Whether pets or assistance animals, our furry family members show us unconditional love and support. They’ve stayed by our sides through it all – and what could be a better reward than taking a pet-friendly trip together?
Our research shows that 12% of Australians road trip with pets, with cats and dogs topping the list. Of course, if you have an Assistance Dog, then them joining your driving holiday is a given.
So, how can you make sure everyone stays safe, happy, and frustration-free on the road? Now that we’ve added pet insurance to the Blue Badge offering, we thought we’d share our top tips for pet-friendly trips.
Your first must-do is pet proofing your car. This will help keep it (fairly) mess free, and make sure all travellers are safe. Pack a pet travel harness or crate that can be secured, so animals can’t roam in the car. Also, pack a spill-proof water bowl to prevent dehydration – and its friend, the waterproof seat cover.
Keep your pet calm in the car with a favourite toy, worn t-shirt, or a pet pheromone spray. Perhaps even speak to your vet about being prepared with car sickness remedies. A towel and first aid kit are also valuable additions to your packing list.
Stop at least every two hours to let your companion out for a wander. This will keep them comfortable and well-stimulated along the journey. Remember that they may be a little scared in unfamiliar settings. Keep them close, use a lead or harness wherever possible, and make sure they’re microchipped before you go.
Heat stroke can be a risk if you’re travelling in summer months. Have water readily available, and never lock animals inside the car – not even for a couple of minutes. Vehicles heat up fast and the consequences can be dire.
Also be mindful of heat when it comes to walking surfaces. If your feet wouldn’t touch it without experiencing discomfort, the same goes for paws!
We suggest mapping vet clinics along your travel path, in case of emergency, and have your pet insurance information safe in hand. Safeguarding your travel buddy will bring you peace of mind, and with their finely-tuned senses, your pet will be happier, calmer, and safer too.
From cottages to houseboats and forest getaways, Australia has some of the most scenic pet-friendly accessible accommodation. Our top choices include the Byron Bay Rainforest Resort (NSW), ‘Inclusion’ houseboat in Riverland (SA), ranch-style Igloo cottage in Bambra (VIC), Citadines on Bourke apartments in Melbourne (VIC), Mercure Hotel in Perth CBD (WA), and Seafarers Beach House at Diamond Beach (NSW).
Contact them well ahead of time to discuss what they offer, and whether there’s room for your pet on your planned travel dates. Remember that the best accommodation always goes fast!
Protect Your Mobility
Your vehicle and mobility equipment are key to an enjoyable road trip, so ensure they’re well-protected before heading off.
With Blue Badge Insurance, if you have an Assistance Dog you’ll get a 25% discount on insurance for them, while all disability parking permit holders are eligible for a 15% discount on pet insurance, plus up to 25% off comprehensive car insurance. Blue Badge also offers quality wheelchair insurance and mobility scooter insurance, so you’ll be covered across the board.
Contact Blue Badge Insurance on 1300 304 802 or via their website to find cover that’s right for your next pet-friendly trip.
This feature first appeared in Travel Without Limits magazine. You can subscribe here.