- Get a clean bill of health (for your pet); Schedule a veterinary exam shortly before your trip. Most airlines require a health certificate and proof of vaccinations issued no more than 10 days before your flight.
- Pick up airline miles; Jet Blue adds frequent-flier miles for pets traveling in the cabin to their human companion’s account, and Continental offers them for animals riding in the cargo hold.
- Look for fee-free hotels; There’s no need to pay extra to keep your pet with you once you arrive. Some properties charge a security deposit, but chains including Best Western allow most pets to stay for free. Kempton Hotels throws in freebies like fresh dog treats baked on site.
- Book ASAP; To limit costs and your pet’s discomfort, book a direct, nonstop flight, Airlines allow just a few pets on board per flight, so you’ll need to book early to reserve a spot. If you miss out on Delta’s two spots tied to coach fares, for example, you’ll have to fly business or first class (there’s another spot available in each) or pick a different flight.