Have Dog, Will Travel: 6 Tips for a Solo Trip with Fido

Posted by Jessica Roberts

If there’s one thing we’ve learned at BringFido, it’s that travel is way more fun when your best friend comes along. That’s even truer when you’re going solo. Taking a trip with your pet requires a little extra preparation when you’re on your own, but if you plan ahead, pack smart and stay aware of his needs, you and your four-legged excursionist will be rewarded with amazing memories. Check out these six tips for solo travel with your dog before you set off on your next pet-friendly adventure!

1. Plan Your Route

“Obviously all this blue stuff is the land.” Photo by @ohhh.my.gio

When you’re globetrotting with your pup, the journey is nearly as important (and fun) as the destination. The last thing you want is to be stranded with an anxious canine by your side. If you’re adventuring by vehicle, take the time to plan a route that allows for plenty of pet-friendly stops along the way. It’s generally agreed that dogs should be allowed a break from the car every three hours, but some will need more frequent stops. Furry friends who tend to get restless in the car will need breaks where they can get in a long walk or even some off-leash playtime. If you need to fly with Fido, consider including one of the 10 most pet-friendly airports in the U.S. in your travel plans.

2. Make Reservations

“Yup. This’ll do just fine.” Photo by @hamiltonbarkley

When it’s just you and your pooch, consider booking a hotel with a pet policy that allows your furry friend to stay unattended in the room, especially if you think you may dine at a restaurant without a pet-friendly patio or visit a place where dogs are not permitted. Some hotels even offer pet-sitting services!

Finding pet-friendly accommodations around the world is easy when you use the BringFido site or mobile app for iPhone or Android. It’s best to book stays ahead of time, as some hotels have a limited number of pet-friendly rooms while others sell out months in advance.

3. Pack the Right Stuff

“Whose idea was this redeye?” Photo by @mmthepug

Going on a pet-friendly road trip? Arrange your space so that you can easily access what you’ll need for Fido at stops along the way, like water bowls, snacks, waste bags, toys and blankets. You’ll also want to create a safe and comfy space for your canine to ride, and keep a first-aid kit for pets in your vehicle.

If you’re flying, ensure you can fit what both you and your pooch need for the flight. Carry-on supplies for furry passengers should include vet records and any special medication they might need, comfort items like a blanket or favorite toy, leash and waste baggies, pet wipes (in case of accidents or upset stomach), and a collapsible water dish for the flight. Pro tip: save space by creating a pet profile on the BringFido app, where you can upload vet records. Also consider a backpack-style travel carrier for your canine that will allow you to keep him close while freeing up your hands to tote your luggage.

4. Prepare Your Travel Buddy

“Let’s roll, dude.” Photo by @baileyremixmix

Before you embark on your “pawdyssey,” double-check that tags and microchip information are accurate, vaccinations are up to date, and she’s healthy for travel. Once you’ve got the OK from her vet, give your four-legged pioneer the opportunity to work her way up to long travel. Start with shorter trips before you tackle that big cross-country drive or first flight. Do a trial run with your pet’s carrier so she feels comfortable when it comes to a real trip. If she tends to be nervous or shows signs of car sickness (severe drooling, licking her lips, panting and restless behavior), talk to her vet about medications or supplements that may help, like Ark Naturals Happy Traveler Dog & Cat Capsules.

5. Stay In Touch

“I’ve always got your back.” Photo by @thesoulcialmuse

One of the smartest ways to stay safe when you’re traveling solo is to designate someone to be aware of where you are along the way. Give your pet-friendly travel itinerary to another human and update them during your adventures. With location-sharing apps, it’s easy to let loved ones know where you are, where you’re headed, and what Fido’s up to.

The same holds true for your canine companion. Consider getting him a GPS pet tracker, like the Findster Duo+, to monitor his location at all times, even when you’re off-grid. And of course, regularly sharing photos on social (#BringFido!) will let folks know when to start worrying and when to just be jealous at the great adventures the two of you are having.

6. When Nature Calls

"We like this place." Photo by @umatheenglishbulldog

What do you do when nature calls and you’re traveling solo with your dog? For your four-legged companion, it’s simple: the world is his toilet. When you’re on the road or exploring a new destination, keep waste bags and supplies on hand to clean up after Fido. On flights, pets are not permitted to get out of their carrier. Assume no exceptions will be made and prep the carrier with an absorbent pad in case. Most major airports are equipped with doggy potty areas, so be sure to give him the opportunity to go before you board.

Managing your potty breaks, however, requires a little more thought. Pups should never be left unattended in a vehicle, no matter the weather, so what’s a human to do? More than 37,000 pet-friendly businesses are listed on BringFido, including pet stores, veterinarians, doggy daycare facilities, groomers, trainers, and other invaluable resources for the lone wolf and her pup.

What dog-friendly travel tips do you have for adventuring with Fido? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

BringFido is committed to providing authentic dog-friendly content that our readers will love. We may at times receive compensation from our partners or use affiliate links to promote products and services featured on our blog. Banner photo by @supercorgi_jojo.