traveling with pets as a digital nomad

Digital Nomads With Pets: Having a Pet Companion

One of the most common concerns that people contemplating shifting to the digital nomad life have is leaving their pets behind.

The life of a digital nomad can easily get lonely far from home. Being apart from your beloved little friend can take that feeling a little further. But don’t worry: your furry friend can also become your travel companion!

It may be a little challenging if you’re a newbie in the nomad life, but having such a cute companion will relieve your stress and smooth things out a bit

Read on to learn all about traveling with a pet!

Benefits of Having a Pet Companion for a Digital Nomad

You’re pursuing your passion, and taking a step toward your dream life by becoming a digital nomad. Why not have your best companion and make the experience even more amazing? 

There are many benefits of having your pet with you throughout your digital nomad journey. 

As a digital nomad who’s traveled with her dog for quite some time, I can tell that taking your pet with you anywhere you go prevents feeling lonely and relieves you from the burden of leaving such a huge responsibility behind at home.

Flying and Frequent Traveling With Pets 

Although traveling with your pet has many benefits, it’s not always a bed of roses of course: there are many things you should consider.

One of the crucial points is picking the best suitable airline to travel with your pet, that is, of course, if you’re traveling by air. Some airlines are more pet-friendly than others and, hence, have stricter policies regarding the well-being of the animals onboard. Such airlines, for example, check the temperatures and the pressure in the cargo section more frequently and attentively.

Despite the availability of such airlines that provide conveniences for flying with pets, traveling too frequently may not be good for your pet’s physical and mental health. The extent to which your pet’s well-being gets harmed by frequent travel may vary depending on its training, tolerance, breed, health, and personality.

Flying can be particularly stressful for pets, especially the ones that need to travel in the cargo section due to the size-relevant policies of the airline companies. The fluctuating pressure and noise in the cargo section may cause your pet to stress out.

Tips To Ensure Your Pet’s Safety on a Flight

To reduce the potential risks concerning the health of your pet, there are a few things you can do before getting on board.

Find some tips that’ll keep your pet safe during your air travels:

  • Make sure you visit the vet before booking a flight
  • Try not to fly with your pet in hot weather
  • Avoid connecting flights as much as you can
  • Push your luck a bit about getting your pet in the cabin where it’s much safer

Even if you take all the precautions, flying still carries potential risks. Try to avoid frequent travel by air with your pet as much as you can. 

Finding the Most Suitable Accommodation To Stay with Your Pet

There are a couple of ways to find the perfect accommodation as you travel as a digital nomad with a pet. The first way is to look for pet-friendly hotels online. The staff at these places treat your little furry friend better, and the regulations of such places grant both you and your pet a more pleasant stay.

The second way is to hire an Airbnb, the host of which should be pet-friendly too, of course. This’ll provide you with a more homelike space where you can get more comfortable with your pet.

Moving on to the third and probably the best accommodation you can get while traveling with your pet: a home with wheels. Van life is an excellent mode of travel: both for digital nomads and their pets. First and foremost, by choosing the land route over flying, you’ll be taking much less of a risk regarding the safety of your pet.

The second advantage of van life for the pets of the digital nomads is that they have much more freedom. They can enjoy being outdoors most of the time, having heaps more space, and being closer to nature. So can you!

Plus, since you can customize your van to your liking, you’ll both be living in the comfort of your own home, having access to more of your personal belongings than you would if you traveled with just the luggage you can drag or carry on your back. 

Although shifting to van life is the best option to travel with your pet, there are still things that you need to pay attention to. These include being on the lookout for your pet at all times, finding a trustable vet in whichever part of the world you go to, controlling the temperature in your van, and always having adequate food supplies for your pet. 

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Van Life for Beginners

Crossing International Borders With Pets

Crossing international borders may be the trickiest and most challenging part of traveling with your pet. 

International regulations regarding pets crossing borders may vary depending on the country. For instance, some countries don’t even accept amphibians, whereas they allow the entrance of cats and dogs, so long as you demonstrate the required paperwork, including special visas and a health check report. Countries also typically demand a certain quarantine period to let pets through their borders.

Doing your research beforehand as to whether or not pets are allowed in certain countries and on what conditions in case they are, and accordingly picking your travel destination is in the best interest of both you and your pet.

Which Animals Adapt More Easily to the Nomadic Lifestyle?

Some animals can adapt to the conditions of nomadic life more easily whereas others can have physical health problems or get distressed due to traveling because they don’t respond well to environmental changes or simply can’t handle the journey itself. For example, while dogs are great travel companions since they’re usually attached to the person but not the space, cats are more comfortable in a stable environment, that is, of course, unless you train them otherwise from “kittenhood”. 

Amphibians and reptiles are easy to travel with since their aquarium is the only habitat they require that can be transported to wherever you like. Some other animals, like certain birds, for example, don’t like changes imposed on their routines.

Although the animal adaptability to the nomadic lifestyle may vary depending on the species or breed, it also depends on the character and many other specific conditions. Therefore, it’s not really possible to state any certain facts.

Six Most Pet-Friendly Destinations for Digital Nomads 

As I’ve mentioned in the previous section, regulations regarding pets crossing borders vary depending on the location. For instance, Thailand is not the best location to go with your dog, and Hawaii sets quite strict rules concerning pet entrance to the state to avoid having them impact the delicate ecosystem.

Find below a list of some of the most pet-friendly destinations for digital nomads in the world: 

Toronto, Canada

Known as the most dog-friendly city in the world, Toronto swarms with parks, other recreational spaces, and like-minded, pet-friendly people. It also offers many facilities that provide excellent care for pets. 

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Many cafes, hotels, restaurants, shops, and bars are pet-friendly in Amsterdam. You can walk into pretty much any place with your pet, as long as they don’t have a sign that indicates that pets are not allowed in. Churches, museums, and such are generally off-limits as well, of course. 

Medellin, Colombia

As another amazingly pet-friendly destination, Medellin offers countless great dog parks. Moreover, pets are allowed into most malls, restaurants, and bars.

Cape Town, South Africa

In addition to being a great destination for digital nomads, Cape Town is also an excellent location for their pets with its vast open spaces, pet-friendly hotels, and other places. 

Miami, Florida

Most people in Miami have pets and the infrastructure of the city is very well-established to support a pet-friendly environment. However, pet supplies are a little costly in Miami, as is pretty much everything else. 

Buenos Aires, Argentina

If you want your dog to socialize at its best, you should give it a try to spend some time in Buenos Aires, which is an incredibly dog-friendly city. So long as a place does not have a clear sign that states otherwise, pets are allowed in most places in Buenos Aires. 

The Wrap-Up

Although it may be a little costlier, cause you to deal with more paperwork, or narrow down your options as to your travel destinations, having a friendly face, especially a furry and cute one, is great when you’re away from home. Hence, living the digital nomad life with your pet is a relief for both you and your pet. This way, dealing with the guilt of leaving your child at home will be off the table, too. 

Travel with your pet; enjoy the nomadic lifestyle and new experiences together. After all, there’s nothing soothing quite like running wild on the beach with your dog or cuddling with your cat after a workday. 

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