A common question allied travelers often ask us is, “can I bring my pet with me on my 13-week travel assignment?”
As an animal lover and pet owner, I totally understand what you are going through. When I moved from Texas to California, I made sure to bring my bunny, Joey, with me. (Here he is on the left coloring my coloring book for adults that I published called “Life of the Wild.”)
The logistics of how to do that were tricky, but completely possible! I will be covering the pros and cons of bringing a pet with you on your assignments.
Benefits of having your pet on a travel assignment
Traveling with your furry companion provides emotional support and can make the “settling in” part of your journey easier. Your furry companion can help eliminate the feeling of loneliness or homesickness. Coming home to a happy pet after a long shift, can really brighten up your day!
While most people travel with dogs, it is quite possible to travel with other animals. When moving, consider driving to your assignment. Taking a road trip with your pet will save you flight money. If you are unable to drive, you can also ask others to drive your pet to you. When I had to move Joey, I did not want to put him on an airplane (for fear that he would get too scared). Instead, I found a company that drove people’s pets.
Here are a couple of companies that can help you make travel arrangements:
Housing with a pet
I would recommend looking through Airbnb, Furnished Finders and Craigslist when looking for housing. They have a pet filter to help you speed up the process. Often, you will come across other pet lovers, who allow pets at their place. There may be a higher deposit fee, but it is worth it for the campanionship of your buddy.
Things to Consider
Typically traveling with a pet will be more expensive than traveling solo. If you are flying, having a pet in the cabin will cost you anywhere from $20 to $200 to bring your pet on a plane. Storing pets in cargo will cost you $250, and could be a traumatic experience for your buddy.
If you are unable to bring your pet, boarding your animal typically costs $25 to $50 a night. You may have to consider this option if you plan on traveling to Hawaii for an assignment. Hawaii has very strict rules about allowing animals to enter their islands. They will quarantine your pet for 120 days before releasing them. By that point, your pet will be depressed, and your assignment will have already ended.
If you work long shifts, you may feel guilty about leaving them unattended all day. Consider using sites like rover.com. This site connects you to local dog walkers, and the fee is usually nominal.