Marcus Weiden was a successful banker for 22 years before he decided that he wanted to give up his profession to road-trip across the world with his dog. Here, he and Frieda take in the view during one of their hiking trips at the Geiranger Fjord and ice fields at Juvaspass, Norway.
Pet-centric travel is one of this year’s biggest trends. It allows travellers and their furbabies a chance to experience the world through curated experiences they both will enjoy.

From organised walks, the beach, pet dining and spa treatments, pets get to live their best lives on holiday with their owners.

Tourism businesses have jumped on the bandwagon - creating pet-friendly accommodation, tours and eateries.

Coleen Clackworthy, one of the owners of Pets Travel, said pet travel has increased in the last two years.

She said more owners planned holidays to suit the needs of their pets and their passion.

“People want to share their travel experiences with their pets by booking holidays that they both will enjoy. Planning a trip somewhere exotic is now effortless with the number of pet-friendly offerings out there,” she said.

Clackworthy, who travels across South Africa with her Australian shepherd dog named Sydney, said bespoke experiences for pets had been enticing for owners.

“Many pet travel agencies create exciting itineraries for travellers and their dogs. A more budget-friendly option would be researching a few destinations that you and your pets would enjoy,” she said.

Sam Roberts of the Animal Travel Agency shares some tips on how owners can plan for local and international holidays for their pets:

A local getaway:

* Valid annual vaccines, including rabies shots, are needed. The vaccines need to be older than 30 days, but not more than a year old.

* Book your flights well in advance to ensure availability.

* Ask to have your pet carried on the same airline as yourself.

* Measure your pet correctly to avoid being turned away. There are airline-approved containers and sizes that owners are required to have before their pet flies.

If you are venturing abroad:

* Find out whether the destination requires your pet to have a microchip.

* The pets annual vaccines and rabies jab should be done on the same day.

* Certain countries require a rabies blood test, which can only be done 32 days after your rabies vaccine. Pets have to wait 92 days after the rabies vaccine to travel.

* Most airlines will not allow you to book your pet as excess baggage. All pets must travel as manifested cargo.

* There is no quarantine for any destination in South Africa.

* A health certificate from a state vet is required.

* Destinations such as Australia and New Zealand require specific time frames and blood tests.

* Flights can only be booked a maximum of 10 days before travel.

* Ensure you know the regulations for the country you are going to.

Flying high

These two airlines share some tips on pet travel:

Mango Airlines: Mango requires the health and vaccination certificate of the pet travelling. No pets under eight weeks old, or visibly ill or diseased pets, will be accepted for travel. Service animals travel in the passenger cabin to accompany guests with disabilities. Service animals do not occupy a seat.

Pets do not form part of the checked baggage allowance per passenger, and excess baggage fees apply per kilogram.

Call 086 100 1234 to book your pet a flight at least 48 hours before departure. Pets on flights travel in comfort and safety thanks to their designated Pet Lounges. Luane Lavery, the brand communication manager at BA and, said owners need to book 48 hours before departure and request that their pet travel on the same flight.

“BidAir Cargo Pet Lounges require pet owners to produce an inoculation booklet. Rabies inoculations are compulsory nationwide and subject to a waiting period of 7 to 14 days between the inoculation and date of flight. IATA regulations require that the rabies inoculation is done yearly,” she said. Call 011 230 4600 or email [email protected]

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