“The journey is the thing.” – Homer, The Odyssey
Ma Famille and I recently traveled to Galena, a small town in northwest Illinois on the Mississippi River. L’Husband and I rented a historic miner’s cottage via Airbnb and took Le Chien with us. Today’s post shares our highs and lows of staying in an Airbnb with a pet and highlights some of my favorite Galena moments.
And Now for Something Completely Different: Airbnb
Working with Airbnb is simplement super. While I want to be intrepid and adventurous, I do not love staying in hotels and could never imagine renting anything through Airbnb, so this experience was really stepping out for moi. The website is easy to navigate. Finding and booking a pet-friendly house with central air conditioning for one night was très facile, as was communicating with our host about checking in and what to expect in the home.
We ended up in a historic miner’s cottage about a quarter of a mile from Galena’s main street and park, and were pleased with its combination of charming and kitschy decorations and furnishings alongside an updated bathroom and kitchen. A maison is the best rental option for Ma Famille because (a) L’Husband and I enjoy our space while vacationing and (b) Le Chien could disturb other holidaymakers through common walls by barking or squeaking a toy. We may be a lot of things, but we try to be considerate.
Tips for Traveling with a Sensitive Pet
Let’s be frank. Dachshunds are stubborn, smart, and sensitive, and mine does not love new people, places, and things (Mademoiselle Congeniality, he is not.) But he gets over things once he can bark and sniff it out, and continued exposure (with patience, and treats) has helped his social skills and maturity (le sigh).
Le Chien did better than expected in a new, unfamiliar space and did not bark or act frightened when we arrived or during our stay. True to his miniature dachshund nature, he sniffed the environs thrice over before settling in.
My penchant for planning, organizing, and list-making before this foray into Airbnb with Le Chien served us well. No matter where you travel or what kind of pet you have, I recommend taking the following (and what we took):
- Usual crate or bed with familiar blanket (Petmate 2-Door Kennel with cuddler bed and fleece blanket)
- Usual leash and collar
- Unbreakable water and food dishes (stainless steel bowls with rubber feet)
- Pre-portioned usual food for all meals, plus extra (dog kibble)
- Favorite treats (Nutro Crunchy Treats)
- Favorite toys (a beloved stuffed dog and a squeaky ball)
- New toys (an empty, clean milk jug)
- Wet wipes and baby wipes (Clorox Free & Clear wipes, Seventh Generation Free & Clear Baby Wipes)
Having the bed, food, collar, and toys your pet likes on hand in a new place helps with adjustment and behavior. We used the fleece blanket to shield the couch in the Airbnb so he could join us and to cover his crate at night as we do at home. Wipes are a non-negotiable essentiel. And never underestimate the power of a new toy to distract and disarm a nervous pet in a new place, bien sûr!
Where have you traveled with a pet? Do you like Airbnb?
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