While jetting off abroad every so often is a wonderful way to see the world, it’s sometimes more rewarding to explore your home country, allowing you to really enjoy the heritage and the holiday resorts it has to offer. There are many benefits to this, from recognising the food to knowing the language, but for many families the main advantage is that they don’t have to go through the hassle of having pets either put in kennels or shipped in crates to fly overseas.
Taking your pet on holiday does mean you need to bear a few extra safety concerns in mind. Make sure you get a comprehensive pet insurance policy set up before you go, and take a look at our guide to ensuring your pet enjoys your getaway as much as you do!
There are plenty of hotels and B&Bs which say they are “pet-friendly”, but you should always read independent reviews on sites like TripAdvisor to ensure that other pet owners have been satisfied with the service they offer.
Heading off on holiday does mean that your daily schedule is likely to change, but pets need routine to keep them happy and comfortable. Make sure that wherever you travel there is enough space to take your pet for walks – a break in the countryside or on the coast is ideal, and avid hikers will find that healthy dogs are quite happy to spend all day outside. Just make sure you pack water and a small bowl for them, as well as some snacks.
If you’re going to be driving a long distance, make sure you schedule plenty of breaks to allow your pet to stretch their legs. Use this time to give them plenty of attention too, as travelling can be fraught with uncertainty for many pets, and you need to reinforce a positive attitude. You can prepare them in advance by taking them on a few short journeys during the lead-up to your trip, and by making sure their carrier includes some favourite blankets and toys to keep them comfortable.
Ensure you have your pet microchipped before you go, in case the worst should happen. Remember that your pet will be in new territory and they may not know where to go if they get lost, so it’s important that you do everything you can to prevent losing them. Only ever let them off the lead if you’re certain they won’t run off – and even then, keep them with you for the first couple of days, until they get used to their immediate surroundings.