Thursday, December 13, 2012

On the Road Again: Tips for Traveling with the Whole Family | Guest Post by Joe Laing, El Monte RV

Thinking about hitting the road with your dog?  Then settle back and enjoy today's guest post:  On the Road Again: Tips for Traveling with the WHOLE Family   By Joe Laing, El Monte RV
Happy to be in the "bye-bye car!"

There’s no place like home for the holidays! But perhaps you are most at home out on the open road. No matter which setting you prefer, one thing is clear: the holidays are a time for family. The WHOLE family includes, of course, our furry children. Now it’s easier than ever to realize what fun it can be for you and your pups to travel together. By observing a few simple tips, holiday travel with your pets becomes an adventure, rather than a chore. So let’s pack up the car, the RV, or the U-Haul and get to where we’re going!

First and foremost, make sure your pets are “up to date.” This tip applies all the time but especially when you are traveling away from home. Current tags and contact info are crucial. Make sure Ginger’s collar tag has her name, your cell number, and her veterinarian’s name and number clearly visible on it. If the tag is old or the engraving has been “loved off,” have a new tag printed out and attached before you leave. Also, make sure Ginger is current on all of her shots (rabies, etc.) and that you have her prescription medications on hand for the entire length of your trip.

Play it safe while in motion. There are a few tips that can be overlooked beforehand, but seem like no brainers after the fact. Before you encounter an entirely avoidable unfortunate situation, observe the following regarding car safety:
First, like babies and small children, pets do not belong in the front seat. Air bags are not designed with them in mind and in the event of an accident, not only are they not protected, they can also be killed by the force of the deployment.

Second, Max may be better off in his crate or carrier. While the go-to place for a dog is usually right out the window (also dangerous, by the way), some smaller dogs find security in the driver’s seat in their mom or dad’s lap or under foot near the pedals. The quickest way to run into trouble is to be unable to turn the steering wheel or hit the brakes because Max is in the way. Besides, Max may simply be more at home in his “home” while traveling – just make sure it is secured in the back and cannot slide around.

Finally, if the crate is out, a body harness should be in. Neck collars provide unique perils to pups in moving vehicles. In the event of an accident or a sudden stop, if you have attached Tiger’s neck collar to anything in the car he can be choked or even strangled.

Comfort is key. We all know how exhausting it can be to sit still for hours and do nothing in a car. Ease this burden by packing Champ’s bowls, his favorite toys/bones and a soft blanket. Make sure you have plenty of fresh, cool water available for him and that you make frequent stops for potty/stretch breaks. Most importantly, never ever leave him alone in the car for any length of time for any reason!

Observe common sense rules of safety and etiquette when you make stops. You know your pet best. Take that knowledge with you when you travel. For example, you know that the minute you open the front door at home, Trixie’s first instinct is to leap out without looking. Translate that to a vehicle: make sure Trixie is buckled in or her collar and leash are attached and someone has a firm hold on her whenever the car door is opened.

Likewise, when you stop for potty breaks at rest stops, gas stations, restaurants, etc., make sure Trixie is never off of her leash. Not only is this the law, but it is also just good common sense. The last thing you need is for Trixie to make a break for it on the side of the highway or attempt to make a new friend with another road warrior stopping for a break who just happens to be deathly afraid of dogs.

Now that we have covered the “how” of traveling with pets, let’s look at the “where!” There are many fabulous destinations that will welcome your whole family, including sweet little Lucy.

Camping Out. For the outdoorsperson in many of us, chestnuts roasting on an open fire are pure heaven. If you are traveling in an RV, you can literally pick anywhere on the map with an RV park and…park. Just observe the above guidelines and any park-specific regulations and you can begin creating holiday vacation experiences to last a lifetime.

For the City Mouse. Luxury has reached new heights in big cities like New York, Beverly Hills, Atlanta, New Orleans, Scottsdale and Nashville where select hotels cater specifically to Lady, offering massages, spa treatments, and other amenities for you to enjoy together.

The Great Compromise. Finally, if you have made plans to attend Disney World or Universal Studios over the Christmas/New Year’s holiday, you can still bring Tramp and register him for Day Camp at Disney’s Best Friends Pet Care Facility in Orlando, Florida.

Whether your idea of a vacation is S’mores over a roaring campfire, 5-Star room service, or theme park thrills, there are more pet-friendly options than ever. By putting safety first in your travels, you can ensure magical memories for your whole family this holiday season!

About the Author
Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV Rentals your nationwide source for RV rentals. El Monte RV also sells used motorhomes through eight different locations across the United States. For more information on purchasing a used motorhome see


  1. All excellent tips here...Travelling is fun as long as the hoomins have planned fur it

  2. Good travel tips. Since we travel, well, all the time, we know the need to be prepared.

  3. We really hate having to go anywhere without our guys. So we mostly don't go. For our family travels, having two Rotties, we always get vehicles with plenty of room. We had an old ambulance, right now we have an old bus ... :-)

  4. Cool post and thanks for the tips!

  5. Yes, yes, yes, please travel safely with the furry ones! Great info!

  6. I love traveling with our dogs; I do pack too much, but it's only to make us all as comfy as possible. We like to rent a house, near or on the water is the best and it's heaven for a few days. We're hoping to do it again soon.

    It's so important to keep the dogs comfortable and safe. I love that the pet industry is stepping up and meeting this need.


  7. Wonderful tips thanks for the share. Especially the first one on keeping contact details up to date.


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