"Can we bring the dog?" has become a common question in our house lately. And there is no easy answer.
There is a lot of talk about these, but unfortunately outside of the EU, they don't really exist. Pet owners should create their own pet passport file, a collection of all identifying and required documents for entering a given country - and the requirements are different for every country. If you imported your puppy when you adopted him, be sure to carry your original duty/tax receipt to avoid questions upon return home, too!
Quarantine. Planning in advance of traveling with a pet is key in avoiding problems when entering any country. It will depend on where you travel from, where you are going, and stops en route. It is possible to travel without quarantine, if you have the proper documents and advance notice.
More info here
Your pet passport file should include records of dates and types of vaccinations. Most countries require rabies vaccinations at least 30 days but not more than 1 year old. Some do not recognize the 3-year vaccination so a booster may be required for travel. Some countries, especially in South and Central America require all documents to be translated.
More and more hotels are catering to pets, inviting owners to bring the whole family. On a recent stay at Four Seasons Whistler, our Rupert was provided with a plush bed, gourmet treats and bottled water. However, we couldn't leave him unattended in the room, although dog sitting services were available by prearrangement.
The Kimpton chain accepts pets and even encourages their staff to bring theirs from home. Pets may be left unattended in your room if you leave your cell phone number and are willing to return quickly.
Most airlines have pet friendly policies, to a degree. JetBlue even has a JetPaws program and shop. Air Canada allows your pet in the cabin, if the carrier plus pet weight combined does not exceed 22kg. However, because of cabin configurations, pets cannot travel in the cabin in International Business Class or Premium Economy (or bulkhead or exit rows). There are other conditions, including size and number of other pets aboard, etc., and pre-registration is required.
More info here
Otherwise, pets can travel in the presurized cargo compartment, with limits on age, certain aircraft, no travel in the summer (due to ground temperatures), etc. More info here
Cruise lines and ferries.
Only one cruise ship, Queen Mary 2, currently allows pets to travel with owners. Most ferries, especially those accepting vehicles, allow pets. Some - like BC Ferries - restrict pets to the car deck. Others may allow pets on the passenger decks.
Via Rail Canada and Amtrack do not allow pets in passenger compartments, requiring them to travel instead as checked baggage in heated, but not air-conditioned, cars. Most European rail carriers will accept small pets in passenger compartments, with varying crate, muzzle and leash restrictions.
The family vehicle remains the most pet-friendly mode of transportation. Feed your pet several hours before travel, stop every two or three hours for a stretch, and get used to drive-through dining.
Rental Cars. Mostl rental car companies allow pets in their cars. Some charge extra, or will charge cleaning fees if required, including shedding.
Of course all the above goes out the window with Service Animals. It is illegal almost anywhere to deny these companions direct access to their owner, and it is also illegal to question the owner on the nature of "service" provided. There is little legal clarity as to what qualifies a pet as a Service Animal.
Let me know if you want to include your pet in your next family vacation and I'll put Rupert on it right away for you!
Chikungunya still a concern in the Caribbean, elsewhere
Although deaths are rare but reported (over 30 so far), travellers are still warned to be cautious when visiting an area where Chikungunya, a disease transmitted by mosquito bites, is occurring. There is no vaccine or medicine to treat the disease, only prevention.
Read the facts here.
Read Virtuoso Life online
The award winning magazine published by Virtuoso for its agents and their most travelled clients is available online for everyone. You can always find a link to the latest issue from my website. In the meantime, here are some highlights from the current issue
The transformative power of travel is remarkable. It can expand your mind, break down borders, change your perspective, change your life. This issue is packed with places to go and things to do, whether you're heading slopeside to Saint-Moritz; to Puglia, Italy's road-less-traveled coastal region; or to one of the ten destinations our advisors recommend for 2015. Here's to safe, speedy, enjoyable journeys in the new year.
Flip through the latest issue of Virtuoso Life
Virtuoso travel advisors pick their top destinations for 2015.
In Italy's boot heel, a coastal escape that's long on allure and short on crowds.
Sunshine and the Swiss Alps combine for an unbeatable ski vacation.
Koreatown knocks out L.A.'s taste buds.
For Turkey's true underground scene, head to Cappadocia.
Read the complete current edition of VIRTUOSO LIFE now!
© 2015 Virtuoso, LTD.
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