Solo Driving and Traveling With A Dog-Travel Safety Tips

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Raising Your Pets, Dogs and Cats Naturally

Travel Safety Ideas

Women and Solo Travel Safety Tips

 

Being an independent female, I often hit the open road with Dexter The Dog and no other people. Here are some of my best travel safety tips. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Travel Safety Tips

 

Being an independent female, I often hit the open road with Dexter The Dog and no other people. Don’t get me wrong, there are times Dexter and I travel with our family or friends, but I would say the majority of our dog-friendly travels are just Dexter and me. I love these trips because I can focus on strengthening my connection with Dexter and going where the road takes us.

However, there are some precautions that I take when I travel alone to ensure I am being as safe as possible. Here are some travel safety guidelines you too might consider employing.

  1. Research the Route: Once again researching your travel route is important. Check for any road construction or detours you need to be aware of. Most smartphone apps or internet maps have an updated time of arrival and traffic map.
  2. Book Your Reservations: If you are intending to stop in various cities on your road trip, book your dog-friendly accommodations prior to leaving. The last thing you want is to be frazzled at the end of a long drive trying to find a safe, dog-friendly hotel that isn’t booked. Being stressed or tense is not conducive to safety.
  3. Share Your Itinerary: Make sure you share your travel plans with a family member or friend. Provide them with your route and addresses and phone numbers of your destinations.
  4. Call or Email: During your trip, message your family members or friends who are not traveling with you. Let them know you’re safe and where you are on your journey. This way, if you don’t check in at a reasonable time, they can worry.
  5. Potty Breaks: Remember, you and your dog need to get out and stretch. Being a solo traveler can take a toll on your body and mind while driving.
  6. Where to Stop: This is no time to put your big girl pants on and stop in the “hood.” If you are traveling on a route that has well-lighted travel plazas, these are great spots to stop for a stretch. Park close to the building and make sure it is brightly lit. When walking your dog, stay close and don’t wander too far. If the dog potty area is far away or dark, don’t go. Sorry, I always try to abide by doggy rules, but if my safety is at risk, I won’t. Of course, don’t forget to pick up after your dog does his business and don’t let him pee on ornamental flowers, gardens, or seating.
  7. Leaving Your Dog: I know, a no-no. But, if you are traveling alone, you too have to relieve yourself. When I have to leave Dexter alone in the car, he is in his travel crate with a light blanket over the top and a lock on the crate door! If it’s hot outside, I make my potty break swiftly and pack my food or hit a drive-thru. I also have a dog travel fan on Dexter’s crate. I am thinking of purchasing a portable car air conditioner to help even more for my 3-5 minute potty breaks. Yes, I timed myself!
  8. Dress Down: Not only will you want to be comfortable, but you don’t want to stand out in a crowd and have “tourist” written all over your back. Wearing comfortable shoes and clothing can go a long way if you ever feel the need to walk quickly away from a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  9. Money and Credit Cards: When I travel, I stash my money in various spots throughout the car and on my person. Money belts (under your shirt) that are thin are a nice addition along with a few 20s in your pockets and even in your shoes! I typically don’t carry a purse or wallet when driving, and if I do, it doesn’t have much money inside. Never would I suggest pulling out a 20 to pay for something and flashing a wad of cash – that’s just not a good idea.
  10. Be Observant: I am always hyper-aware of my surroundings. As I’m driving or even pulling up to a travel plaza I am looking at the cars, the people walking around, and the truckers, and I park accordingly. When I’m walking from my car to the plaza or taking Dexter The Dog for his potty break, I know who is around me at all times. I do not keep my back to one spot; I am in an open, well-lit area, and I move around. If I feel someone is coming my way, I casually move to another direction. If someone tries talking to me and Dexter, I’m polite, but keep my distance and I do not allow them to close the gap between me and them.
  11. Keep Doors Locked: I drive with my doors locked and the moment I’m in my car, I lock the doors. I continue to be aware, even in the parking lot with my doors locked.
  12. Safety Devices: I am a fan of having things like an air hornpepper spray, and taser gun on me when I’m walking Dexter. This is doubly true if I’m traveling. And don’t forget, you always have your voice.
  13. Self-Defense Classes: If you are a solo traveler, taking a self-defense course wouldn’t be a bad idea. I personally haven’t done this yet, but maybe in the future. Not only will a good coach teach you valuable skills, but it certainly would be a boost for your confidence.
What are some of your travel safety tips?  Let me know in the comments.
Being an independent female, I often hit the open road with Dexter The Dog and no other people. Here are some of my best travel safety tips. #raisingyourpetsnaturally #travelsafety #womentravel #solotravel #travelalone
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62 thoughts on “Solo Driving and Traveling With A Dog-Travel Safety Tips

  1. Wonderful suggestions, thanks Tonya. When I travel alone with my dogs in the summertime, I take my big ice chest and buy a bag of ice. I put their cool gel mats in the ice chest (not required, but does make them extra cold), and when I have to make that quick 3-5 min (I’ve timed it too ?) potty break, I put the gel mats in their crates, fill their water bowls up with ice cubes, and turn on their cage fans. I also have reflective sun shades beside their crates, since the tinted car windows don’t filter out all direct sunlight/heat. If there is a line for the ladies room, I go right back to the car and find somewhere else to go. I’ll look into that portable air conditioner – sounds like a great idea.

  2. We had to drive cross country with out 2 shepherds and could not find a single hotel that would take them. We eventually ended up sneaking them in somewhere at 2 AM because we were exhausted and needed to sleep. Definitely research hotels ahead of time!

  3. These are great suggestions about travelling alone, especially with a pet. I’ve learned the hard way, about those potty breaks with the dog. I have even asked strangers to keep an eye him, or tied him outside of the facilities, because I didn’t want to leave him in the hot car. Great suggestions.

  4. One thing that I think is absolutely crucial is having proper safety restraints for the dog. I recently drove a few blocks without them, driving alone, and Matilda couldn’t resist hopping into the front seat while I was driving. It’s just not safe to have a dog flying around in the car, especially without a passenger to grab them.

    It’s really smart that you keep bathroom breaks really brief and use a crate fan, I’ve never driven alone with dogs long enough to be in that situation, and I’m not sure how I’d handle it or if I’d even have a plan.

  5. Weather permitting I actually will … take my pee breaks “in the woods” with the pup if I can. LOL
    Another thing I do if without my partner is – I had a sort of “magnet” made that I can slap to the car inside that gives all of little M’s emergency contact info from my partner, to his godmother to his vet. he’s microchiped but still.

  6. These are some really great tips! Probably a good 90% of my travel is just me and my dogs too. While I feel that having my dogs with me in the first place is a great deterrent, using some common sense is important… and being hyper aware of your surroundings is unfortunately extra important for women. Sometimes I get a bit too comfortable being alone from doing it so often. Great things to keep in mind.

  7. We have to make those 3 minute potty breaks too and we almost always travel solo. We have a system down. If it is morning we will stop at a Waffle House. I will run in and use the ladies room. I will order eggs and a cup of water and take the water out to the car to walk the dogs and give them water before going back in to pick up our food. They get a few bites of egg while I am having breakfast and we are back on the road. Other times of day we just stop at fast food places so that I can run in and out and back into the car to drive through for a drink.
    I used to take the dogs out every time I stopped but I decided that it is better to keep them on their regular schedule especially when we are traveling. I also try and steer clear of places set up specially with dog walking areas. I will either walk them around the parking area at the Waffle House which usually includes some grass or we will find a motel parking lot and go there. We always pick up after we finish and find a trash can or put it right into the dumpster. I know most people like rest stops with doggy areas but with so many other people and their dogs using the area I worry that they will be exposed to something or there will be dogs there that might not be following the rules.

  8. I have never traveled with my dogs but you make it sound interesting. Some great tips there, I’m afraid never having traveled like this I don’t have any to add. Have fun in your travels.

  9. These are SUCH great safety tips, even if you’re not travelling alone they are great tips to follow. We like to stay close to major Interstate highways as much as we can, they’re well patrolled and so are the rest stops of which there are usually a good amount. I love I-40, it’s a great route if it makes sense for your destination. I would also add to make sure you have AAA in case you break down and you’re alone w/ your pet – heaven forbid! Thanks so much for putting this together & sharing. I will share it forward as well!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  10. When traveling, don’t forget vaccination certificates and some basic veterinary info. When we travel far enough, we also research emergency vet at the destination as well along the way.

  11. I would never have thought of this! Thank you so much! I do not plan to travel with my pup, alone or otherwise but you just never know what may come up. I may travel with another pet in the future. Very helpful!

  12. Lots of great tips. I think some of these tips are good for women traveling on their own as well. Sharing your itinerary is so important and following your instincts and taking other safety precautions. I took a self-defense class years ago and have thought about taking a brush up course.

  13. Those are some great tips! It is always better to err on the side of safety! Usually, if I’m traveling more than a few hours, I have a someone with me. Which is great for when we take a bathroom break, I’m sure it is nerve wracking to leave Dexter alone in the car, even for a few minutes.

  14. All of these cool types of equipment to keep dogs from getting overheated when you take your potty breaks are a great idea! I didn’t know most of them existed, so it was really great to learn about crate fans, cool mats, etc. I love your safety tips too!

  15. Oh how your post made me smile. We’ve traveled with our dogs for years. There’s nothing better than the open road .. npr .. and a dog along for companionship. I loved reading through your tips .. so many are good common sense reminders!

  16. Great tips. I’m not sure I want to travel with her yet (still a baby dog-puppy), whenever she goes out with me, she leaves and wanders to many places I dont even know so I’m good =D Maybe when she gets a little older, I’ll make use of this. Thank you :*

  17. These are great tips. I don’t have a dog however when I took a road trip with my cat I did many of the things you suggested. Never underestimate the power of planning! I will share these tips with others! Thanks.

  18. And don’t forget to have emergency instructions in your vehicle, clearly accessible. Who to contact to make arrangements for your dog and yourself if you are injured.

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