So you are longing to get a break from your chaotic life and want to treat yourself to a vacation. But you immediately drop the idea because you can’t leave your furry companion behind. Why don’t you consider taking your dog along? After all, our furry friends deserve to have some fun too!

The good news is that pet travel has become increasingly popular as a large number of pet parents have begun to travel with their dogs. More and more airlines and hotels are now accommodating dogs.

dog on vacation is laying near the lake

Of course, I can’t say there won’t be any difficulties. But with adequate planning and preparation, you and your dog can have a fantastic time, relax, explore and bond together. Here are a few useful tips to assist you in planning.

Choosing the Best Pet-Friendly Destination

The first step in planning your getaway is to decide on the perfect holiday destination. Since this time you aren’t traveling alone, you should take your furry companion into account when deciding on the place for your vacation. Look for dog-friendly cities that offer activities for both you and your dog.


This town is among South Carolina’s most popular tourist destinations and has something to offer for everyone; whether you are an admirer of history or a fan of beaches. The best part is that you can marvel at historical buildings, relax at the beach and relish delicious food all with your dog by your side. There is a yappy hour at the park as well, so you and your pooch are both up for a treat.


This is one of the most reasonable travel destinations and a haven for adventure enthusiasts. You and your four-legged companion can hike various trails, witness the majestic beauty of nature and cool off in the creek afterward. The city also has dog-friendly patios and other activities for you both to enjoy.

San Francisco

Among the most attractive cities in the United States is San Francisco. Home to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, art museums, the beautiful Golden Gate Park, and plenty of other tourist attractions, San Francisco is the perfect city to plan a getaway. There are multiple dog-friendly parks, bars, and restaurants.


With various off-leash dog parks, kayaking opportunities, yoga classes, dog boutiques and various other exciting activities, Austin is heaven for dogs and their parents. You and your pooch can go shopping together, have dinner and enjoy the sights of the city.


For pet parents who want to enjoy every activity with their pooch and bond as much as possible, Seattle is the place to be. From enjoying the fantastic Seattle waterfront views on a cruise to hiking the classic trails, eating together in dog-friendly restaurants to kayaking, you and your furry companion can experience it all.

Read more: 8 Pet Supplies for People Who Love to Travel

Making Travel Arrangements

surfing with a dog on vacation

Once you have chosen your destination, it is now time to make the travel arrangements. Depending on the place you are planning to visit, you will have to decide whether a road trip is a more feasible option or if you would prefer air travel.

Flying with Your Dog

Various airlines have now begun to let pets travel in the cabin. However, there are specific rules and regulations, for instance, some airlines allow pets that weigh less than 20 pounds in the cabin and let large dogs travel in the baggage compartment. Most of these allow a limited number of in-cabin pets so you should get a reservation beforehand. You will also have to purchase a USDA approved carrier. For international travel, each country has specific requirements regarding vaccinations and health certificates, so you will have to gather all the information and make the necessary preparations.

Car Traveling with Dogs

For adventure-loving pet parents, a road trip may be the preferred choice, but consider it if you are visiting a nearby destination. Make sure you accustom your pooch to car travel and determine if they have motion sickness. If they do, you can get medication prescribed by a veterinarian. Since your pooch will be spending considerable time in the car, invest in a pet car seat or safety harness to ensure they are comfortable and secure.

Packing for the Trip

Unlike previous vacations, this time you will be packing an additional companion. To ensure you don’t forget any of the essentials, here is a checklist to help you out:

  • First aid kit
  • Food and water bowls
  • Treats (for the days when your pup becomes fussy)
  • Collar and harness
  • Flea and tick preventives (You don’t want to risk your dog’s health)
  • Food (for dogs who are picky eaters, it is best to take their regular food along if you are doubtful about its availability)
  • ID Tags (You don’t want to lose your furry friend in an unknown destination)

dog with parents on the beach

Lastly, I would advise pet parents not to stress out. Things might get complicated and might not always go the way you expect. Your pooch may throw tantrums, but keep your calm. Focus on relaxing, having fun, and make beautiful memories with your pooch.

About the author: Jenny Perkins is an Animal Behavior Specialist and a passionate writer. She loves to write about the nutrition, health, and care of dogs. She aims at providing tips to dog owners that can help them become better pet parents. She writes for the blog Here Pup.

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