To say that your pets are an all-important part of your life with your soon-to-be husband or wife is certainly an understatement, but does that mean they should be part of every aspect of your life together? Namely, should they join you on your honeymoon? If you're even considering taking a pet on your honeymoon, it's probably not the first time you've traveled with them, but it's important to note that this trip is different. As far as travel plans go, a honeymoon is pretty different than a weekend getaway or the familiar in-flight travel routine. Honeymoons tend to be bigger, longer trips to places you haven't visited previously, and even if you're not eyeing exotic destinations like Fiji or the Maldives, there will be a learning curve involved.
Before you decide to plan a honeymoon for three, keep this points in mind. While it's certainly possible to travel with your beloved four-legged friend, it's not for everyone.
Consider a U.S. Destination
If you choose to honeymoon within the U.S., you won't face much barrier to entry beyond confirming that your honeymoon property has a pet-friendly policy—brands including Kimpton, Loews, Fairmont and the Four Seasons are known for their pet-pampering programs—and ensuring that your four-legged friends fall within the parameters of all stated airline policies, which vary by carrier. (Search "flying with pets" and the airline name and you'll quickly find the fine print.)
But Remember That Hawaii Is Different
Yes, Hawaii is a gorgeous honeymoon destination that just so happens to not require a passport to visit. That being said, there's more than a bit of red tape when it comes to bringing your pets along, says wedding planner Ivory Coats of Atlanta's Peachy Weddings. Coats would know; she worked in the airline industry for years before pivoting full-time into the wedding world. "Hawaii is a rabies-free destination and in order to bring your pet, you need to start preparing four months in advance," Coats says. In addition to being microchipped, all pets need to have up-to-date rabies shots and blood work done within a certain timeframe, so it's best to consult with your veterinarian as soon as you have your honeymoon dates confirmed.
International Travel Is Even More Challenging
Aside from stating the obvious—that the longer the flight, the more trying it is for any traveler, including your pets—the EU and many other destinations have increasingly complex entrance laws for accompanying animals. Plus, simple things such as finding a pet-relief area after a long-haul flight to Europe isn't always easy, says Coats, and not all airports even have designated areas behind security, which is difficult if you're connecting onto another flight.
Ultimately, you also have to weigh what you want against their potential wellbeing. Whatever sort of honeymoon destination you have in mind, consider how much time you'll actually be spending with them every day. "It would be a disservice to your pet to go through all of this trouble just for him or her to stay in the room alone for more than ten hours a day," Coats says. While a difficult one, sometimes arranging for your pets to get love and care at home or with trusted caretaker is the right decision.