A Guide to Traveling With Pets Internationally

A Boston Terrier dog closes its eyes and sticks its head outside the window of a moving car

 

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.