Thursday, December 13, 2012

Timeshare Vacation Options for Pet Owners

Having pets can often make travel challenging, and many pet owners are quick to rule out any opportunities to travel for fear that things will be too complicated. Taking a vacation with a timeshare, especially one that allows pets, may sound complicated but in fact it’s usually not.

Most timeshares, such as the lovely Alpenland Sporthotel in Austria will say where or not they allow pets and RedWeek® has an entire section dedicated to pet-friendly timeshares worldwide.

Travelling with Pets. While finding a timeshare that allows pets is important, it’s also important to consider how easy it will be to get to the location of the timeshare with pets. If the timeshare is in the same country as you, this will probably be considerably easier although keep in mind that you may have a long drive with pets in tow.

If you’re travelling to another country with pets, this is an entirely different matter. The first thing to think about is the rules and regulations about bringing pets into and out of the country you’re visiting. Although travelling with pets is considerably easier than it used to be, there are still plenty of hoops to jump through and paperwork to fill out.

USA Today provides a complete list of the steps you’ll need to take in order to travel with pets from the US to Europe and just skimming through it is enough to put most pet owners off. The good news however is that some of the steps only need to be done once in a pet’s lifetime, not for every trip.

Finally you’ll also need to fly with an airline that allows pets either in the hold or up in the cabin with you. Pet Travel Store lists the pet policies for most international airlines.

Alternative Options. Sometimes it just isn’t possible to get the timeshare you want, in the location you want, with pet-friendly options. In these cases it’s good to have a few alternatives. Here are some ideas...

1. Ask friends and family to look after your pets: This is great if you’re only going away for a few days and most people are usually happy to oblige.

2. Get a pet sitter: Join one of the many pet sitting websites such as Trusted Housesitters. These websites will put you in touch with sitters nearby who are willing to look after your pets (either in your home or theirs) while you’re away. Some charge and some don’t. For more information read the Trusted Housesitters FAQs. 

3. Consider a kennel: This is usually the last resort for most pet owners, and one that many pet owners can’t bring themselves to. While this writer isn’t a big fan of most kennels, not all are bad and it’s always good to have options.

If you have pets and that’s put you off travelling and maybe even buying a timeshare abroad, don’t let it. Travelling with pets is considerably easier than it ever has been before; both in terms of getting to and from other countries without worrying about quarantine and in the increasing number of pet-friendly timeshare properties to stay in within the US and abroad.

Our guest author, James, is a full-time pet sitter currently living in the South of France where he's looking after Thomas and Cassie, a Russian Blue cat and an Alsatian and trying to work his way through the 350 different types of cheese.

Photo Credit: work.chron.com

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