1. Airline Rules
We have a home in Massachusetts and one in Arizona near my elderly parents. In the last 2 years, we've flown back and forth 3 times with Rue. She weighs just 19 lbs. With the official dog carrier, that reaches the 21 lb. max weight to travel with the dog under the seat in front of you. Rue is tall enough so that when she stands her back is against the top of the carrier. But she has no trouble turning around in it and it's mesh all around. She's fine inside it. BUT the rules are such that she could be denied boarding. Rue is also the 'no nose kind of dog' (brachycephalic) and airlines don't allow them in cargo so that isn't even an option.
On American Airlines, you bring the dog to the check-in counter and they weigh her in the bag. Now imagine getting a customer service person who denies us taking her on the plane! It's just that close. The last agent questioned whether she could turn around and lay down, etc. I took out a dog cookie and showed her that Rue could turn around. She also said dogs can get harmed if they can't lay down due to screws in the bottom of seats. I totally understand!
The current cost to travel with a dog this way is $125 each way.
On the last trip we learned the shuttle service we usually use in AZ to get us to the airport does not allow dogs (except service dogs), even in transport bags.
Once on the plane everything is fine, Rue sleeps, she's with her moms and is a good traveler.
Let's face it, even without a dog, flying is not a pleasant experience. We do it to get where we need to get. And if there is no time to drive, then the answer is flying.
2. Moteling it with a dog
We drove up to Vermontville, NY from our home in Douglas, MA last weekend to purchase our new travel trailer. That was a 6 hour drive going through Lake George, Lake Placid and the beautiful scenery of the Adirondack mountains.
When we finalized our deal at Happy Camping RV, it was about 6pm. We tried 5 different motels which either had no vacancy or didn't accept dogs. We considered just driving home.
However, as we passed through Lake George, we knew it would be wiser to find a hotel that does take dogs. I won't mention the name here but it's a national chain. Great!
Rue does not have fleas. She is frequently bathed and we check her all the time. Her hair is easy to look through especially when she's wet and we use the flea comb on her. We would know if she had fleas too as those suckers get me every time!
In recent years, I had the privilege of helping a client with her social media. Her business was detecting bed bugs in commercial establishments. Believe me, the stories she shared with me always make me question hotels, even the major brands. A bit of paranoia for sure. Also, I've had experience with bed bugs when my daughter bought an old home and they surfaced in that home. It was a nightmare for her and the kids.
So, as we two tired people slipped between the sheets in that bed, my mind went to...we should really examine the sheets, etc. BUT.... we slipped right into sleep. I've got 2 big flea bites that are just healing up now.
As an example of what we would have saved on this particular trip, the hotel was $139. We interviewed one of the RV campgrounds close by and their rate was $43 with full hookup. We would have saved on food of course. We spent about $80 for 2 dinners and 2 lunches.
Granted there is the cost of the RV unit to consider. Our monthly payment, including insurance, will be a bit higher than the cost of this one night and one day.
We are lovers of nature, of exploring, of peaceful settings, of socializing so this lifestyle works for us. It is not for everyone. But WE are SO excited about our journey ahead! Thanks for reading this and do leave comments below. Love to hear YOUR reasons for loving the camping lifestyle, especially if you travel with your pet.
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