Doggy Jet-setting Travel & Style Tips
There’s nothing glamorous or cute about traveling with furry
companions. Like children, it’s all about them even down to the shoes you choose for travel. As you can see, my moccasin booties are lightweight and unobtrusive in comparison to the doggy carrier that is overpowering my foot space.
#1 Wear shoes for comfort and confinement.
I chose these Peter Pan slippers because they keep my feet warm and push come to shove, I can rest my feet on the dog carrier and not feel guilty. If you choose to wear shoes without socks, keep in mind that 1) you’ll have to walk through security barefoot and 2) your toes might get cold on the plane. I always pack a pair of socks in my carry-on.
#2 Bring on the layers.
You will most likely work up a sweat getting your four-legged friend through the airport. I typically wear a tunic tee-shirt, sweatshirt or jacket and leggings.
#3 Wheels are the only way to go. *A DOGGYTALE
With only 1 hour before my puppy children and I were scheduled to leave the house for our 3 hour and 45 minute plane ride, we had a doggy state of emergency… no airline approved travel carrier. The old roller carrier recently retired after 2 years and over 20 flights of service. On my mission to find a comparable carrier, I had visited 2 stores and called 3 others but without success. I knew our last resort would be a shoulder carrier from Petco located a half a mile from our house. That’s where we ended up. Of course I next had my dogs test multiple carriers. Fat Boy (yes, that’s his birth name) wasn’t happy about “test driving” these unfamiliar shoulder carriers. He’s a solid 15-pounder so his method of maneuvering into this small uncomfortable bag was backing in behind first. My Tiny Rascal (named as “the good student” by The Loved Dog of Los Angeles) is a 9.5 pound acrobat. He’ll roll, jump, or dive into a bag, with no problem. Little did I know we had an audience, a Petco employee and shopper, watching the production. Tiny was over it and ran off. The Petco employee said, “You can sign him up for lessons.” I told the man that was the least of my worries right now. We finally found a winner (at least I thought) and my boys and I were off on this new journey of me carrying them, all 24.5 pounds on my shoulder through LAX. I didn’t even get to security before the strap broke on the way up the escalator.
#4 Throwback to a backpack.
If you’re fortunate enough to roll your pet, balance your weight out with a backpack versus a heavy duffle bag. Your pet carrier counts as one of your two carry-ons. Absurdness… since you are paying a fee for your pet to travel. Shouldn’t your pet get his or her own carry-on? On a bright note, a huge advantage of wearing a backpack is the ability to discretely also carry a small hand purse or man bag.
#5 He or she needs a reservation too!
Everyone asks me, “Do you have to pay for both dogs?” No, it’s per carrier but per flight. By the way, when is Southwest going to get an awards program for dogs? They’ve allowed pets to fly for at least 3 years and as of January 15th, the pet travel fee increased from $75 to $95. Remember to call in advance to make sure your pet has a reservation. Typically, the airlines have a cap on how many animals are allowed on a flight.
#6 Keep your hands squeaky clean.
You will have to go through the “old school” metal detectors with your pet. TSA will swab both of your palms for threatening substances (I guess). Avoid putting oils on your hands and touching your laptop prior to going through security or you might get flagged.
#7 Thirsty? You can wait.
Unless you have a bottled drink, don’t even think about unwrapping your straw until you sit down on the plane. I love my Pinkberry smoothies but it’s a disaster maneuvering a pet carrier and 1-2 additional bags through the airport with a drink.
#8 Treats are your best friend.
People ask me all the time, “Do they (the dogs) travel well”? My response is, “Better than children”. My secret is bite size treats and no, I don’t sedate Tiny Rascal and Fat Boy. My guys have been flying since they were 8 weeks old so they know the routine as soon as they see me pack a suitcase.
#9 The middle seat welcomes you.
As unpleasant as it sounds, in my experience, the middle seat is the best seat when traveling with a pet carrier because it gives you more space to fit the carrier underneath the seat.
#10 Buckle up, Stay still and Enjoy the ride!
Clearly, you don’t have any room for yourself so have your headphones, magazine, and tablet accessible.
I want to hear your airport adventures with or without a pet! Please share below and feel free to ask questions.