You already have the greatest job in the world. As a Travel Nurse or Travel Therapist, you get to choose your assignments in parts of the country that you have always wanted to visit. You have worked in some of the most exciting and vibrant cities the U.S. has to offer and explored scenic parks and natural wonders from coast to coast. How could it possibly get better? Well, just imagine having your best friend along for the ride!
Bringing you favorite pet along for your next travel assignment is not as difficult or daunting as you may think. In fact, with a little additional planning up front, your best bud will be there at the end of the day wagging his tail as you come through the door, or purring in your lap while you relax after a long shift. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to make your next assignment “pet-friendly”.
Talk to your Recruiter. The first thing you should do is tell your recruiter that you want to travel with Max. Your recruiter will already have helped dozens of travel professionals with similar situations. They can help you find “pet-friendly” housing and possibly even put you in contact with someone else who traveled to the same area with their pet.
Make A List. Open your Evernote app or put pen to paper and compile a list of things that need to be considered before you embark on your travel assignment. Forcing yourself to think about the different scenarios to consider will actually show you that it is not going to be as difficult to bring your pet as you thought, plus it will help keep you from missing anything. You are going to want to jot down a reminder to visit your vet before you leave to verify with them that Fido is up to date on vaccines and ready to go. You can also make a note to examine your dog or cat carrier to ensure that it is in good condition or replace it if necessary.
Getting There is Half the Battle. Most Working Tourists are within driving distance of their assignments. If you will be traveling by air to your next assignment and planning on bringing Fluffy or Buddy, be sure to do a little extra research about specific requirements for flying with pets. When driving to your assignment, your preparations will depend on how comfortable your pet pal is with being in the car. Your cat will most likely be more upset with being in the car than a dog, so they should always be kept in a carrier or a kennel. While driving, you never want to leave your pet in the car for anything longer than a quick bathroom break. Refrain from smoking, and keep the music at a comfortable level. If your pet is having a difficult time relaxing and settling in during the drive, spend some time talking to them in a soothing voice and tell them all about the fun and exciting things you will do while on assignment.
Plan an Early Arrival. While most travelers already make it a point to arrive at their assignment destination a few days early, it is even more important when traveling with your pet. Keep in mind that Princess is a creature of habit and she is going to have to make a transition to her new surroundings. She may need some time adjusting, so hiding under the sofa is not unexpected. Princess, while typically more adventurous will still need to adjust. After all, she is going to have to sniff out new places to relieve herself while being bombarded with unfamiliar scents and sounds. One way to help your pal adjust is to make it a point of leaving your temporary home for a few short trips allowing them to get used to you leaving and coming back. Another important factor in helping your pet to adjust is to make sure you pack plenty of their favorite toys and spend lots of time playing with them those first few days to create a feeling of normalcy for them.
Know the New Area. Before departing on your assignment, you should have done some exploratory work regarding essentials for your pet in the new environment. From finding a local veterinarian in case of emergency to discovering where the local parks and pet supply stores are located. If these are things that you haven’t done in advance, you can use the need for this information as a great way to engage your new co-workers in conversation during your first days on the job.
Being Really Prepared. You know your pet better than anybody. If you have a dog that tends to shed a lot, you may want to consider bring along furniture covers to save you excessive vacuuming time. Also, many of today’s pet owners are protecting their pets from being lost through the use of microchip technology. This may be something to talk to your vet about before you leave on assignment. Finally, depending on your assigned shift or schedule, you may want to consider lining up a dog walker or sitter for times when you are going to be working longer hours or extra shifts. There are many professional resources available to help you find the right person to help out while you are in a new town.
Once you have taken your best friend on assignment with you the first time, you won’t imagine going on a future trip without them. Your pet is part of your family and who else would you rather share in the excitement of discovering new favorite locales than your most loyal companion. In the comment section below, we would love to hear about your experiences traveling with your pet. Share with us your best do’s and don’ts about caring for your pet while on a travel assignment. Or, drop us a line on our Facebook page and tell us about your favorite traveling with pets experiences.