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Getting their fur flying: Top tips for taking your pets on holiday

New research by Compare the Market shows the best places to take your pets on holiday, and how to get them there. Air France, TUI and Thomas Cook are among the top pet travel options.

Pitbulls least likely to be allowed to join you on holiday while American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Terriers are also banned by several countries.

With summer coming up, the entire globe is dreaming of sun, sea and city breaks, with a spike in holiday bookings and wanderlust. However, many of us will also be fretting about our furry friends at home – wouldn’t it be much easier if we could just take them along with us?

Compare the Market has commissioned new research into the most pet-friendly countries and airlines around the globe, so you can take your dog, cat (or meerkat) with you this summer. They’ve also produced a definitive list of the most famous globetrotting animals to give you inspiration – and shed light on the unlucky pets who are less likely to be able to join their owners on holiday.

It’s All About the Journey…
Getting your pet to your chosen location might seem daunting, but most airlines today have a policy in place to allow pets to accompany their owners onboard. While the policies themselves are manifold, no two are the same – so we’ve pulled the top travel options together for you, including:

  • Air France – Leaders in the pet transport field, Air France allows you to bring up to three pets along for the cost of an extra suitcase. Pets of up to 75kg (including carrier) can travel with you in the cabin, and you can buy carriers to keep your small friends in comfort. There are also freight options for heavier pets, who’ll be made welcome in their own holding area.
  • Thomas Cook – There’s not only a wide range of animals allowed on Thomas Cook, there’s no maximum weight for pets on holiday either – and you can get them on board for just 15 euros per dossier plus an excess baggage fee.
  • TUI – while a more expensive option – with a total cost of 81.60 euros per pet – TUI allows pets up to 6kg to travel in the cabin alongside you, and heavier pets can be put up in the cargo hold for the duration of the flight. Pets can also be added to an existing flight with a quick call!

While animals are now often a common sight on most airlines, there are some that are best to avoid. EasyJet, Emirates and FlyBe won’t let you onboard with a pet at all, which means you should definitely take time to check flight providers on online packages, especially if they’re different providers both ways!

Pets on Location
Of course, great transport options are only part of your pet’s holiday experience. The location is always the most important part of any holiday, and some countries are more likely to welcome fluffy travellers than others. Compare the Market found some of the most surprising pet-friendly destinations for a trip away were:

  • New York – The Big Apple was the most pet-friendly destination, with no bans on pets of any breed. Pets also don’t need their own passport to travel to NYC, and only dogs will need a vet’s certificate proving they’ve had a recent rabies vaccination. Working dogs from certain destinations, including Mexico, may also need to prove that they’ve been vaccinated for tapeworm.
  • Tokyo – Your furry friend won’t need a passport to travel to Japan, but you will need to make sure they’re chipped and that you’ve filed an Advanced Notification Form with the Animal Quarantine Service 40 days before you travel. A vet must also complete a Japan Veterinary Certificate before travel, confirming that you’ve had your pet inoculated against Japan’s list of illnesses, including hepatitis for dogs and calicivirus for cats.
  • Seoul – Korea is also a fan of pets, and doesn’t require a pet passport if your pet has been properly chipped. While a list of banned animals isn’t published, it is worth enquiring with your travel agent before you book just to make sure, and all animals travelling must be vaccinated against rabies.

When looking into travelling with pets, it is always advisable to look at getting them their own passport, as a third of destinations will require one. An EU passport is your best bet for speedy pet transfers, with most European countries including Spain, Germany and the Netherlands accepting these. Microchips are also required in a whopping 90% of countries, while almost all countries will require your pet to be vaccinated against rabies. Having these three musts up-to-date is a great starting point for globetrotting pets.

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