Whether you're already familiar with traveling with your pet/s, you're considering starting, or you are sans-pet and thinking about how adding a pet to your life will impact your wanderlust behavior here are 7 reasons I have found that traveling with your pet is the BEST!!
- No more sad eyes, droopy ears, and wag-less tails through the house window when you load up your travel bag into the car, close the door, and drive away on your trip. It's honestly something I used to have nightmares about when I used to travel without my pups. They would watch me pack from the corner of my bedroom, every so often jumping up onto the bed and into my bag only to be scooted away, and ALWAYS looking back at me with those sad, puppy-dog eyes...yeah, you know the ones. I'd say, at least one hundred times, how much I love them, how I'd be home before they knew it, that I was leaving them in the best care, and how much I love them...I know, I said that one before, but I said it more often than the others...MUCH more. Gah, the guilt was thick...of all the things to feel guilty about I never expected that! Of course, when I returned home they were always happy to see me. Thankfully dogs don't tend to hold grudges..pheww...thank goodness for that short memory pups have, but my memory isn't so forgiving and leaving them needed to change.
I travel often via road-trip to San Diego, it was in fact the source of my idea for PAWesome Vacations, and when I started traveling with the pups I had no idea how wonderful it would be. All that guilt disappeared, and my trips were ever-so-much-more memorable with them by my side...reasons 2-7 will explain in more detail. They now get excited whenever I pull out my travel bags...they know it's likely they are going with me somewhere fantastic.
- No more questionable care while you are away. The very first time I traveled away from my pups (at the time I just had Theo and Ellie--my chiweenie and morkie) they weren't even a year old. I was heading out of Phoenix for my framily's (friends that are chosen family) annual New Years get away. We go somewhere new, usually a Bed and Breakfast, VRBO, or some other remote-ish location, every year. This particular year we were heading up to a BnB by Clarkdale, AZ, not far from Jerome, AZ. We were staying at a fantastic BnB nestled up to some mountains with a newly created vineyard nearby. The pups were staying with someone I thought would care for them well as she had a dog of her own. I'll save the trip details for a later post when I revisit with the pups. I will also share, in greater detail, how friendships go sour and finding a great dog-sitter/pet-sitter is imperative to traveling with peace of mind...in a later post. In short, her actions played a part in me traveling with my pets forevermore.
Finding the right care for your loved fur-famiy is important, and there are plenty of services that aide in finding someone appropriate. After this experience on New Years I chose to only have trusted Pack-Aunts watch my pups (if I had to leave them) or, I traveled with them. The people that watch my pups send me pictures, videos, they share on social networks how much fun they are having, and all of this brings me peace of mind on those rare occasions I have to travel sans-pets. Traveling with them is MUCH easier on me and them...and will be for you, as well.
- Good reason to PAWS and enjoy your trip! Sorry, not sorry for the wordplay...it's going to continue to happen, just woosa! Like I said earlier, I drive to San Diego often and when I started traveling with the pups I got to know that 5 and a half hour trip quite well. My car can get me there on a full tank of gas with over a quarter of a tank left...so, stopping along the way is not necessary. When I started road-tripping with the pups I had to pull over to let them stretch their legs, go to the bathroom (which suddenly just dawned on me as a strange thing to say as dogs don't go to the "bath room" to do their business, HA!), and maybe get a bit of water or food. I had to start looking for appropriate stops for them, and for me, and it was something I had basically blocked out on that trip so many times before. I started seeing the landscape so much differently, beauty, and sunsets that would take your breath away. In San Diego I found myself getting up early to walk Calypso (my husky) on the beach, stroll around Carlsbad, and have breakfast outside with her by my feet. We would repeat the beach as dusk descended. I found myself enjoying my trips far more when there was reason to take it a little slower.
- You never have to dine alone. Okay, I'm not entirely sure "never" is appropriate here as not everywhere is pet-friendly, yet..but, for the most part there's always at least one restaurant that is pet-friendly that you and your fur-companion can enjoy a nice meal together at. As a single traveler there remains a stigma to dining alone. Heck, there remains a stigma to dining alone no matter where you are. However, mostly that's a self-view rather than others are actually judging you, but I would be remiss to say that it doesn't exist. I mentioned earlier about having Calypso at my feet during breakfast. She would get some great puppy friendly meal, as well, and sitting there "alone" never felt lonely anymore. Plus, people LOVE seeing dogs when they are out to eat...she got so much attention and I got to meet some local-yocals!
- You're more adventurous (thus healthy) and you get cooler pictures! I found myself exploring more, going farther, and taking pictures to remember my trips once I started bringing my dogs with me. I would go jogging to places I normally wouldn't if I didn't have Calypso with me, and I would end up meeting some really neat people along the way. I found that every trip I took with my pups I would actually lose weight as I would be far more active! That was a fun byproduct! Also, I wanted to take more pictures to not forget the moments I was having. My memory truly isn't the best, so pictures are priceless to me.
- Extra physical protection! None of my dogs are "attack dogs" or aggressive in any way, however, if you come at me you can bet that they will protect me. There have been several times where Calypso and I have been on a hike and she will literally stop in her tracks, growl, and back up from someone approaching, where everyone else along the way she had licked their hand, or put her head under their hand to be pet. Built in protection and security. I trust that pup's intuition and senses more than my own when it comes to sniffing out danger. When I'm traveling somewhere new, having her with me provides comfort and safety I otherwise wouldn't feel. That's a fantastic plus for single women that travel!
- It's just so much more fun! Need I say more?
Here's a video of Calypso on the beach if you're not sure yet...