. In most cases, you’ll need to use a credit card, which should be a familiar requirement from dealing with U.S. companies. In cases when you work with a rental provider or network active across borders, you can simply conduct the transaction online as you always would, saving yourself some uncertainty.

Seek out Advantage Rent A Car for your next long trip!

The prospect of driving in fog is particularly intimidating for new drivers. Fog brings limited visibility for everyone, whether it’s pedestrians or those who have to make their daily commute in their car. Many people have no option but to go out and drive, regardless of the conditions. If you want to stay in control on the roads, here are the best tips for driving in fog.

1. Turn on your fog lights

The most important thing you can do when you are driving in fog is to ensure that your fog lights are turned on. These low-down lights make sure that you are visible to other drivers on the road. It means that anyone coming towards you, waiting at a junction or pulling out of a driveway will not be surprised by the sight of your car.

2. Turn on your low beams

If you do not feel safe with just your fog lights on, then turning on your low beams is one of the best ways to stay visible. It adds extra visible brightness to the front of your vehicle so both drivers and pedestrians can see you coming. Dipped headlights can be useful for helping visibility but do not, under any circumstances, use your full or high-beams. These will not only do you no benefit in terms of visibility, but they will also dazzle other drivers.

3. Reduce speed

Alongside turning your fog lamps on, reducing your speed is perhaps one of the most important methods of staying safe in the fog. As a result of visibility being low, your reactions will not be as quick or precise. Slowing down also protects you from other reckless drivers who may not be staying safe in the fog.

4. Stay calm

When driving in fog, you should always keep a calm and level head. Panicking and making rash decisions while the outside visibility is low is likely to cause errors and maybe even an accident. It may also be that you experience less than desirable behavior from other drivers, or witness some unfortunate driving practices. If this causes temporary road rage or panic, do attempt to safely pull over and calm down. Being spooked by risky driving is perfectly normal, just be sure not to let your own driving be affected by it.

5. Keep a safe distance

When driving in fog, your focus should be on prevention. While you may be a careful driver, others may not be as cautious. Important, too, is the fact that you are not infallible. Keeping a safe braking distance from other vehicles allows for error to be far less damaging. It is therefore crucial that when you don’t tailgate any other drivers or drive at your usual driving distance. Make room for extra slowing and stopping space while your visibility is temporarily impaired.

6. Check mirrors

Before you head out into the fog, always check that you can see clearly out of both your rear-view and wing mirrors. It’s crucial that you do this before setting off for a safe departure, and also during your time out on the road. Doing so will improve your awareness while the clarity outside the car is limited.

7. Skip loud music

For many people, listening to music is one of the best parts of driving. However, on a day when you need to be extra attentive to what’s going on around you, you may wish to skip the loud music for a change. Extra loud music can hinder our ability to concentrate on a clear day, let alone on a foggy one. Turning off your music for one day may be less fun, but it may be invaluable to your safety.

8. Do you need to drive?

One question that’s worth asking yourself on a foggy day is whether it’s worth venturing out at all. Of course, picking up our kids and going to work are unavoidable and necessary journeys, but trips to the grocery store could perhaps be postponed. There might be a chance that the fog will clear in a few hours, meaning that you could hang tight until the weather changes. Ultimately, however, if your journey isn’t 100% necessary, you may wish to wait until the weather becomes safer.

Fog is an intimidating prospect for many drivers and for good reasons. Low visibility can be incredibly dangerous if you are not cautious on the roads. If you want to take preventative measures, why not make a checklist before you leave? That way, you can be sure you’ve done all that you can.

Renting a car is an easy way to have the ultimate convenience of being able to drive anywhere, at any time during a vacation. Not only do you not have to save up for the price of a new car, but you can also rent a vehicle with a program that suits your needs. With Advantage’s Expressway program, you will receive regular rewards for your rentals. Here’s a little bit more about how that process works.

Benefits

With the Expressway Program, one of the main perks is that you get a complimentary reward every time you choose to rent with Advantage. It means you won’t have to carry around a points card or wait for prolonged periods of time to see a benefit. It also allows you to get free upgrades as a result of simply just choosing to use the service. Below are just a few benefits you are entitled to as a result of joining the Expressway Program:

  • Signup Bonus: As soon as you sign up, you will receive your very first reward! As of Summer 2019, your signup bonus reward could be a free day or a free basic upgrade. As a member, you will also have access to a speedy checkout line in several exclusive locations.
  • Rental Rewards: From the moment you sign up, you can start earning rewards. After each completed rental, you will receive 1 new reward. The reward you receive is generated randomly from a pool of rewards that you are eligible for depending on your tier level. From the Base tier level and onward, you will be eligible to earn free days, free basic upgrades, and free weekends.
  • Silver Tier: After 3 completed rentals, you will be automatically upgraded to the Silver tier level – netting you a bonus Pit Stop reward. With the Pit Stop applied to your rental, you can return the car with as little fuel as you like, and you will pay just $2.50 per gallon for the fuel needed to refill the tank.
  • Gold Tier: After 5 completed rentals, you will be automatically upgraded to the Gold tier level. This grants you one additional Pit Stop reward as well as access to unlimited rental perks. The three available rental perks are the free GPS, free E-Z Toll, and the free carseat. While only one of these perks could be applied per reservation, you will have the freedom to apply one of these to each and every rental.
  • Platinum Tier: After 7 completed rentals, you will be automatically upgraded to the Platinum tier level. This premier status level entitles you to a Pit Stop reward for each and every rental. Additionally, the Platinum upgrade will be added to your reward pool.

How to join

Signing up for Advantage’s Expressway Program is quick and simple. Once you are signed up, you can choose to complete your profile while indicating your preferred rental specifications. With these preferences saved, our booking engine will be able to automatically select your rental pickup location, car, and optional services during the booking process. You may also save your payment information on your profile to help make the checkout process for prepaid reservations quicker and easier.

How to upgrade

If you have a Basic or Platinum upgrade reward, you can apply to a reservation for the car class below the car class that you want to receive. While the reservation will appear to be for the smaller car, the agent at the counter will upgrade your vehicle when you arrive.

The Expressway Program for Advantage is perfect for anyone who wants the freedom to be able to drive wherever they are on vacation, but also earn rewards as they drive. Not only does this scheme reward you for being a loyal customer, but it thanks you with a bonus as soon as you enroll.

Trying to decide what to do on Labor Day can be tricky when there are so many enticing options to choose from, and great places to spend time in. September is just around the corner, though, meaning now is the time to start thinking about what you might want to do – and we’re here to help!

However you choose to spend your Labor Day, Advantage Rent A Car has the right vehicle for you when planning a long drive for your perfect weekend away, or if you’re planning a road trip to best enjoy your Labor Day weekend activities.

Below are just some of the best ideas for your last-minute getaway when deciding where to go for Labor Day.

Head to Rhode Island If You Like the Coast

If you’re more a fan of a tranquil location rather than the busy Labor Day crowds, consider Watch Hill in Southwest Rhode Island. This idyllic spot means you’ll be able to settle in a lovely little coastal village for the weekend, with access to great restaurants and inviting beaches, along with many comfortable and affordable hotels to choose from.

Consider an Oceanfront Resort in South Carolina

Hilton Head Island is the perfect place if you’re looking to soak up a little sun in a prime location. Hilton Head is host to a number of pristine, sandy beaches, meaning you’ll be spoilt for choice. Of course, many of its resorts offer the chance to lounge by the pool instead, with a tropical cocktail in hand and not a care in the world.

Try a Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

If you’re a wine connoisseur who’s using the Labor Day weekend as an excuse to unwind a little more with a good glass of wine, then have a taste of Sonoma in Northern California. You’ll be treated to stunning views of winding vineyards while enjoying delicious lunches and BBQs hosted by top chefs, and – of course – access to the finest wines.

Take in the Mountains at Aspen, Colorado

Beautiful ski resorts aren’t just for the winter, you know – you can try for a room at one of the many luxury properties as this top-end ski resort for your perfect Labor Day weekend. There are many activities happening over the holiday weekend, including the likes of great music festivals and the 8th Annual Rocky Mountain Oyster Festival – you wouldn’t want to miss it!

Travel to Nantucket, the Tiny Island of Massachusetts

Located just off the edge of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, this isolated little piece of paradise is a perfect destination for your Labor Day weekend relaxation. Treat yourself to a piece of quaint history with the cobbled streets and town’s famous Whaling Museum, and be sure to stop at one of the many restaurants and chic boutiques along the way. A beautiful escape for all to enjoy!

Make Your Weekend Enchanting with a Visit to Savannah

If you’re looking for a truly magical little getaway, there’s nowhere better than Savannah, Georgia. The Spanish Moss lining this city’s streets is really a sight to behold, and perfect for those wonderful Labor Day photos, of course. Savannah is complete with cobbled streets, glorious mansions and architecture, and truly spectacular views of the skyline.

It’s not all pretty things to look at, either – for Labor Day, you can join in with Savannah’s Labor Day Beach Bash, complete with live music and a spectacular firework display.

Grab a Piece of New York During Its Quietest Time

Maybe you’ve always wanted to go to New York, but have been put off by the crowds, busy streets and unending traffic. You would think that New York would be even busier during the Labor Day festivities, but it’s actually not the case. If you want to experience New York, Labor Day is the time to do it, due to the practically deserted streets and quieter atmosphere.

A trip to New York comes with plenty of time exploring, shopping and being on your feet, and another bonus of traveling to the city during Labor Day weekend is that the weather will be cool enough for you to experience it all without becoming hot and bothered!

Opt for Outdoor Adventure in Michigan

Mackinac Island is the perfect spot to enjoy the tranquil outdoors. Labelled as Michigan’s hidden gem, this island is kitted out with cyclists and horse riders, giving a truly active and outdoorsy feel to the place. There are many great accommodation options which offer quaint waterfront views, and abundant activities to partake in, like tennis or boating.

 

Whether you’re moving to another country or going on vacation, there may come a time when you want or need to bring your pet with you when traveling internationally. Planning international travel is difficult enough when you only have to account for yourself and other humans. The situation gets significantly more complicated when animals are involved, too.

Going abroad with your pets isn’t impossible. You still have plenty of travel options, as you can drive, fly, or travel by boat with your pet, but you’ll need to do some extra research and spend more time planning to find the best way to get them to your destination. On top of figuring out their actual travel plans, you’ll have to take some additional steps and deal with plenty of paperwork to take them out of the United States. Depending on what type of pet you have, the state of their health, and the animal import laws in your destination country, you may have even more red tape to contend with.

However, don’t let the extra legwork discourage or intimidate you if you need or are determined to bring your pet along on your travels. Many pet owners successfully travel with their companions every year, and there’s no reason that you and your pet can’t do the same. To help ensure your planning and travels go as smoothly as possible, we’ve put together this guide about how to travel abroad with your pet — no matter what type of animal you own.

Ground Travel: Driving with Pets

Driving is one of the most common modes of transportation in the United States, and many pet owners regularly bring their pets along for a ride in the car. In a recent survey, 54.6% of pet owners said they drive with their pet six or more times per month. Going to the vet, pet store, or local park is a bit different from taking your pet on an international road trip.

Taking your own car on an international trip is likely the easiest option if you want to bring your pet with you. It offers the most flexibility and the least amount of planning and paperwork, though you’ll still need to make sure you can legally bring your pet into your destination country. If you want to avoid putting miles on your vehicle, you can always rent one, although you’ll have to make sure your rental car company is pet-friendly and that you can easily pick up your rental in the US before you leave.

If you drive abroad, though, there are only a handful of countries you can feasibly and easily get to. Driving isn’t an option if you’re looking to go outside of North America. Even getting into South America by car is questionable at best; the majority of travelers only go as far as Panama, due to the infamous Darién Gap. However, if you’re looking to head into Canada, Mexico, or Central America, driving is perhaps the best way to travel abroad with your pet, as you can control the trip and keep an eye on your pet for the duration of the drive.

Pet Safety in Cars

If you’ve decided to drive abroad, you need to make a conscious effort to keep your pet safe in the car. Not only will this keep your pet happy and safe on the drive, but it also will ensure the safety and well-being of your other passengers (including yourself!) and other drivers on the road. 

Before doing anything else, get in touch with your veterinarian and discuss your travel plans with them. You may need a health certificate or other document proving your pet is healthy enough to enter your destination country. Even if this isn’t required, it’s still a good idea to get approval from your vet. This way, you can make sure your pet is well enough to handle the trip, get advice from your vet on how to travel with them, and have greater peace of mind about your pet’s health and safety before going on your trip. Here are a few things you can do to keep your pet safe for the duration of your road trip:

 

  • Prepare them for a long drive. Get them used to being in the car before you head out. Some animals, like reptiles or rodents, may not require as much preparation as a cat or dog might. If you don’t often drive with your pet and you feel they’d benefit from a few test rides, take them on short drives in your area and gradually increase the length of each trip to help them adjust.

 

  • Bring all necessary documentation and your pets’ records. Gather all of your pet’s important documents and bring them with you on your journey. Depending on your destination country, you may need a pet passport, a health certificate, vaccination record, or proof of ownership or registration. The required pet import documents vary from country to country and change frequently, so double-check with your vet to make sure you have the most up-to-date and accurate information.
  • Make a travel kit for your pet. Aside from your important pet documents, you should have some essential items for your pet that are easily accessible in the car. Food, water, identification, medication, basic first-aid items, toys, and a blanket or bed are great things to have on-hand. For dogs and cats, be sure to have a leash and bowl so you can give them food and water on the road.

 

  • Secure or restrain them in the car. Unrestrained animals can be distracting to the driver, and in the event of an accident, they’re likely to hurt someone else or get hurt themselves. Use a pet seat belt, harness, or other restraint, or use your animal’s typical carrier or crate and secure it in the car whenever you drive with them.

 

  • Never leave your pet alone in your vehicle. Hot or cold weather can be deadly to an animal in a car, and in some places, it’s illegal to leave them unattended in your vehicle. The dangers don’t end there, though. An animal, either big or small, could cause damage to your car or escape from your vehicle. Pet thieves may even break into your car and try to steal your animal. The consequences of leaving your pet unattended can be extreme, which is why it’s best to avoid doing so altogether.

 

  • Take frequent breaks, as your pet needs them. You aren’t the only one who needs a rest break to go to the bathroom, grab a healthy snack, or stretch your legs — your pet does too. This is especially important for dogs. With cats and exotic pets (including amphibians, birds, reptiles, rodents, and small mammals) it may be better to avoid taking them out while on the road; instead, try making each leg of your drive a little bit shorter so your pet has plenty of time to recuperate outside of the car when you stop for the night.

Traveling out of the country with your pet by car does require some extra preparation and planning, but it’s still one of the easiest ways to go abroad with your beloved companion. Just make sure you’ve got your vet’s approval and all necessary documentation before you hit the road.

Air Travel: Flying with Pets

A growing number of pet owners are choosing to fly with their pets for both domestic and international travel. Taking your pet onto a plane is more complex and requires more planning than going on a road trip, but for many international destinations, flying is your only option. Plenty of pet owners fly without incident, but you should be aware of the risks and complications that can arise when you take your pet on an airplane.

First off, you need to talk with your vet before you even think about taking your pet on a plane. You have to make sure your pet is in good enough health to fly, and many airlines and foreign countries require a certificate of health from a veterinarian proving that your pet can safely fly or enter the country. Certain types of animals or even breeds of animals may not be allowed to enter your destination country, even if you can prove that they’re healthy, so be sure to verify that your pet isn’t a restricted breed before you purchase your plane ticket.

Give yourself plenty of time to research the different policies, requirements, and laws of your airline and destination countries. It can take time to find the right flight, get all of your documentation in order, and prepare your pet for the journey. You shouldn’t rush this process, as taking your time will ensure your flight goes as smoothly as possible.

Pet-Friendly Airlines

Each airline has its own specific policy when it comes to animal passengers, some of which are more pet-friendly than others. Familiarize yourself with each airline’s pet policy, especially as it pertains to your animal, before you commit to a certain flight or airline. Regardless of which airline you choose, be ready to pay some additional fees and complete extra paperwork to bring your pet on board.

Some of the most pet-friendly airlines include:

 

  • Air Canada: This Canadian-based airline offers flights to major cities all over the world, but they’re also welcoming to pets. Cats and small dogs can ride in the cabin, while bigger dogs can ride in cargo. Fees start at $50, but might be higher depending on your flight. You can read more about their pet policy on their website.

 

  • Alaska Air: Alaska Air is a good choice for exotic pets, as they allow dogs, cats, rabbits, and household birds in the cabin as long as their carrier fits under the seat in front of you. Other exotic animals — including ferrets, guinea pigs, non-poisonous reptiles, pot-bellied pigs, and tropical fish — and larger pets can ride in the cargo or be checked as baggage. Their Pet Connect program even allows animals to travel without their owners on board. For more information, see their pet policy on the Alaska Air website.

 

  • American Airlines: American Airlines lets small cats and dogs fly in the cabin with their owners on short flights, but all pets must be checked as cargo for all long-haul flights. They do restrict the destinations to which you can fly with pets, including transatlantic flights. They also offer a pet cargo program if you can’t fly with your pet. See their pet policy for additional information.

 

  • Delta: Delta welcomes small dogs, cats, and household birds in the cabin, and larger animals can ride in cargo or as checked baggage. With flights to over 60 countries in the world, this is a great option for less common destinations. Fees range from $75 to $200. See their pet policy for more information.

 

  • JetBlue: JetBlue is considered one of the most pet-friendly airlines; they’re so welcoming to animals, they even have a reward program just for pets. There is a $125 pet fee each way of your flight,  and they only allow cats, dogs, and service animals on their flights. You can find more information about their pet policy on the JetBlue website.

 

  • Swiss International Airlines: This Switzerland-based airline is very welcoming to animal passengers, proudly noting that “you can take your pet with you on any route.” You can take two animals with you, but only dogs, cats, and rabbits are allowed on board. For more information, see their pet policy.

If none of these airlines fly to your desired destination or suit your needs, continue to research other airlines. Most major airlines have some kind of pet policy and will allow pets on board, even if only in cargo. 

Flying with a Dog

Dogs are one of the more common flying companions, and most major airlines allow them on board for a flight. There are often breed restrictions, particularly for short-nosed dogs like pugs and “dangerous” breeds like pit bulls, but even then, airlines may be willing to accommodate your pooch. Most airlines only allow a certain number of animals on board each flight, so be sure to book your flight as soon as you find one and reserve a spot for your dog immediately.

When flying with your dog (or really any animal), it’s best to find a non-stop flight if you can. It’s hard enough to figure out what to do on long layovers without worrying about your dog, and having more than one flight leaves more room for mistakes, like your dog accidentally ending up on the wrong plane. Many airlines require you to arrive early to get your dog checked in, but see if you can board early as well to give the both of you extra time to get comfortable and settled.

Just as when you take your pet on an international road trip, you’ll need to have all of your dog’s travel documents ready and with you when you fly abroad. Again, different countries have their own requirements for importing pets, and you’ll need to make sure you meet their standards before you fly. Other than that, you’ll need to do what you can to keep your pooch comfortable during the flight. Some simple tips include:

  • Getting them used to being in their carrier or crate;
  • Not sedating or medicating them unless specifically instructed by your vet;
  • Providing toys or treats to chew on during take-off and landing;
  • Laying down puppy pads in the carrier in case your dog needs to relieve itself;
  • Feeding your dog at least four hours before the flight;
  • Giving your dog water before, during, and after the flight.

Keep in mind that these tips apply to dogs both in the cabin and in the cargo hold. Additionally, you’ll want to communicate with all airline and airport officials you encounter that you’re traveling with a dog. If more people are aware that you’ve got a canine companion, you and your dog are both more likely to have a smoother, painless experience.

In-Cabin

If you have a small dog, bring them into the cabin of the plane with you if you can. Many airlines allow dogs that are 20 pounds or lighter in the cabin, but some may have stricter weight restrictions. The cabin is more comfortable than cargo, and this way, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your pooch during the course of the flight. 

Just like you would for a road trip, pack a small travel kit full of your pup’s essential items so you have everything they might need or want during the flight. You won’t be able to let them out of their carrier — which most airlines count as a carry-on item — but you can always reach in to give them whatever they need.

During the flight, always keep your dog in their carrier underneath the seat in front of you unless you’re giving them something from their travel kit. Never put them in an overhead bin, even if asked to do so by a flight attendant or airline staff, as this can be deadly for your dog. Other than that, simply do what you can to keep your dog entertained and comfortable until you land. 

Cargo

Larger dogs have no choice but to go into cargo on a plane. Some airlines may also require smaller dogs to do this on certain flights. It may feel scary to be separated from your dog in a stressful situation for a long period of time, but thousands of dogs fly every year and only a handful of them get hurt. It’s safe to do so, but if you’re hesitant to put your dog in cargo, you may want to consider if they truly need to travel with you or explore other transportation options. 

Though the risk of injury is low, there are still a few things to be aware of before you fly. The temperature outside affects the cargo far more than the cabin, so there can be large changes in temperature. Most airlines will not let animals fly, however, if it’s too cold or hot outside. You’ll need to give your dog food and water, so be sure they have bowls to access these things during the flight. Your pooch must remain in their carrier for the duration of the flight, so you’ll need to line it with puppy pads so they can relieve themselves.

You’ll also want to make sure your dog’s tags are updated with your name and contact information. You may also want to put a temporary tag with the address and phone number of where you’re staying in your destination country, just in case. Finally, you should consider attaching an information sheet to your dog’s kennel that includes all necessary or relevant health, behavioral, and contact information. This way, all airline staff will be aware of your dog’s specific needs and how they can reach you. Try to relax, and know that though your dog might be uncomfortable during the flight, they’ll be just fine and happy to see you when you arrive at your destination.

Flying with a Cat

Generally, the rules and policies for flying with a cat are the same as flying with a dog. You still need to talk with your vet, gather up all necessary pet import documents as they pertain to your destination country, coordinate with your airline in advance, and pay additional pet fees. Some airlines may let cats fly in the cabin, but others may require them to fly in cargo, so be sure to research these different pet policies and find an airline that works best for you and your feline.

As with dogs, there are some breeds of cats that are restricted from traveling on planes. Short-nosed cats, like Burmese or Persian cats, are often not allowed to fly because it can be difficult for them to breathe at high altitudes. Kittens under two pounds or less than 10 weeks old typically cannot fly either. 

Whether they fly in the cabin or as cargo, you may be worried about your cat during the flight. There are many ways you can help keep your cat calm while flying, including the famed Thundershirt and pheromone wipes or collars. Most vets recommend against sedating your cat, but if you’re prescribed an anti-anxiety or calming medication, it’s best to follow your vet’s instructions. Each cat has its own unique personality, and some may do better on a flight than others, so be sure to consider how well you think your cat will handle flying when deciding between cabin and cargo.

In-Cabin

Many major airlines allow cats to fly in the cabin of a plane, as long as they’re kept in a carrier that can fit under the seat in front of you. While this will count as your carry-on bag, you’ll be able to take care of your cat for the duration of the flight. Your cat must be able to stand up and turn over in the carrier without touching the sides to fly in the cabin. 

Different airlines have different seat sizes, and some are more spacious than others. Do your homework and try and pick an airline that has more space for your cat under the seat. You can even splurge and pay extra for a larger seat or more legroom, although you can’t buy another seat for your cat.

Arrive at your gate early, and be sure to check in with the airline staff so they know you’ve got a cat with you. Request to board early, so you aren’t rushed, panicked, or overwhelmed by other passengers when trying to get your cat settled into the space under the seat in front of you. Take your time to get comfortable, and then enjoy your flight with your cat.

Cargo

Cats can also fly as cargo or checked baggage. Some airlines may require this, while others may not allow it at all. If your cat is heavier than 20 pounds or especially large, they’ll have to go into cargo, just like a big dog. If you have the chance to choose between the cabin and cargo, your instinct may be to rule out the cargo hold altogether. However, there are some advantages of your cat flying in cargo that you should consider before making a decision.

You will be separated from your cat, but you can also use a bigger carrier than you could in the cabin. This gives them more room to move around, stretch out, and play with any toys you provide. You could even provide a small litter box for them instead of lining their crate with puppy pads. This may be a better choice on long-haul flights, as being confined in too small of a place for an extended period of time will be uncomfortable for your cat.

In the end, you’ll have to follow your airline’s and destination country’s policies about flying with a cat. If you have the choice between cabin and cargo, follow your vet’s advice and consider what will cause the least amount of stress and bring the most comfort to you and your cat during your travels.

Flying With Exotic Pets and Other Animals

Though most airlines will happily let you bring cats and dogs on board, flying gets a little more complicated if you want to bring an amphibian, bird, fish, reptile, rodent, or small mammal on a plane. In fact, many airlines ban exotic pets from both the cabin and cargo of a plane outright. While the government requires airlines to allow service animals on flights, they do not require airlines to permit all types of pets on board. This means it’s left up to the individual airline to determine what kinds of animals they accept.

Start doing your research about which airlines are welcoming to exotic pets as soon as you think you might have to take yours with you. Further, each country has its own laws that determine the types of animals you can bring into the country. Make sure that both your destination country and airline allow your pet to fly into that country before purchasing your flight.

You’ll need to talk with your vet about your exotic pet, just as you would with a dog or cat, before flying with them. They can help you decide if the cabin or cargo is a better option for your pet (if you have a choice between the two), provide helpful information about how to transport them, and give you advice on how to make the flight as painless as it can be for your pet.

In-Cabin

Each airline has its own policy about what types of exotic pets are allowed in the cabin. For instance, while some have the same in-cabin rules as they do for cats and dogs, others prohibit rabbits from entering the cabin altogether. However, some airlines will let you bring a small animal — including small birds, hamsters, rabbits, and reptiles — into the cabin as long as it is under 20 pounds and can fit in an airline-approved carrier under the seat in front of you.

Cargo

If your airline requires exotic pets to ride in cargo, it’s best to talk with your vet about how to keep them safe and comfortable during the flight. Some exotic pets may be too delicate to ride in the cargo hold. Be sure to get as much information from your vet, airline, and destination country as you can before making any commitments to the cargo.

Ocean Travel: Traveling by Sea with Pets

Though less common than driving or flying, you can take your pet on a boat, cruise, ferry, or ship to go abroad. There are many options for international ocean travel, but unfortunately, it’s likely the most difficult way to do so with your pet. Most ships forbid passengers from bringing their pets on board for health and safety reasons. You aren’t completely out of luck, though, and you may still be able to take to the seas with your pet if you’re determined to do so. 

Pet-Friendly Cruises and Ships

Cruises are a wildly popular way to go on international vacations to destinations all around the world. You may be able to find smaller local cruises that allow animals on board, but currently, Cunard Cruise Line’s Queen Mary II is the only cruise ship in the world that allows pets on international voyages. Even then, they only accept cats and dogs as animal passengers, and only on their route between New York City and Southampton, England. 

Further, your pets must be kept in the designated pet area and they are not allowed in private cabins or anywhere else on the ship. They will be cared for by the staff, and you can visit them during specified two-hour blocks each day. They only have room for 12 animals per voyage, so if you’re interested, you’ll have to make reservations as soon as you can. On top of the price of your own ticket, pet fees typically start at $1,000 per animal for a transatlantic voyage on the Queen Mary II.

Traveling by Sea with Dogs and Cats

If you do choose to take your cat or dog on the Queen Mary II, hit the open water with your own ship, or charter a private boat company that happens to allow animals, you’ll want to follow many of the same best practices for ocean travel as you would for air or ground travel. You’ll still need to talk with your vet about your travel plans, gather any documentation and paperwork needed to bring your pet into your destination country, and communicate with the boat staff about your cat or dog.

Going on a boat with your pet can be fun, but you’ll have to take some additional safety precautions before you get on the water. Follow animal safety best practices for boating, including:

  • Getting a life jacket for your dog or cat;
  • Acclimating your dog or cat to being on a boat before going on a long journey;
  • Applying animal-safe sunscreen to your dog or cat;
  • Having an overboard plan ready in case your dog or cat goes into the water unexpectedly;
  • Giving your dog or cat plenty of water so they stay hydrated;
  • Being mindful of the temperature of the boat’s deck, which could become too hot for animals to walk on safely.

Not all cats and dogs may like being near or in water. Even dog breeds that are known to be strong swimmers may not enjoy being on a boat, regardless of its size. Make sure you keep your eyes on your pet while on the water to ensure they’re safe and relaxed. 

Traveling by Sea with Exotic Pets and Other Animals

If you find a ship that does allow pets, you’ll likely have some trouble bringing an exotic pet on board. You may be able to find a smaller organization or charter a private boat that allows animals other than cats and dogs, but much like an airline, you’ll have to check each individual pet policy. 

As always, talk with your vet at length about traveling internationally with your exotic pet, especially if you go by boat. They may have additional insight and advice about how to transport your pet that can make the journey less stressful.

Traveling With Service Animals

When it comes to traveling abroad, vastly different rules apply to service animals than to pets. Your right to have your service animal with you is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. All public and private spaces have to make reasonable accommodations for you and your service animal, no matter what type of animal it might be. This includes rental car companies, airlines, and cruise ships, regardless of what their pet policy is. 

Though there are general rules that transportation companies legally have to follow, they may have slightly different policies regarding service animals. Familiarize yourself with the policy of your airline, cruise ship, or rental car company before you book anything, and communicate with them about your service animal so they know what to expect. 

You may need to provide written proof that your companion is, in fact, a service animal. More and more people are attempting to pass their pets off as emotional support animals, especially in planes, which has led to changes in pet and animal policies. Additionally, your service animal will be subject to the same pet import laws in your destination country as a pet would be; you’ll have to get all of their health and travel documents in order to take them out of the country.

Pet Transport Services

Pet shipping services are another option available to you, especially if none of the above modes of transportation work for your pet, needs, or budget. For some animals, like horses, this may be the only way you can get them outside of the United States.

Pet relocation services are a great, albeit expensive, way to simplify the process of getting your pet to your international destination. You can work with professionals who are familiar with the steps you need to take to make your journey a success. This can make getting your pet abroad significantly less stressful for you.

Be cautious when researching pet transportation companies. There are many scammers who try to take advantage of pet owners looking to relocate their beloved animals. Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is, and if you have a bad feeling about a purported pet relocation company, you should trust your instincts. Also, a trustworthy pet shipping company will be registered with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and will be a member of the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA). Affiliation with these two organizations indicates that a pet transportation company is committed to humane practices

Pet Shipping Companies

Despite the risk of scams, there are many reputable pet shipping companies available today. Some of the most popular include:

 

  • Air Animal: Owned by veterinarians, Air Animals partners with over 200 airlines and have shipped pets to over 160 different countries. They offer country-specific microchipping at no extra cost and have a mobile app so you can contact customer service at any time. The cost of international transport ranges from $1,595 to $2,695, including airfare, depending on your destination.

 

  • Animals Away: Based in New York, Animals Away provides pet transport services to countries all over the world. They offer direct flights when possible and have a range of kennels that can be modified to fit your animal. You must contact them directly for pricing information.

 

  • Happy Tails Travel: With over 20 years of pet relocation experience, Happy Tails Travel is a great choice for shipping animals in the air and on the ground. Though they specialize in European relocation, they can ship pets to many other countries around the world. Their fees start at $600 for international destinations, excluding airfare.

 

  • Pet-Express: Since they opened in 1978, Pet-Express has provided a customized relocation experience to thousands of animals. All of their drivers are certified pet handlers, and they work directly with USDA-accredited veterinarians if your animal should need any medical assistance while traveling. You must contact them directly for pricing information.

 

  • WorldCare Pet Transport: WorldCare Pet Transport proudly provides “door-to-door pet transport nationwide and anywhere in the world.” They even have a unique Pet Protection Program to ensure the health and safety of your animal. You must contact them directly for pricing information.

 

  • World Wide Pet Transport: World Wide Pet Transport arranges to move your pet from your home to your chosen international destination. They supply USDA- and IPATA-compliant kennels and offer boarding services if needed. You must contact them directly for pricing information. 

Pet relocation can be costly, and while you could use a pet transport service to take your pet on an international vacation, it’s best suited to those who are moving out of the United States.

Going Through Customs with Pets

Whether you arrive in a car, plane, or boat, you’ll have to cross a border and go through customs with your animal. This is rarely a pleasant task, especially after a long journey, but it is necessary to enter another country. Taking your pet through customs will depend greatly upon your destination, as each nation has its own unique pet import laws. Some may require a long quarantine period and pages of documentation to bring your pet into the country, while others have more relaxed regulations. The USDA has a tool on their website that allows you to see what the pet import requirements are in each country.

You must comply with all the pet import laws and policies of your destination country. Make sure you have all the required documents with you (such as health certificates, proof of vaccinations, and pet passports) so you can show them to customs officials. You may be asked to fill out additional paperwork. Additionally, always follow the directions of customs officials, border check officers, and airline or cruise staff when taking your pet through customs. 

Traveling at Your Destination with Pets

You’ll likely have to travel around with your pet once you arrive at your destination — even if it’s only to get to your accommodations. Depending on your location, you’ll have several different options to get around: rental cars, taxis, ride-share services, or public transportation.

Rental Cars

If you rent a car in a foreign country, you’ll still have to find a company that’s pet-friendly. You may want to secure your rental in advance; though there are plenty of pet-friendly rental car companies, you may not be able to find one that allows animals or has available vehicles on short notice. Reserve a car before you leave on your trip to make sure they have a vehicle available at their international location, and be sure to let your company know that you’ll have an animal with you. Each company will have its own pet policy that you’ll need to comply with, and they’ll be able to better accommodate you and your pet if they’re prepared for both of you.

Taxis

Taxis are another way you can get around once you arrive at your destination. Just like airlines, each taxi company has its own pet policy. You’ll have to do some homework before you leave to find one that is welcoming to animals, and arrange for them to pick you up from the airport or docks. The last thing you want is to get off a plane or ship after a long journey and find that none of the available cab drivers will let you bring your pet into their vehicles. By contacting them in advance, you can let them know what type of animal you have so there aren’t any surprises.

Ride-Share Services

If you don’t want to rent a car or find a pet-friendly taxi company — or if you can’t find pet-friendly ones at your destination — you can always use a ride-share service. It can be hard to decide between a ride-share and a rental car or taxi, but ride-shares are a great choice if you couldn’t make any arrangements in advance. When it comes to pets in a ride-share, both Uber and Lyft let drivers decide whether they’ll allow animals in their car on a case-by-case basis (though they are legally required to permit service animals).

 

In the Uber or Lyft app, request a ride, and once a driver accepts, contact them immediately to let them know you have an animal with you. If they say it’s not a problem, then thank them and do your best to ensure your pet is calm and clean while in their vehicle. If the driver doesn’t allow animals, kindly let them know that you’ll need to cancel the ride so you can find a driver who does. Continue to contact different drivers until you find one who can accommodate your pet. You may see cancellation charges on your account, but simply let Uber or Lyft know and they will dismiss the fee. 

Public Transportation

Your final option is to take some form of public transportation, whether it be a bus, train, or light rail. Each public transportation system has its own rules regarding animal passengers. Different systems within the same city may not have the same rules; for instance, a bus system may allow animals, while a city’s train system does not. Keep in mind that the rules for your public transportation systems at home may not be the same in other places, especially in another country. If you want to take public transportation, do your research in advance and see what, exactly, the rules are. This is a cost-effective way to get to your lodgings, but only if you comply with their animal policies. 

International travel is thrilling, and even if you’re going for a short vacation, you may want to share that excitement with every member of your family, including your animals. Taking your pet abroad is a commitment, requires extra research and planning, and will incur extra travel costs, but it’s worth it to have your companion by your side while you experience all the world has to offer.

When renting a vehicle to head off to an adventure at your chosen destination, you will find you are loaded with options. What kind of car do you get? What model? What features? It is important to know a few key details about the type of vehicle you get and then base the rest on your needs and what you plan on doing.

One of the most common debates that our customers have is whether to rent out a sedan or an SUV for their trip. To help you decide, we have compiled an easy guide so that you know the differences and pros and cons of each type of vehicle.

Sedan

A Sedan is a type of passenger car that has three components, the engine, the passenger seating, and then the trunk. It is a standard type of car and has many different types and brands.

Pros of a Sedan

VERY FUEL EFFICIENT

One of the biggest pluses for the sedan is that it has always been very fuel efficient. Newer models can really give you a great bang for your buck, so if you are planning on driving on paved roads a lot during your trip, this can be a great way to reduce the overall cost of your rental.

EASIER TO DRIVE

Though sedans are closer to the ground, they are smaller, which makes them easier to drive – especially in cities.

BETTER FOR YOUR BUDGET

Sedans are cheaper to buy and more economical to rent from us. If you want to get out and see more nature or to travel to the outskirts of your destination on a budget, a sedan can be a great choice.

GREAT PERFORMANCE

Sedans have always enjoyed great performance, which is why it’s considered much easier to drive.

BETTER SEAT ADJUSTMENT

Though SUVs are higher up, they are often not friendly for tall drivers. Sedans however often have more control over things like seat adjustments, so you can drive more comfortably.

GREAT SAFETY FEATURES

Sedans offer many advanced safety features nowadays, which can offer peace of mind for those traveling with their kids.

MORE LUXURIOUS

Just as newer Sedans can offer many great safety features, they also come in varying levels of luxury. Choose your level of luxury and ride in style.

Cons of a Sedan

NOT GREAT FOR TOWING

Sedans are a passenger vehicle. They are great for city break trips or for simple road trips. They are not built to tow anything, and therefore not ideal if you want to go camping or enjoy water sports.

NOT GOOD FOR OFF-ROADING

Sedans are a city car and are not suitable for off-roading. We wouldn’t recommend renting a sedan for a camping trip. 

SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle)

An SUV, or Sports Utility Vehicle, is a beefy machine that offers great off-road performance, a lot of space, and has excellent towing capabilities. When it comes to the SUV vs. Sedan debate, you will want to consider the following SUV pros and cons:

Pros of an SUV

SPACE

SUVs have a lot more space from the seating area, to the trunk. If you are traveling with a lot of luggage or driving for long periods of time, SUVs are far more comfortable to be in.

ALL-WHEEL DRIVE

SUVs have all-wheel drive, and are therefore much better for off-roading or just traveling through an area suffering from extreme weather conditions. As it is high up, it can even drive through flooded areas without drowning.

HIGHER VISIBILITY

As you are higher up, you see more of the road. This can help you drive more safely.

MORE PASSENGERS

SUVs have room for more passengers, and are therefore ideal if you have a big group going with you.

GOOD FOR TOWING

If you are towing anything, this is the vehicle to do it with.

Cons of an SUV

NOT AS STYLISH

SUVs are utility vehicles, so if you are looking for a sleek, luxury vehicle it is better to rent out a sedan.

CAN BE WORSE IN FUEL ECONOMY

Though there have been great leaps in terms of fuel economy for the SUV, it still doesn’t compare to the Sedan.

CAN BE DIFFICULT TO DRIVE

Driving an SUV in the city can be very difficult due to the tight turns and height limitations on parking lots.

Sedan Vs. SUV – Which One is Right for You?

If you are deciding on whether the SUV versus Sedan is right for you, ask yourself these questions:

  • What Is Your Vacation Going to Be Like?
  • Where Will You Be Going?
  • What is Your Budget?

If you have a smaller budget and are driving around the city, a sedan will work well. If you are going through national parks and have a lot of equipment, an SUV is the right way to go.

Recommended Readings

MINIVAN VS. SUV

STANDARD VS. FULL SIZE RENTAL CAR

MIDSIZE VS. STANDARD SUV