How to Pull-off the Perfect Trip with Your Pet

More and more pet owners decide to take their furry companions with them when traveling. Separation is hard for both the owner and the pet, so the whole family coming on the trip is the perfect solution. However, traveling can be quite stressful, for pets especially, so make sure to study these travel tips before you set off.

Have a test trip
Take your pet for a test road-trip, especially if they aren’t used to driving in a car. Make sure to create a lot of positive memories on this test trip, like going to a dog park, to the beach or a pet shop. This way, your real trip will be easier.

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Pack up
Your pets also need some travel luggage, so get packin’. Bring a few bowls, a leash, waste baggies, grooming supplies, meds and some food and water. Also, give your pet that homey feeling by packing his favourite toy or blanket.

Buckle up!
A huge number of car accidents are caused by unrestrained pets in the vehicle. If your pet freely wonders in the vehicle, this can be a really dangerous distraction for the driver. Additionally, an unrestrained pet is more likely to be seriously injured in the case of an accident. So, in order to have a safe and stress-free trip, restrain your animal companion. Experts recommend getting a crate of a carrier for bigger dogs (you might also want to invest in a partition that will protect your passenger backrests from damage). Smaller breeds can be effectively restrained with harnesses with large and comfy belts and a sturdy metal attachment.

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Stretch those paws
Just like you, your pets also get stiff and tired from a long drive. So, make sure to stop every two or three hours and give your pets some much needed exercise and a potty break.

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Ready for take-off
If you’re flying to your destination, here’s what you should know. Very young, very old and pets in poor health should avoid flying and are better off at home. Additionally, some breeds like pugs and French bulldogs might experience breathing difficulties flying in the cargo hold. Many airlines don’t even allow them to fly. Other healthy pets that can get on board must have a roomy kennel (your pet should have enough room to stand up and turn comfortably). If your pet isn’t used to kennels, make sure to spend some time getting her used to the new circumstances. Besides the kennel itself, your dog should also travel with a food and water dish, a “Live Animal “ sticker on the crate and comfy bedding.

Make sure your hotel is pet-friendly
Before you depart, look for pet-friendly hotels that will welcome your furry friend with open arms. There are platforms such as GoPetFriendly.com that offer information on pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, stores and dog parks.

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Prepare light meals
Don’t feed your pet too much while traveling. It’s best to start with a light meal a few hours before departure. Never feed your pet in a moving vehicle, even if your trip is long and she hasn’t eaten in a while. Also, pack some extra pet food for when you arrive at your destination. You might not be able to find a pet shop right away, and you don’t want your cat or dog to be hungry. Another, more practical option is to order advance dog food online, and it will wait for you at your new address.

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Pay a visit to the vet
No trip should be taken without your vet’s approval, especially if your dog has health problems. Additionally, if you’re taking your trip across the border, make sure to get all necessary vaccinations and to bring your pet’s medical history.
If you follow all of these tips, your trip will be 100% pet-friendly and stress-free. Have a safe and pleasant journey with your furry friend.

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How To Survive An Airport Layover

Before we discuss everyone’s least favorite part of traveling, I’d like to thank Mark Crone for the opportunity to reach out to his blog’s readers! If you’re new around here, your next destination should be How To Make Hotel WiFi Work For You or The Only Primer on Airplane Etiquette You’ll Ever Need.

Airport layovers are obviously stressful, but if you try to view it as an opportunity to relax before or after your busy vacation, positive thinking may win out!

Give yourself a chance to have a great time by planning ahead for your airport layover. Here are some ideas for ways to spend the time that won’t break the bank or stress you out!

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Bring your own food

You may want to bring some snacks to avoid the overpriced (and generally terrible) airport food.

Obviously, plan around what is and isn’t allowed in airports and what you can keep unrefrigerated during your flight. Sandwiches, trail mix, fruit and vegetables with dip, and granola bars can all go in your carry-on luggage.

Remember to stay hydrated, too! Most people aren’t as hydrated as they should be, and it’s especially important when you’re traveling.

Stretch your legs

If your carry-on bag isn’t too bulky, shouldering it and taking a walk around the airport will help you burn off some calories and help prevent you from getting restless during your next flight.

Plus, there’s lots of people-watching to be done!

Take the opportunity to learn about your destination and its language 

You can watch movies in a different language on Netflix or practice with vocabulary tools such as Memrise.

If you are already an expert in your destination’s language, you can research attractions to include in your itinerary or finalize hotel plans.

Take a book! 

Unfortunately, airports will sometimes limit the time you can spend connected to their WiFi, so it may pay off to bring something to do that doesn’t require an internet connection. If you’re a quick reader, you may want to consider an e-reader or tablet rather than a traditional book so you can take multiple books without occupying your entire carry-on with reading material.

The subscription service Scribd is a lot like Netflix for books, and you can browse a huge variety of titles. Your books can then be saved on your device for the times that you can’t access WiFi, and there’s no need to finish them within a time limit like some other e-book services.

If you’re not much of a reader, drawing or coloring can be a nice alternative. Coloring is not just for children. The New York Times has recently released a coloring book complex and beautiful enough to hold the attention of adults.

Watch Netflix

A long airport layover is a perfect time to catch up on your favorite shows. If you’re not working during your trip, swapping your laptop for a tablet, iPad or Kindle Fire might help you take up less space on your carry-on bag.

As a security note, if you’re using unsecured public WiFi, such as the kind usually found at airports, make sure to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). When you use unsecured WiFi, others connected to the same network can see your information as easily as they could eavesdrop from the next table at a restaurant. If you plan on signing into any online account, especially online banking, this can pose a real risk.

A VPN creates a secure tunnel from the source of information to its destination and also encrypts the data passing through it, meaning your passwords and credit card numbers will remain secure and confidential. A VPN will also allow you to mask your IP address from Netflix and watch what’s available in other countries!

Play a card game or board game 

If you’re traveling with other people, a card game can give you something less solitary to do.

Finding a game that is small enough for your carry-on luggage isn’t as much of a challenge as it may seem to be. A regular, old-fashioned deck of cards is very versatile, and if poker is your thing, you can use the change in your pockets rather than bringing chips. Other options are Meuterer, Oltre Mare, Decktet, Magnate, Cards Against Humanity (for adults only!), Boggle, Fluxx or Uno.

Some games will sell a special pocket or travel edition, so it’s worth checking for small versions of your favorite games on Amazon before you head out.

Take your hobbies with you in any way you can 

A lot of hobbies require equipment or space that you won’t have in an airport, but if you think outside the box, you can bring your hobbies with you. Browse a book of knitting patterns, sketch out a new woodworking project or watch YouTube videos about your favorite video game.

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Take a nap 

Not everybody is comfortable sleeping in an airport, but if you feel safe enough it might be the perfect time for a nap.

Remember to set an alarm well before your next flight leaves! 

Catch up with friends 

If you have internet access, you can update your Facebook status with news about your trip, or message friends.

If you don’t have internet access…when was the last time you called your mother? If she’s particularly talkative, you may be able to while away the hours in a really meaningful way. 

Play a hand-held game 

Hand-held gaming systems, such as the Nintendo DS, are more popular with kids, but even adults can get caught up in Bejeweled. Before you know it, it will be time to board your next flight!

 

What are your favorite airport layover activities? What games and activities would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!

Author Bio: Jess Signet is an avid traveler and enjoys writing about her adventures. Knowing there’s more to the world than the bubble she lives in makes her want to travel even further. Traveling is her drug, and she’s addicted. (Please, no intervention!)

5 More Essential Travel Apps to Make Travel Easier

Travel Apps could definitely be a weekly column so this second article in the series is long overdue, (see my first article from last year- 5 Essential Travel Apps to Make Travel Easier). The plethora of travel apps continues and shows no sign of stopping (nor should it).

Here’s another 5 essential apps to help with some different challenges that comes with travelling:

Protection against theft

Digital security should a concern for everyone (whether travelling overseas or just across town). Prey is a free security system that works with your PC, tablet and mobile phone. Similar to “Find My iPhone”, you can locate your device using GPS but you can also watch what is happening on screen and remotely lock your device to prevent theft of sensitive data. You can even use your device’s camera to snap a photo of the bad guy (and help in device recovery). https://preyproject.com/

Airport security updates

Getting through security in a timely manner can be a problem if you are unsure of the latest federal regulations. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s MY TSA app consolidates all the security details you need to know, along with updates on airport delays. Similarly, the Canadian Government has put out the Travel Smart Mobile Web App, which includes embassy contact info and border wait times.

http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/my-tsa-mobile-application

http://travel.gc.ca/mobile

Flight information and more

Passbook is a resident app built into your IPhone and IPad device. The app will bring up-to-date flight information to the main screen of your device automatically once you are checked in. One swipe will recall your boarding pass. Passbook also stores account balances and information for movie tickets, retailers and loyalty cards.

Avoid texting fees

Staying in touch with clients, employees and family when out-of-country can be costly due to high text messaging fees. WhatsApp uses Wi-Fi to allow users to send text messages and group chats so that costly messaging fees don’t apply. The app costs $.99.

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/whatsapp-messenger/id310633997?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D2

Overcome Language barriers

It’s so quick and easy to use. Google Translate is available as a straight Google web feature page for quick translation. The App itself is free and features more than 50 languages to choose from. While in destination, you can even speak English into your phone and have it spit out a translation in the local language. https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/google-translate/id414706506?mt=8

And the travel app list continues…

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