Though November, December and January might seem like fine times to plan a relocation because many people have a few days off work and school, in reality this is not the best time to move, especially if you have a pet to worry about as well.
Bad weather, a high volume of travelers, and the possibility of office closures make it trickier than usual to pull off a pet move smoothly around the holidays, so it’s advisable to plan early, plan carefully, or consider waiting a few weeks until the rush dissipates.
Increased Chance of Delays
Winter weather and full flights can put a strain on airlines during this time of year, and pets are often the first to get bumped from a flight or be rerouted because their safety is such a priority. Even if you plan extremely carefully, factors beyond your control could easily end up causing problems.
Often vet checks and government endorsements are needed for pet travel, and during the holidays offices can be closed on certain days and may also be dealing with significant backlogs. Pet travel relies on time sensitive paperwork, and the holidays are simply not the best time to gamble with tight timeframes.
If your pet’s flight is delayed you may need to arrange for an additional night (or more) of boarding. If the pet’s health paperwork expires due to a delay, you’ll have to arrange another vet visit and pay to have everything certified once again. These are just a couple of scenarios that will add unexpected costs to the overall journey, and the chance of incurring extra expenses could be minimized if you fly before or after the holidays rather than during their peak.
Whether handling a pet move yourself or leaving the logistics to a pet travel expert, it’s important to keep in mind the challenges that go along with relocating a pet during any time of the year and particularly during the holidays. Do yourself (and your traveling pet) a service by avoiding the holiday rush this year and plan smartly instead.
Caitlin Moore works for PetRelocation, a pet travel company that provides door-to-door pet transportation services to countries around the world.