What to keep in mind when travelling with pets on trains
Given how comfortable and convenient they are, it’s no wonder that trains are such a popular mode of transportation. If you’re planning to bring your pet along for the ride, there are a few tips and tricks to consider before you go. With a bit of preparation, you’ll happily reach your destination in no time.
Things to consider before your trip
Start with a quick journey
For pets that haven’t travelled via train before, it’s best to start with a shorter journey to test the waters. You never know exactly how your pet will react to travelling by train, so easing them into the experience can be a good way to have them adjust and become more comfortable with the experience.
Have medication nearby
On average, one in six dogs suffers from travel sickness, which includes riding on trains. If you know that your pet tends to fall ill while in the car or on other forms of transportation, there’s a chance this may happen on trains as well. Make sure that you have any necessary medication on hand and are ready to give it to your pet if the moment arises. If this is the first time your pet is travelling, be sure to give your vet a call to see what precautions they recommend.
Meet with your vet before embarking on your trip
Speaking of vets, it’s a good idea to meet with them to ask questions you might have or discuss what to do if your pet gets sick while en route. They may be able to prescribe you medicine to help your pet relax or settle their stomach if they do get sick.
Stock up on essential supplies
Even if your train ride is short, it’s important that you pack all the essential items that you may need during your voyage. You’ll need plenty of food and water, as well as items like a familiar blanket or something that smells like you to keep them comfortable.
Bring a toy or two
To keep your pet occupied during your trip, bring one or two of their favorite toys. Make sure the toy is one that doesn’t make too much noise so you don’t bother any fellow passengers.
Don’t forget a leash
Even though your pet is required to stay in their travel carrier for the duration of your ride, it’s important that you don’t forget to bring their leash. In case there is an opportunity for you to step off the train for fresh air, having a leash will be convenient for taking your pet with you for a stretch. Plus, you will most likely need a leash at some point once you reach your destination.
Be prepared to exit the train
This may seem obvious, but it’s important that you know exactly which stop is your destination – that way, you can adequately prepare for exiting the train. When you are just travelling by yourself, it doesn’t matter much if you’re scrambling and grabbing your things last minute to then sprint towards the door. However, when you have a furry friend with you, you’ll want to make sure you can calmly exit the train to avoid jostling them in their cage.
Choose your luggage wisely
Since you want to make your exit as smooth as possible, packing strategically is key. Try to think ahead to what pieces of luggage you will be bringing, such as backpacks and duffle bags. These items can be convenient because they leave your hands free to handle your pet’s carrier and any items you brought for the trip.
Plan for bathroom breaks
For longer train rides, it is particularly important that you plan out opportunities for your pet to relieve themselves. Some routes have longer stops, which are convenient for stepping off the train and giving your pet a few moments outside.
Opt for a voyage with transfers
If you have the choice of switching trains, this can be convenient for you to take your pet outside. This way, you can let them out of their carrier, and give them the chance to stretch and relieve themselves.
Tire out your pet before boarding
Making sure your pet is as tuckered out as possible before you board your train could help make your trip much easier. If they are tired and ready for a nap, this increases the likelihood that they’ll fall asleep. This could also avoid issues associated with them being awake, stressed, and possibly making noise that disrupts the travellers around you.
Be careful with escalators
Keep your eyes open for escalators if you’re travelling with a pet that’s on a leash rather than in a carrier. It’s best that you avoid travelling between floors via escalator and opt for the stairs or an elevator instead. Dogs usually get nervous on escalators and can end up harming themselves.
Find the quiet car
Selecting a designated quiet car on the train can help keep your pet as calm as possible during the voyage. The less noise that’s around them, the more likely they are to become comfortable with their new environment. Plus, if the carriage is quiet, it may contain fewer travellers – that way, if your pet is unsettled or is making noise, you’re less likely to disturb others riding with you.
Search for train travel on KAYAK
If you’re ready to explore by train with your pet, kick off a search on KAYAK to find your ideal route.