As the holidays approach and you make travel plans, you may be including your four-legged friend in your itinerary. This may not be as unusual as you would think; in fact, a survey conducted by a travel organization app noted that almost eighty percent of pet owners are influenced by the needs of their dog or cat when they plan a trip. If you are taking your pet along with you when you travel this holiday season, there are several money-saving strategies you can use to stay well within your budget.
1. Find Pet-Friendly Hotels Ahead of Time
When traveling with your pet, it is wise to find out which hotels on your route allow pets. Not all lodgings are pet friendly, and some require a substantial deposit as insurance against any damage your dog or cat might do during your stay. Other hotels have weight or breed restrictions for keeping a pet in your room with you, and finding out as much as you can about these rules and costs can help you budget money for it instead of being caught unaware.
2. Include Emergency Pet Funds in Your Budget
It is reasonable to believe that a pet emergency might crop up during your holiday travels, whether your cat gets carsick or your dog hurts its leg during a walk at a rest stop. As you plan your trip, look up vets in the area where you plan to stay or stop to rest and visit their websites to estimate emergency costs. Being prepared when you are out of town with your pet can help you avoid the considerable cost of a 24-hour emergency vet or animal hospital.
3. Pack a Pet Duffel
Buying your dog food or toys at pet boutiques as you travel might be a fun way to spoil it, but the cost of such treats will probably be more expensive than what you pay at home. If you stop in a town that is geared toward tourist spending, the cost of food, toys, and pet accessories might put quite a dent in your travel budget. Packing a pet duffel can offset this spending and make your pet more comfortable during those long hours in the car.
As you make packing lists for your trip, include one for your pet. Pack up treasured toys, extra leashes, plenty of food, and your pet’s familiar bed. The sight and scent of these items might make your dog or cat feel more comfortable in strange surroundings and provide it with entertainment in your hotel room, and you will not have to buy supplies along the way.
4. Consider Pet Insurance
Just as you would review your car insurance policy before taking a long-distance trip over the holiday, it is a good idea to consider a plan for your pet as well. This type of protection guards against illness, injury, and even death. Some policies cover the value of purebred pets that may get lost or stolen during a vacation. While these are not pleasant circumstances to ponder, investing in a policy before you travel may give you peace of mind when it comes to taking your dog or cat along with you.
5. Indulge in Low-Cost or Free Fun
Once you reach your destination, you can save money on dog-sitting services by taking your pet with you as you indulge in holiday fun. Take your pet to a dog park, go on walking tours, or try to find pet-friendly stores or malls in the area. These are becoming more popular as people search for ways to include their pets in more family activities. You may even be surprised at how many pet-friendly venues you find.
Traveling with your pet during the holidays can be potentially expensive. However, with a bit of planning and wise choices, you can include your pet in all the holiday fun without stretching your travel budget to its limit.