Have Pet, Will Travel! (Once You Pick Up This Essential Gear, That Is)

Because our pets need a vaca, too.    

Vacations are supposed to be all about relaxation, but when we got a dog several years ago I found it became more difficult to completely chill while away. I was boarding him at a reputable facility run, by wonderful people but still, I worried. Was he eating? Was he getting enough fresh air? And most importantly—was he getting those belly rubs he loved so much? So rather than wonder each time we headed out of town, we started taking him with us., not only am I more relaxed when he’s with us, but can we talk about the money I’m saving by not paying for boarding or a dog sitter?!!

If you’re considering taking your dog or cat on vacation with you, just make sure you have the right gear. My dog is small and as much as I’d love to drive with him in my lap, I know that’s not smart. So whether you are traveling by plane, train, or automobile (love that movie!), make sure your pet is secure. You’ll also need supplies for food and water, and I’d recommend a tracking device. Because nothing would kill your vacation vibe than losing your travel partner! Here are some of our favorite products for traveling with your dog or cat. Grab them now and get ready to start making memories with your pet!

Sleepypod Clickit Sport Harness

An unrestrained animal can be a distraction as you drive and puts them at risk of an injury in an accident or if you even brake suddenly. This harness has a padded vest and a three-point design that secures your dog’s entire torso. It comes in a variety of colors and four sizes based on your dog’s chest circumference, from 16.5 to 40 inches. It can also be used as a walking harness.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $72.99+

Healthy Human Go Pet Bento Bowls

Pack food, water, and treats for your pet in these convenient, lightweight interlocking bowls. Choose a set of two, three, or four bowls depending on your needs. The top bowl holds 16 ounces of water with a vacuum-sealed lid and the other bowls hold 20 ounces of dry food or treats. The bowls are made of insulated, food-grade stainless steel and come in cheery colors of blue, green, or pink.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $14.99+

BarksBar Pet Seat Cover

Protect your vehicle from dirt, fur, scratches, and more with this waterproof seat cover. It comes in two sizes to fit the backseats of most cars, trucks, and SUVs. Use it as a regular bench seat cover or snap the bottom straps to the front seat headrests so it’s like a hammock, providing a barrier to the front seats. Two pockets allow you to store leashes, grooming supplies, and more, and it’s machine washable.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $19.99+

EVA Backpack Pet Carrier

No need to leave your pet in the room while you venture out on your vacation—this backpack carrier makes it easy (and kind of adorable!) to take your dog or cat with you. There’s a zippered opening on the top so your pet can stick its head out, and an adjustable security leash inside the bags helps keep your pet stable. The carrier can be worn on your back, your chest, or across one shoulder, and stores flat in the included carry bag when not in use. The small carrier is suitable for pets up to 26 pounds and the large fits pets up to 32 pounds.

BUY FROM: Wayfair, $97.99+

Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker

Clip this GPS unit onto your dog or cat’s collar for peace of mind in new surroundings. The system works on AT&T’s cellular network, so a subscription is required, starting at $6.95/month. Use the app to set boundaries for your pet and the system will send email, text, or in-app notifications if they go outside that area, including a map and directions to find them. It can also be used to track your pet’s activity and rest.

BUY FROM: Whistle, $64.95

Guardian Gear Collapsible Pet Crate

If your pet is used to sleeping in a crate at home, no need to change the routine when you travel. This sturdy polyester crate sets up and breaks down in seconds, with no tools required. It comes with a faux sheepskin mat, carrying case, and ground stakes. Color varies by sizing, from extra small through extra large.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $58.55+

Sleepypod Air Carrier

This carrier adjusts from 22 inches long down to 16 inches long so it can fit under most airline seats. It’s intended for dogs up to 15 pounds and cats up to 18 pounds. When you’re off the plane, the carrier can be strapped into a vehicle’s seatbelt. At your destination, remove the mesh panel frame to turn it into a pet bed, using the washable plush bedding, and fold it flat when not in use. It comes in six colors.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $157.24+

Carlson Portable Travel Cot

Provide all the comfort of home for your pet when you travel with this portable bed. The canvas and steel cot folds up for easy transportation and is elevated when open­—perfect for indoor or outdoor use, such as when camping. It comes in two sizes: a 26-inch square and a 26- by 48-inch rectangle. Each one comes in four colors: brown, green, pink, and red.

BUY FROM: Wayfair $23.61+

Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack

If hiking or long walks are in your vacation plans, this saddlebag-style pack allows your dog to carry a bowl, food, water bottles, and more. It comes in five sizes so it can fit dogs that measure from 17 to 42 inches around their ribcage. The company recommends dogs carry no more than 25 percent of their body weight.

BUY FROM: Backcountry, $79.95

Kurgo Skybox Booster Seat

Make it easy for your pet to view the open road, while keeping him off your lap. This booster can be attached to a front or back seat and has a tether that attaches to any harness. Holds pets up to 30 pounds.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $40.49

SportPet Master Carrier

This carrier is suited for dogs and cats up to 25 pounds. It collapses for storage and travel, and has a carrying handle and door lock.

BUY FROM: Wayfair, $34.99

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