What Should I Do With My Pets When Traveling?

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Pets are a huge part of life for millions of Americans. But there are some logistics you have to figure out when you get a pet, especially if you haven’t had one before.

For example, what do you do when you travel for work or go on a vacation? Especially if you’re traveling internationally or otherwise going far from home?

You may wonder whether to put your pet up for boarding, take it with you or ask friends or family to watch it. There are multiple things to consider, including cost and convenience.

What Should I Do With My Dog If I Want To Travel?

What should I do with my new pet if I want to travel?

That’s what a Clark Howard podcast listener recently asked.

Asked Miche in New Jersey: “Do you have any recommendations for pet boarding when traveling? You mentioned that you have pet(s) and that you travel often. Also if you travel with your pet(s) do you have any advice from your experience? I just rescued a small dog and would still like to travel a little.”

Clark describes what to do with your pets when you travel as a personal choice. But he prefers bringing his pets with him. And if that’s not possible, he entrusts his pets to an individual to watch them.

“We have a wonderful woman who takes care of our dogs when we travel by air. We don’t fly our dogs,” Clark says. “When we’re going somewhere we can drive, the dogs go with us.

“When you travel with your dogs, always make sure you have plenty of bags to clean up a mess. And that you have the little portable water things so you can give them water when you stop.”

How Much Does It Cost To Board a Pet Such as a Dog?

Cost is a major factor when considering what to do with your pet when traveling.

According to Home Guide, the average cost to board a dog is $30 to $50 per night. Of course, there’s a wide price range depending on how fancy your location is and the services they offer.

At $50 a night, that’s $350 for a week. Double that number if you have two dogs.

If you’re having someone watch your pet, you’ll probably have to pay them as well. Unless it’s a really good friend or family member that volunteers.


Clark mentioned on the podcast that his producer Christa uses a boarding facility, while he and his family “prefer having an individual.” He called it a personal choice that each pet owner must make.

“I will tell you that when you plan for a vacation and you’re gonna board your dog or have somebody take care of your dog, you’re going to be surprised what it costs per day,” Clark says. “I mean, it’s a legitimate, real expense on a trip.”

Bringing Your Pet To a Hotel: Check the Rules First

If you’ve never brought a pet with you on vacation, you may be surprised to learn that many hotels don’t allow pets.

However, over time, it has become easier to find pet-friendly places to stay. Just know that you need to account for those rules when you’re looking for lodging.

“One good thing, if you do travel by car with a small dog you rescued, know that the number of hotels that allow pets to stay with you has gone wayyyy up,” Clark says.

“They may charge you a pet deposit or an extra charge for a pet staying in the room or something like that. But it used to be very hard to find hotels where you could stop along the road with your pet. And today? Very, very easy.”

Final Thoughts

Owning a pet shouldn’t be the end of your travel life. But you’ll have to make a personal choice as to what’s best for you.

Clark brings his pets with him if he’s able to. But when he flies, he has an individual he trusts to take care of them. His producer uses a pet boarding service.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to budget for that cost when you travel. And if you bring your pet with you, make sure you are staying at a place that allows pets before you book.


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