It’s hard work being a fur parent. In fact, if you have to leave your pet to go on a trip, it can be downright… ruff. Here are 12 thoughts that have passed through the mind of every travelling pet owner, presented by members of the Wotif fur family (including our cover pup, Chief, who caught your eye on the Wotif Insider homepage. Thanks to Market Associate Amanda for the pic). Check ‘em out!
1. “I’m the worst fur parent in the world.”
You’re not, of course – not at all! The fact that you’re worrying about your pet instead of the traffic on the way to the airport kind of proves it. But the look they give you as you drag your suitcase out the front door just kills you 💔
2. “I’m never doing this again.”
This one usually hits just after your pet gives you the “Where are you going?” look – often when you’re in the cab on the way to the airport. The guilt can be overwhelming and it’s important to deal with it in a calm, sensible way. For me, that’s sending a hundred tearful messages to my best friend (and regular catsitter), begging her to “Look after my baby!!!” and send me pictures every day. Chances of one of those messages including anything for her, like a proper goodbye or a decent thankyou – zero.
3. “What smells like cat pee?”
Your clothes – that’s what. The very same clothes you have to live in for the next two weeks. Yes, somewhere in between all the guilt-tripping, your pet found time to sneak into your suitcase and exact some revenge. Naturally, you won’t discover their little surprise until you’ve arrived at your hotel, giving your clothes plenty of time to… marinate. Yum.
4. “HOW AM I STILL COVERED IN DOG HAIR?!”
Doesn’t matter if you’re three hours away or on the other side of the world. You and all your possessions belong to your fur baby, and anything you’ve brought from home will carry traces of them. Sometimes things you buy away from home too – I’ve tried on brand-new clothes in stores and looked down to see one of Peanut’s hairs already embedded in the fibres. HOW?!
Fortunately, this means you’ll always have a little piece of your pet with you, wherever you go. Unfortunately, it’s one of the gross parts.
5. “Do they miss me?”
The big question that gnaws at the back of most holidaying pet owners’ minds. The truth is your furry friend is almost certainly fine (especially if you’ve followed our tips for picking a petsitter/boarding facility). While no-one could replace you (obvs), anyone who loves animals enough to look after yours is probably going to spoil them rotten.
6. “Have they forgotten me?”
Didn’t you read the last point? No-one can replace you! Although, I must admit to feeling a little irrational jealousy when my best friend/catsitter sends through pics of her and Peanut, happily hanging out (yes, even though I asked for them. That’s not the point!). But I promise your fur baby won’t forget you, not even after a long trip. They just might be a bit snooty for the first day or two after you get back.
7. “Can cats do Skype?”
Look, it’s a valid question and one that 16% of Aussies have tried to answer (seriously – 16% of you have tried to Skype your pet while on holiday. I’m not joking). In my experience, cats aren’t big on digital communication – they prefer real-life catch-ups (or nothing. Nothing also works). Dogs tend to be more modern. When I first moved from the Sunshine Coast to Sydney, I tried to talk to my family’s dog over the phone. It wasn’t weird at all.
Your guilt may have subsided (for now), but deep down, a little part of you still really misses your furry friend. That part is quiet most of the time, but when you see another pet, it goes ballistic. You’re cuddling that kitty or asking that dog “Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy?” before anyone can stop you. Not even their owner…
9. “Can I take pet treats through customs?”
It’s not your fault. You went for an innocent stroll through a farmer’s market, but somehow ended up with a carry-on bag overflowing with gourmet pet goodies. That’s okay – your fur baby will love you for it. Just make sure you check Oz’s customs and quarantine rules before you fly.
10. “Maybe I should take them next time?”
Maybe you should! From chilled-out beach cabanas to luxe city apartments, more and more properties are opening their doors to four-legged guests. Check out some of our faves here, or have a squiz at our top tips for travelling with pets.
11. “I can’t wait to see them again.”
There comes a point in every holiday when you’re ready to go home. Usually when you’re at the airport, about to board your flight home. But that’s fine! The holiday has done its job and all your stress has melted away. You’re ready to go back to the Real World and your favourite part of it – your pet.
12. No more thoughts. Just peace.
You’re finally home, happy-tired from your awesome break. Maybe you’re jetlagged, with a muddled body clock telling you to eat hamburgers for breakfast. That’s okay. You don’t need to do anything today, except kick back with your pet and relax. Ahh…Check out our pet friendly accommodation options!