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“I Believe That Everyone Who Wants to Travel Deserves to Travel, No Matter What the Budget Allows”

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“I Believe That Everyone Who Wants to Travel Deserves to Travel, No Matter What the Budget Allows”

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Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. Welcome to the next installment of our interview series where folks share their thoughts about Big Travel with Small Money!

Miles & Points Interview:   Serena on the Go

Serena writes Serena on the Go to mentor bloggers & business owners to set their sights high & slay their goals!  You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

Serena On The Go
Fairy Tale Waters at Grand Cayman

How and when did you start collecting miles and points?

My husband and I started as a long distance relationship; he lived in Chicago, I lived in Seattle.  We spent 26+ weekends traveling back and forth before figuring out we couldn’t afford to maintain that traveling routine, so he moved cross country.  We instantly learned we both love to travel and we shared a flair for spontaneity!

In the earlier years of our marriage, we spent our entire savings account paying for airline tickets, hotels and cruises; we were going to travel no matter what and we were equally determined to expose our children to varied cultures and geographical locations.

I’m a blog & internet addict.  One random Friday night in late 2016, while web-surfing, I stumbled upon other avid travelers, including Million Mile Secrets, who were using credit card sign-up bonuses and miles & points collecting to earn their flights for free.  I was awe-inspired and up for the challenge.  That night, I set out to read everything about “travel hacking” and miles & points collecting that I could get my hands on.

Why did you start your blog?  What’s special about it?

Within 3 months of securing my first 2 reward credit cards (Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Ink Business Preferred Credit Card) I had booked a family trip to Maui using miles & points.  After I started booking free flights (while only paying taxes), family, neighbors and closest friends begged me to share what I had learned and how I was working this “magic” of frugal traveling on a budget.  Instead of teaching each of them individually, I started making computer printed handouts that I stapled together and dispersed.

Serena On The Go
A Photo at Chicago’s Famous Cloud Gate (the Big Metal Bean Thing)

That was the start of my information sharing!  I’ve always been a passionate writer, but had never considered blogging.  One night it came to me that I could “marry” my love of free travel with my love of writing to start a blog.  That’s how my blog, Serena on the GO, was born!

What’s the one single thing people can do to get more miles?

Use a credit card to pay for everything.  Often times I find others have no idea they can use a credit card instead of a debit card for nearly all expenses.  There’s a certain “stigma” about overusing credit cards or overspending on credit cards.  It’s important to note that credit cards don’t equal “debt” if you are disciplined with this hobby.

In my family, it is known that even a purchase as small as a cup of coffee goes on a credit card, and then is paid off monthly.  We use Plastiq to pay our mortgage (offset the fee by referring others to Plastiq) and put all our utilities, household expenses, and purchases on a credit card to accrue maximum points possible.

What’s your most memorable travel experience?

Actually, I have 2 that relate.  Using Chase Ultimate Rewards points, my family spent nearly 3 weeks in Maui this last summer.  Round-trip airfare cost a total of $33 in taxes and fees.

To book these tickets, I used Korean Air miles to book award flights on Delta.  If you haven’t experienced the beauty of Maui, I highly recommend adding it to your bucket list!  Maui is a special place with friendly locals, endless activities, and sunsets like no other.

Serena On The Go
Floating in Xcaret in Cancun

Our family trip to Maui was so memorable, budget friendly, and easy to book that I surprised my mom with First Class tickets to Kauai for this upcoming April.  I’m taking her on a mom and daughter only trip!  These reservations were also booked using Korean Air miles for Delta flights for a total cost of $22!  This will be my mom’s first time in Hawaii and her first time flying First Class!

What do your family and friends think of your miles & points hobby?

They are always as excited as I am to hear what crazy adventure I am on, what deal I’ve booked, or where I’m going next.  Yet, they remain skeptical and sometimes intimidated by the opportunity.  This year my sister and brother-in-law finally decided they were ready to start slowly with one rewards credit card; they’ve already earned enough points for 4 round-trip flights!

I’m beyond excited to share that a neighbor I taught just booked a trip, including airfare & hotel, for her family of 6 to Disney World, Florida (from Utah), all on miles and points; this entire trip only took her 7 months to earn.

Serena On The Go
Our Son Trying to Contain His Joy During a Trip to Disney

A fun story I love to tell is about a couple we know that loved to hear about my hobby, then, one day they called and were finally ready to sit and learn everything I was doing.  Over dinner I said “my favorite card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred”, and at once they replied “we already use that card”; come to find out they had already earned over 275,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points and had no idea how to use them or what they were worth.

When I explained to them that they had enough points for 11 round-trip airline tickets they were astounded…. and thrilled.  It was an exciting night for everyone!

Is there any tool or trick which you’ve found especially useful in this hobby?

Absolutely!  Keep good records and stay organized.  Life, as we know, moves fast; if you open a rewards credit card, it’s essential to keep track of the card’s promotion details so you don’t miss any minimum spending deadline or confuse the minimum spending requirement with a different card.  Trust me when I say this does happen; my husband has done it twice and lost out on enough miles & points for 4 round-trip airline tickets and 2 free nights at any Hyatt resort, worldwide.

A simple Excel spreadsheet has worked great for me (and yes, I’ve taken over his record keeping!)

What was the least expected way you’ve earned miles or points?

This isn’t something I share often in fear it will go away.  However, it was an accidental find, and my most lucrative way of earning points.  My local credit union accepts credit card payments for repayment of my line of credit; this has allowed me to use my line of credit for very large purchases, including a down payment on our motor-home.

Serena On The Go
Wading in Warm Jamaica During a Norwegian Cruise

Then, I pay off my line of credit with a credit card.  If I stay pro-active and organize my spending, the points earned by using my line of credit can equate to 2 round-trip airline tickets a month, or more.

What do you now know about collecting miles and points which you wish you knew when you started out?

Ha!  I wish I knew how incredibly addicting this hobby is!  Using miles and points to book travel is often times a hunt that takes time, as I’m always seeking the most frugal airfare and accommodations!

I never like to hand over more points or miles than I have to!  When I hear about others who just jump onto an airline’s website and simply book a ticket in 15 to 20 minutes I get green with envy until I remember they had to pay for it!  It is a hobby that turns you competitive with yourself.

What would your readers be surprised to know about you?

That I’m a US Army Veteran!  I joined the Army in the late 1990s and served until 2003.  Serving in the Army has a lot to do with my incessant love of travel.

Being a young lady in the Army pushed me to be more independent than I already was!  Before the age of 20 I was able to live in Columbia, South Carolina, and Grafenwohr, Germany.  Looking back, I could kick myself because I turned down opportunities for short assignments in Honduras, Korea, and the Netherlands.  Being young, I didn’t appreciate the opportunities I had handed to me.

Serena On The Go
I Can’t for the Life of Me Remember Where I Was in This Photo! 😉

Another surprising tidbit about me is that I often daydream of traveling solo through Asia.  One day I might accomplish this, but in the meantime, my kids and wonderful husband get to experience these journeys alongside me!

Any parting words?

If I can successfully conquer this hobby… you can!  While seemingly intimidating at first, once you have the basics of using miles & points, the travel possibilities are endless!  I have a die-hard belief that everyone who wants to travel deserves to travel no matter what his or her budget allows.

OK, I cannot go without sharing where I’m headed next!  Annually I treat my best friend to girls only trip!  At the end of this month, she and I will be dipping our toes in the sand on a fully paid all-inclusive vacation for 2 to Cancun, Mexico.

By using Chase Ultimate Rewards points transferred to Hyatt and booking award flights on Alaska Airlines with British Airways Avios points, this entire trip cost $90.  We’ll be staying at the waterfront Hyatt Zilara, an all-inclusive, adults-only luxury resort on the Caribbean coast.  This will be her first experience outside of the US!

Serena – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on having Big Travel with Small Money!

If you’d like to be considered for our interview series, please send me a note!





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Flying can be stressful for both people and animals, but especially for dogs. It can be very stressful to check in at a congested airport and board a busy plane. Due to this, many pet owners prefer traveling with their cherished furry friends in the cabin of the aircraft as opposed to the pet cargo compartment. Owners are able to keep their dog company and offer comfort and assurance in this way.

Flying can be an incredibly stressful and overwhelming experience for both people and animals, but especially for dogs. Checking in at a crowded airport and boarding a busy plane can be an intimidating experience for our beloved furry friends. As a result, many pet owners choose to fly with their beloved pets in the cabin of the aircraft, rather than in the pet cargo compartment, so that they can stay close to their dog and provide comfort and assurance. This is a much more preferable option for many pet owners.

A medium-sized dog wearing a red bandana is sitting on the floor at a busy airport, looking up anxiously at its owner. The owner is standing in front of the dog, holding its leash and comforting the animal with a soothing hand on its head. The background features a bustling airport terminal with people and luggage moving around.

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14 Airlines That Allow Pets in Cabin on International Flights [2023]

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Traveling with our furry companions has become increasingly popular, and many airlines have recognized the importance of accommodating passengers’ beloved pets. Instead of leaving them behind or entrusting them to a pet sitter, more and more pet owners are seeking airlines that allow flying with pets in the cabin on international flights. There are many airlines that allow pets in cabin on international flights. 

This article will explore several airlines that go the extra mile to ensure a comfortable and safe journey for both humans and their four-legged friends. From pet policies to cabin requirements for airlines that allow pets in cabin on international flights, let’s dive into the top airlines that warmly welcome dogs and cats on board.

The following airlines allow pets in cabin on international flights:

  1. Aegean Airlines
  2. Air Canada
  3. Air Europa
  4. Air France
  5. Alaska Air
  6. American Airlines
  7. Delta
  8. French Bee
  9. JetBlue
  10. Lufthansa
  11. TAP Air Portugal
  12. TUI Fly
  13. United Airlines
  14. Vueling

Related post:
Flying Dogs in Cargo: Will my dog be safe?
Airlines that Allow Flying with a Large Dog in Cabin [Pet Policies]


Which airlines allow pets in cabin on international flights?

Aegean Airlines Pet Policy.

  • Maximum weight: 8 kg (including carrier)
  • Maximum carrier size: 55 x 40 x 23 cm
  • Cost: 60 EUR (prices differ depending on time of year)

Additional information:

  • Transportation of dogs and cats to the UK is only permitted for flights to London Heathrow and only to be sent as cargo. 

Visit Aegean’s website for more information.


Air Canada Pet Policy.

  • Maximum weight: 22 pounds (including carrier)
  • Maximum carrier size: 27 x 40 x 55 cm (soft-sided crate) & 23 x 40 x 55 cm (hard-sided crate)
  • Cost: $100-118 CAD

Additional information:

  • Pets cannot travel with you if you:
    • Are an unaccompanied minor
    • Are seated in an exit or bulkhead row
    • Are travelling in Premium Economy
  • On flights operated by their Aribus fleet, pets may not travel in the First Class cabin. 
  • On Boeing 789 and 788 aircraft, the pet carrier cannot exceed H20 x W40 x L43 cm
  • On Boeing 777-300ER and 777-200LR aircraft, the pet carrier cannot exceed H21 x W38 x L43 cm

For more info, visit Air Canada’s website.


Air Europa Pet Policy.

  • Maximum weight: 8kg (10kg including carrier) or 6kg on flights operated by ATR
  • Maximum carrier size: 55 x 35 x 25 cm
  • Cost: 27-55 USD within Europe and 165 USD long-haul

Additional information:

  • Prices subjects to possible surcharges for taxes in certain countries.
  • Dogs must be at least 3 months old to travel on medium and long haul flights.
  • Passengers are not permitted to bring pets in the Business cabin.
  • Pets in the cabin may not fly in an emergency or XL seat.

Visit Air Europa’s website for more information.


Alaska Air Pet Policy.

  • Maximum weight: 9kg / 20 pounds (including carrier)
  • Maximum carrier size: 43 x 28 x 24 cm (soft) / 43 x 28 x 19 cm (hard)
  • Cost: 100 USD each way

Additional information:

  • You may not occupy an emergency exit row, or any seat with an airbag safety belt.
  • On flights operated by their Aribus fleet, pets may not travel in the First Class cabin. 

Visit Alaska Air’s website for more information.


American Airlines Pet Policy.

  • Maximum weight: 9 kg / 20 pounds (including carrier)
  • Maximum carrier size: depends on flight (call the airline for specific restrictions)
  • Cost: 125 USD each way

Additional information:

  • Pets are not permitted to fly in cabin on international flights over 12 hours, or transatlantic flights.
  • Due to the lack of under-seat storage space, carry-on dogs are not permitted in First or Business on the following Boeing planes:
    • 777-200
    • 777-300
    • 787-8
    • 787-9

For more info on additional restrictions, visit AA’s website.


Air France Pet Policy.

  • Maximum weight: 8 kg / 17 pounds (including carrier)
  • Maximum carrier size: 46 x 28 x 24 cm (soft carriers recommended)
  • Cost: 30-125 EUR international

Additional information:

  • Pets are not permitted to fly in cabin on international intercontinental flights.
  • Pets are not permitted to fly in cabin in business on international flights.
  • Each passenger may travel with only 1 pet.

For more info, visit Air France’s website.


Delta Pet Policy.

  • Maximum weight: No limit, but pets must fit comfortably in carrier under seat
  • Maximum carrier size: depends on flight (check the under-seat dimensions on your aircraft here)
  • Cost: 125 USD within North America, 200 USD international and 75 USD to Brazil

Additional Information:

  • The following age restrictions apply:
    • Pets must be at least 16 weeks old for travel to/from the U.S.
    • Pets must be at least 15 weeks old for travel to/from the EU.
  • For any travel to or from the following destinations, pets are not permitted in the cabin:
    • Australia
    • Barbados
    • Dubai
    • Hong Kong
    • Iceland
    • Jamaica  
    • New Zealand
    • Republic of Ireland
    • South Africa
    • United Kingdom
    • United Arab Emirates

For more info on additional restrictions, visit Delta’s website.


French Bee Pet Policy.

  • Maximum weight: 8 kg / 17 pounds (including carrier)
  • Maximum carrier size:43x35x20cm
  • Cost: 50€ each way

Additional information:

  • Sub-nosed animals are not permitted on their flights
    • Breeds include: pugs, bulldogs, boxers, Pekinese and shih tsus
  • Category 1 (attack dogs) and Category 2 dogs (guard and defence dogs) are not permitted to be taken by any one under the age of 18, or by adults subject to guardianship. 

For more info, head to French Bee’s website.


JetBlue Pet Policy.

  • Maximum weight: 9 kg / 20 pounds (including carrier)
  • Maximum carrier size: 17″L x 12.5″W x 8.5″H
  • Cost: 125 USD each way

Additional information:

  • For any travel to or from the following destinations, pets are not permitted in the cabin:
    • London
    • Jamaica
    • Barbados
    • Trinidad & Tobago
    • St. Lucia
    • Cayman Islands

For more info, head to JetBlue’s website.


Lufthansa Pet Policy.

  • Maximum weight: 8 kg / 17.6 pounds (including carrier)
  • Maximum carrier size: 55 x 40 x 23 cm
  • Cost: 60 EUR international within Europe and 80-110 EUR international outside Europe

Additional information:

  • You must complete this form before boarding your flight.
  • You are not able to fly into the UK with a pet. 

Visit Lufthansa’s website for more information.


TAP Air Portugal Pet Policy.

  • Maximum weight: 8kg / 17.6 pounds (including pets and carrier)
  • Maximum carrier size: 40 x 33 x 17cm 
  • Cost: cost varies – check here

Aircraft Restrictions:

  • Pets are not permitted to be carried in Executive Class on long haul flights. 
  • You are not able to fly into the UK with a pet. 

Visit TAP Air’s website for more info.


TUI Pet Policy.

  • Maximum weight: 8kg / 17.6 pounds (excluding carrier)
  • Maximum carrier size: 55 x 40 x 20 cm (soft-sided crates only)
  • Cost: 50 EUR

Additional information:

  • On all long-haul international flights, pets are not allowed in the cabin.
  • On all non-European destinations in combination with Antwerp, dogs or cats are not allowed

Visit TUI’s website for more information.


United Airlines Pet Policy.

  • Maximum weight: No limit, but must fit comfortably in carrier under seat
  • Maximum carrier size: 46 x 28 x 28 cm (soft-sided) / 44 x 30 x 19 cm (hard-sided)
  • Cost: 125 USD (+ 125 USD service charge for each stopover of more than four hours within the U.S. or more than 24 hours outside the U.S)

Additional information:

  • Pets are not permitted in cabin on the following aircrafts:
    • Boeing 757-200
    • Boeing 767
    • Boeing 777
    • Boeing 778
  • United doesn’t allow pets to fly in-cabin on international flights to and from:
    • Australia
    • Cuba
    • Guam
    • Federated States of Micronesia
    • Hawaii
    • Hong Kong
    • India
    • Ireland
    • Marshall Islands
    • New Zealand
    • Palau
    • Panama
    • Philippines
    • Singapore
    • South Africa
    • Tahiti
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • UK

Visit United’s website for more info.


Vueling Pet Policy.

  • Maximum weight: 10 kg (including carrier) or 8kg on flights operated by Iberia
  • Maximum carrier size: 45 x 39 x 21 cm (soft-sided crates only)
  • Cost: 50 EUR international

Additional information:

  • Vueling doesn’t allow dogs to fly in-cabin on flights to and from:
    • UK
    • Ireland

Visit Vueling’s website for more information.


Prepare for flying with a pet in cabin on international flights.

1. Select an appropriate, cabin-approved travel carrier.

As mentioned above, different airlines and aircrafts have different size restrictions for carriers. Be sure to check the restrictions for your specific airline, and aircraft.

For example, Delta recommends a soft-sided kennel with maximum dimensions of 18” x 11” x 11” since this fits most aircraft types.

We would recommend using a soft sided carrier as they usually give your pet more space. 

2. Get your pet used to it’s travel carrier.

When flying with a pet in cabin, they will need to stay in its travel carrier for the duration of the journey. So, it’s very important that you spend some time to get your dog used to its travel carrier.

When first introducing your pet to its carrier, take it slow. Lure your dog into their carrier with plenty of treats, and let him/her play and sleep in there as much as possible. You want to avoid forcing your pet into the carrier as this may stress him or her out and may cause a negative association to the carrier. 

3. Train your pet to stay calm.

Your pet will need to be calm and well behaved when flying in cabin. If they show disruptive behaviour, they risk being sent into the cargo area of the plane.

4. Exhaust your pet before the flight.

Try to exhaust your pet a little by increasing the level of activity before your trip. A sleepy pet will be less prone to getting stressed out on the flight, and will likely be better behaved on the flight. 

5. Limit access to food and water before the flight.

When flying with a pet in cabin, your pet won’t be able to go potty. So, it’s a good idea to limit your pet’s access to food before the flight. Additionally, some animals may experience motion sickness if they eat just before a flight. If you are flying in the morning, then feed them the night before. Air Canada suggest feeding your dog four to six hours prior to departure, as a full stomach may cause discomfort during travel. 

Line the bottom of your pet’s travel carrier with a pee pad, just incase they do have an accident.

6. Familiarise yourself with the airport that you are departing from and arriving to.

Most airports will have a dedicated area for pets and service animals to rest. It is actually a legal requirement that all U.S. airports have pet-relief areas available for working animals and pets to rest. Take some photos of the airport maps, so you don’t have to wander around on the day trying to find a resting place.

7. Bring along your pet’s favourite comforts.

To maximise comfort and minimise stress, pop your pet’s favourite blanket or toy in the travel carrier with them. If your pet suffers from separation anxiety, you could even pop one of your t-shirts in the carrier.


Which dog and cat breeds are not allowed in cabin on international flights?

Unfortunately, some airlines have restrictions on the dog and cat breeds they permit on their flights.

This is because of their anatomical abnormalities, short-nosed breeds may be more vulnerable to changes in air quality and temperature in the cargo hold of a plane.

Only certain airlines have these breed restrictions, so while you may not be able to fly with one airline, you may be able to fly with another. However, it’s important that you are confident your pet is healthy enough to fly. 

The following brachycephalic and snub-nosed dog breeds are often not allowed in the cabin on international flights:

  • Affenpinscher
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Boston Terriers
  • Boxers
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bulldogs (all breeds)
  • Cane Corso
  • Chow Chow
  • Dogue De Bordeaux
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Japanese Chin
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Mastiff (all breeds)
  • Pekingese
  • Pitbulls
  • Presa Canario
  • Pug
  • Shar Pei
  • Shih Tzu
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tibetan Spaniel

The following brachycephalic and snub-nosed cat breeds are often not allowed in the cabin on international flights:

  • Burmese Cat
  • Exotic Shorthair Cat
  • Himalayan Cat
  • Persian Cat

Documents required for taking pets in cabin on international flights.

The documents required when flying with a pet in cabin will vary depending on which airline you are flying with, and where you are flying from and to. 

You will need more paperwork when traveling internationally, in most cases you will usually require the following:

  1. Microchip certificate
  2. Rabies vaccination certificate
  3. Animal health certificate
  4. Additional vaccination certificates
  5. Rabies titer test results
  6. Parasite treatment certificate

a) Microchip.

Many airlines require microchip documents when flying with a dog or cat in cabin. Not only is it usually a requirement, it is in your best interest. If your pet was to go missing whilst abroad, then you are far more likely to be reunited with a microchip.

Your pet can get microchipped at your local vet or a charity, such as RSPCA.

b) Rabies vaccinations.

If you want your take dog or cat on flights, it is likely that he/she requires a valid rabies vaccination. Particularly when you are taking your pet on an international flight as this is a requirement for entering most countries. 

Most countries require dogs and cats to have their rabies vaccination between 30 days and 12 months prior to importing.

c) Animal health certificate.

Most airlines will require an official animal health certificate issued by an accredited veterinarian when flying with pets in cabin.

In most cases, your health certificate will also need to be endorsed by the country’s authority responsible for the import and export of animals. For example, if you are traveling from the US, you will need your documents endorsed by the USDA. If you are traveling from Canada, you will need to have your documents endorsed by CFIA.

They are normally valid for 10 days.

d) Additional vaccinations.

Depending on where you are flying to, your pet may also require additional vaccinations or treatments.

For example, Turkey requires that all dogs are vaccinated against parainfluenza, leptospirosis, parvovirus, bordetella, hepatitis and distemper before being allowed into the country.  

e) Rabies titer test.

Some countries require pets to have a rabies titer test before entering. This is usually the case when you are traveling from a country that is considered high risk for rabies.

If your pet requires a titer test the process is as follows:

  1. Your pet will have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination.
  2. Your vet will then send the blood sample to an approved blood testing laboratory.
  3. Your pet’s blood test results must show a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml.
  4. You must wait 3 months from the date the blood sample was taken before you travel.
  5. The vet will give you a copy of the test results.

f) Parasite treatment.

To enter many countries, dogs are required to be treated against internal and/or external parasites before entering. This includes treatment for tapeworm, fleas, ticks, nematodes and cestodes. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Will I have to pay extra to fly with my dog in cabin?

You will yes. The amount you pay however, will differ between airlines as they charge different amounts. The charge also depends on where you are flying to and from. International flights usually cost more.

Can I fly with my pet in cabin on international flights?

You may be able to, depending on which airline you are flying with, and where you are flying to and from. Some airlines allow dogs and cats in cabin on international flights, such as Aegean Air. Southwest, however, do not let pets in cabin on international flights.

Can I fly with my puppy or kitten in cabin?

This depends on how old your puppy is, and which airline you are flying with. Different airlines have different restrictions on the age of pets that can fly in cabin. Some require puppies and kittens to be at least 8 weeks old, where others require them to be 16 weeks old.

Can I fly with a large dog in the cabin?

Unfortunately, unless your dog is an official service dog, only small dogs are permitted. Most airlines require that pets and travel carriers must have a combined weight of no more than 8kg. There are however some semi-private airlines that will allow large dogs in cabin.


Conclusion

Traveling with your pet is a wonderful opportunity to create lasting memories. Thankfully, several airlines have recognized the importance of allowing pets in the cabin on international flights and have established comprehensive pet policies to accommodate furry travellers. Whether you choose Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines, or JetBlue Airways, you can rest assured that your dog will be treated with care and enjoy a safe and comfortable journey by your side.



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4 Things to Know About Pet Travel Insurance

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Traveling with your pet can be so rewarding; but it can also be a huge hassle. Between ever-changing airline policies regarding emotional support animals, to needing to shell out a few hundred dollars for a round-trip flight for your furry friend, traveling can get complicated (and costly) fast.

And that’s if everything goes according to plan. If your pet gets sick or injured while traveling or you have to cancel a trip for an unexpected surgery, things can get really hairy. So it pays to make sure that not only you and your trip are covered by travel insurance, but your pet is, too. Here are four things to know about pet travel insurance.

1. Pet travel insurance vs. pet health insurance

First things first, is pet travel insurance different from pet health insurance? In short, yes. Pet health insurance covers your furry companion’s healthcare needs, whereas pet travel insurance is offered by businesses hired to relocate your pet and only applies to what happens between the beginning and end of a trip.

Pet health insurance covers needs like vet visits, surgery, injuries and dental work. Like your own health insurance, you will pay a monthly or annual premium and can expect deductibles of varying amounts depending on your level of coverage.

Pet travel insurance, on the other hand, only covers your pet during a set period of time. This is usually from point to point and when your pet is traveling unaccompanied, like when you are hiring a service to relocate your pet. The most important distinction is only businesses can buy pet travel insurance, not the pet owner.

🤓Nerdy Tip

“Pet flight insurance” doesn’t exist.

Fortunately, many pet health insurance policies may cover some travel cancellation and health care costs for your pet if your trip gets interrupted because your pet gets sick or injured. To find out if that’s the case, be sure to read your individual policy for details.

2. Pets aren’t covered under most normal travel insurance and trip cancellation policies

Travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance is a handy thing to have when the unexpected happens, as it can help reimburse travel costs if you have to cancel a trip or call it short due to an emergency. Unfortunately, travel insurance and trip cancellation coverage don’t typically cover pets, only human travelers.

In fact, trip cancellation insurance rarely considers pet emergencies, deaths or overbooked pet reservations on an airline as valid reasons for cancellation — though there may be exceptions made in the case of registered service animals.

That said, if you still want the option to cancel travel plans and get reimbursed for your investment in the case of a pet emergency, there may be a way: You can select a travel insurance policy with “Cancel For Any Reason” coverage, which would include pet emergencies.

3. Some pet insurance only covers your pet in the U.S.

While there are some pet health insurance companies that offer cat and dog travel insurance coverage in the form of health care treatment when you’re away from home, not all provide coverage in all places. Some may only cover health issues and care within the U.S. and Canada, while others may reimburse you for services abroad, too (though they may be limited to certain countries).

So before you pick a plan, make sure to read the fine print to know if your pet is covered wherever you plan on traveling together, especially if you’re headed overseas.

» Learn more: How to fly with a dog

4. Pets may require additional info to fly

Do pets need insurance to fly? Generally no, though depending on the airline, you may be required to bring other information and documentation with you when you travel with an animal. Check with your specific airline before booking to ensure you’re following protocol and you don’t miss your flight for lack of appropriate paperwork.

If you’re traveling internationally with your pet and your destination country allows four-legged visitors (not all do), you’ll need an international health certificate and will be required to adhere to any specific requirements set forth by that country.

You can check the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service site from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for regulations by country.

Pet travel insurance considerations, recapped

Traveling with a pet can be complicated and costly, but pet insurance can bring peace of mind whether you’re road tripping across the country or flying around the world.

Just make sure before you head off on your adventure to check and make sure that your pet’s health insurance policy covers veterinary treatment where you’re headed, find out whether your travel insurance offers coverage for trip cancellation or interruptions insurance because of sick pets, and consider getting a “Cancel For Any Reason” policy so you can change your plans for any and all pet-related reasons.


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