Does the thought of packing for a vacation stress you out? How about the thought of packing not only for yourself, but for your dog as well? Recently, I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder, which is making our upcoming trip to the BlogPaws Conference in Myrtle Beach more stressful than it should be. Even if you do not suffer from anxiety, packing for a trip can certainly be stressful and a hassle. Below are some tips and tricks I use every time I’ve traveled with Bruce Wayne, which happens to be any time I’ve traveled. 🙂 Bruce Wayne goes everywhere with me, so each time I travel, I figure out ways to help relieve the stress of packing and wanted to share them with you!
What if your dog eats raw?
Last time I checked, TSA was not a fan of packing ninja blades in your suitcase. Not to mention how much room bowls, spoons, jars and ingredients take up in your bags.
What’s my solution? I feed Bruce Wayne a freeze dried raw food while we vacation. It is easy for me and he seems to enjoy it. For us, we take the Stella and Chewy’s patties with us. They are easy to break up into bite sized pieces and all you have to do is add some water to rehydrate, wait a few minutes and viola! 🙂 Breakfast and dinner is served. If any of you kept up with our adventures through our Instagram Stories when we went to Atlanta in January, you saw just how quickly Bruce Wayne ate his Stella and Chewy meals. This way, I don’t have to worry about defrosting any meals. Because really, when you’re on vacation who has time to think about that? Then, when you forget, you feel like the World’s Worst Dog Mom. 🙁 And that’s no way to feel when you’re on vacation!
Our tips to make traveling with your dog easy and stress free!
- Create a List – This is basic. You should probably be doing this for yourself, as well. Make a list of everything you think you might need while you’re away. As your packing, cross your items off the list.
- Do Your Research! – Check to see if your lodging has a dishwasher. Clean food and water bowls are essential! Would you want to eat off the same plate for a week straight? Most of the hotels we stay in do not have a dishwasher, therefore, I invested in enough food and water bowls so that Bruce Wayne can use a new one for each meal. Yes, this adds up, but it saves in my sanity of knowing he is eating and drinking out of clean bowls. If you don’t mind a little cleaning while on vacation, take a travel sized dish soap and sponge so that you can clean your dog’s bowls daily.
- Be Realistic! – The first few times I traveled with Bruce Wayne, I took an entire pack of pee pads since Bruce Wayne is pee pad trained. I hardly used them. Since we were out and about so much, he really only used the pads in the morning and at night. Otherwise, we were outside, so he could go in the nearby grass. Access your vacation plans and take note how often you change your pee pads over a week at home. This will save you space in your suitcase if you cut the amount you take in half.
- Support Local Pet Stores! – A simple Google search will tell you if a dog store is within walking distance from where you are staying. If you’re like me, I feed Bruce Wayne some raw goat milk everyday. Transporting this is never fun. Many times, if you find an independent pet store nearby, you can call the day before you arrive, pay over the phone and they will thaw it for you if you explain you are coming from out of town. That way when you arrive, you have thawed goat’s milk that is ready to go. Different pet stores carry different items. Be adventurous and take your dog to a new store. You never know what fun toys you’ll find that you may not have seen before.
- Bring Extra Ziploc Bags! – You’re going to need something to hold the dirty bowls in. I bring extra ziplock bags so that I can toss all the dirty ones in together. It keeps them from rumbling around your suitcase, getting any clean clothes dirty and when you get home, you can just grab the bag and load them into the dishwasher. Also, if you can, I’d wrap the bag of bowls in bubble wrap. TSA isn’t always the most gentle bag carriers if you know what I mean. 😉
- Bring a Blanket From Home! – No, you don’t have to bring your King sized comforter, but bring a small blanket from home that has your home scents on it. This can help calm your pup during all your traveling. For us, we bring a blanket our good friend @bittdogoflove made for us. It always stays in Bruce Wayne’s stroller, which is his happy place, so we use this blanket for comfort.
- Do Not Pack Your Dog’s Closet! – You think you need every piece of clothing and every toy for photo ops, but you really don’t. You will not use every piece of clothing or every toy you bring, no matter how many photos you take. Instead, take a few staple pieces. This leaves room for you to bring home souvenirs. This is the hardest one for me. I’m still learning to pack less.
Packing for a vacation with your dog does not need to be as stressful as we make it feel! Take a deep breath and don’t worry. Pack the main essentials and enjoy the vacation with your dog! 🙂
Do you have any additional traveling tips that I should be practicing? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.