Locum Travel Guide: Traveling & Flying with Pets

Staff Care Locum Tenens Travel Guide: Traveling & Flying with Pets

Considering traveling with a pet on your next locum assignment? Here’s a handy rundown of tips and best practices for traveling and flying with pets.

At Staff Care, we take pride in helping our locum tenens physicians and practitioners feel as at-home as possible while on assignment. And for many folks, home isn’t home without your loved ones, which means you may soon be traveling with your dog, cat, or other pet.

Whether you’re flying or driving to your locum destination — or taking some other means of transportation — traveling with pets is a relatively simple affair in 2016. With that in mind, here are some tips for those of you considering bringing your pet along on your next locum tenens assignment.

Locum Tenens Travel Tips: Flying with a Pet

Whether or not you’re allowed to bring your pet along in the cabin with you is up to the airline on which you’ll be traveling. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) “allows each airline to decide if they will allow you to travel with your pet in the passenger cabin,” the agency reports on its website.

“If an airline does allow you to bring your pet into the cabin, we consider your pet container to be carry-on baggage and you must follow all carry on baggage rules.”

To this effect, each airline has its own policies for traveling with a pet. These policies are easily found via their websites, or by calling their customer service numbers.

If you decide to fly with your pets, try to take them in the cabin with you. Most airlines will allow this as long as the pet crate fits under the seat in front of you. There are a limited number of pets allowed on each flight though, so, again, be sure to contact the airline in advance. (The airline may also charge a fee associated with flying with a pet.)

If your pets must fly in the cargo hold (either because they’re too large, or because there’s not enough room in the cabin), try to take non-stop flights. If traveling during the summer or winter months, choose a flight that accommodate the temperature extremes (some planes do not have temperature control in the cargo hold).

Do not give your pets tranquilizers, unless prescribed by your vet. And don’t feed your pet for four to six hours prior to flying.

It’s also important to note that animals with “pushed-in” faces, such as bulldogs and Persian cats, are not allowed to fly. Their short nasal passages leave them vulnerable to oxygen deprivations and heat stroke. Finally, flying with a pet can be very stressful for your little guy. Try to consider other options if possible. And remember — if your assignment will mean you won’t be able to spend much time with your pet while on assignment, your pet will probably be happier at home.

And if you’re driving instead of flying, remember to never leave your pets alone in your car, and to allow frequent stops for exercise and restroom breaks.

Traveling with Pets: Hotel Pet Guide

As with airlines, every hotel chain has a different policy when it comes to pets. Most, but not all, impose fees; check out the chart below for an overview of the nation’s main hotel chains and their fees for staying with pets.


Hotel Name Pet Fees Details
Residence Inn $100 per stay (non-refundable) Covers two pets
Home2 Suites $75 per pet, per stay (non-refundable) 2-pet maximum
La Quinta Inns & Suites No fee 2-pet maximum
Extended Stay America $25 per pet per night; maximum of $150.00 per pet per stay 2-pet maximum
Fairfield Inn Ranges from $75 to $100 per stay (non-refundable) Various pet policies
Candlewood Suites 1-6 nights $75; 7+ nights $150 Allows pets up to 80 lbs
Staybridge Suites 1-6 nights $75; 7+ nights $150 2-pet maximum; allows up to 80 lbs
Choice Hotels (Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, Rodeway Inn, Econo Lodge) Varies by location 2,500 pet-friendly hotels; 50-lb maximum
Holiday Inn Express $25 per day; $100 maximum per stay Maximum of 50 lbs; larger dogs possible with management approval


Checklist: What to Pack when Traveling with Pets

Once you’ve determined the pet policies of your airline and hotel, you should have the most important information for traveling with your pet or pets. But before you go, here’s a quick checklist of essential items to pack to know before you catch that next flight.

  • A sturdy leash
  • A collar and tag, with your up-to-date contact information
  • Food (don’t forget to pack some extra)
  • Food and water bowls
  • All medications and supplements
  • Treats
  • Toys and chew items
  • Brushes
  • Baby wipes (for easy clean-up)
  • Puppy pads or disposable litter box
  • Waste-removal bags
  • A flashlight or headlamp for nightly walks
  • Vaccination records

Any further questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact your Staff Care representative. You can also call your airline or hotel directly to clarify or confirm your travel details. Good luck, and happy travels!

Do you have any questions about traveling with pets, or whether to take your furry friend along on your next locum tenens assignment? As always, a friendly Staff Care rep is standing by to answer any questions you may have: Contact your recruiter directly, contact us via this form, or call (800) 685-2272.

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