A cross-country move is no small feat. The logistics alone of packing up all your worldly belongings and getting them to your new digs in one piece -- and on time -- is enough to make your head spin. And, when your beloved furry sidekick is taking the journey with you, it's easy to feel even more anxious.
Fortunately, if you follow a few simple tips and keep a positive attitude, your move can go much more smoothly than you might think. In fact, you might even really enjoy the trip, and the chance to bond with your furkid.
The best possible way to reduce the stress of moving with a pet is to create a thorough and solid plan of action. Here are a few questions to ask yourself during the planning stages:
Where will you stay?
Road trips do move along a bit more slowly when you're traveling with a pet. All those potty breaks add up, and hey - you've got four extra legs to stretch! An extended amount of time on the road can mean more hotel stays. It's a good idea to plan beforehand how often you will stop for the night, as well as where you will stop, and when.
Finding pet friendly lodging is, of course, a must. Fortunately, you are spoiled for choice. There are thousands of really good options across the country, in every price range and type. You don't have to settle -- whether you've got an eye on the budget, you're looking to be pampered, or you just want something convenient and practical -- you can find a perfect place for both of you to lay your weary heads.
To make things even simpler, TripsWithPets offers a "search hotels by route" feature that will help you find pet friendly lodging at different intervals all along your travel route. Make sure you book well in advance -- pet friendly rooms fill up quickly, and you want to be assured there will be a place set aside for you.
How will you keep your pet safe?
First and foremost, your pet should be secured in your vehicle at all times while you're on the road. Secured pets have a much lower chance of becoming injured or lost during a road trip, and they are far less likely to distract drivers. Browse through pet restraint options -- there are many different kinds available including seat belts, pet barriers, crates and carriers. You will certainly find one that works for your specific situation.
It's important to acclimate your pet to his safety restraints well in advance. This is a process, and it can't be done overnight. Don't procrastinate!
You should never, ever leave your pet in a vehicle alone and unattended. Even on cool days, temperatures inside a car can rise exponentially within minutes, which could put his health and safety in grave danger. Leaving your windows open slightly will do little to help your pet, and it may even increase the chance that your pet could escape or be stolen. You need to factor this in as you plan, and then figure out a way for a responsible person to be with your furry friend at all times during your trip.
Where will you stop along the way?
Your pet isn't the only one with needs -- you can't survive on kibble, and you will need plenty of potty breaks yourself. You need to figure out who will stay with your pet while you are in the restroom, and how you will manage meals on the road.
Heading to a drive-thru is one good option -- although it can quickly get old during a long trip. Another option is packing sandwiches and snacks in a cooler, and keeping them handy while you're on the road. You can, of course, treat yourself to something really good. Search out pet friendly restaurants in areas along your route. Many great restaurants allow pets at their outdoor seating areas.
What should you bring along for the ride?
Your pet will need a lot of things to keep him safe, healthy and happy on a long trip. It's wise to make a list -- in the hustle and bustle of a move, it can be hard to focus, and easy to forget even the most mundane things. Make sure your list includes:
A certificate of health (you may need this for interstate travel)
Pet IDs (with new address and phone number)
Leash and collar
Food, water, and bowls
Pet vehicle safety restraints
Favorite cushion or pet bed
Take time to stop and smell the roses (and everything else!)
The most essential facet of a successful move is your ability to stay positive and flexible. Rather than seeing your move as a stressful chore, think of it as an adventure. An old-school road trip, with your best furry bud. Build extra time into your schedule to stop and have some fun. Find some fun pet friendly attractions to explore. Hike some trails, or walk through some exciting cities or charming small towns. The journey to your new place may be long, but you'll get there in the end. You might as well enjoy yourself and make some great memories along the way!
TripsWithPets is the premier online pet friendly travel guide -- featuring online reservations at over 30,000 pet friendly hotels & accommodations across the U.S. and Canada. Visit our site to explore pet friendly destinations like Williamsburg, VA, Roanoke, VA, Las Vegas, NV and thousands more! When planning a trip, pet parents go to TripsWithPets for detailed, up-to-date information on hotel pet policies and pet amenities. TripsWithPets also features airline & car rental pet policies, pet friendly activities, a user-friendly search-by-route option, as well as pet travel tips.