Travels with Lucy, John, Yoda, and Tonka
May 2, 2016 — The heart of this article was originally posted on JungleRedWriters.com by Lucy Burdette, who you might recognize as the better-half of Topretirements. We have appended an additional section at the end on the traveling issues that snowbirders have, with pets or not.
Lucy Burdette: John and I have always been a little smug about
traveling light. I have to admit that if we travel with another couple, it’s possible that we badger them into only bringing carry-on luggage. If I can fit everything into this suitcase (which we call “the mini”) and a backpack, I’m especially pleased.
Which is why some of our friends might get a giggle about our trips between Key West and Connecticut. We jam a Subaru wagon plus the pod strapped on top to the absolute brim. I blame the extra baggage on the animals, John is not so sure. He’s not animal crazy the way I am, so the idea of schlepping a big Australian Shepherd and a cat 2000 miles each way seems a bit absurd to him.
Yoda rides in a carrier and is an exemplary traveler–not a peep after his first outraged meow as he’s zipped into the box. Tonka is a good companion too. Besides them, we also need an enormous sack of their special senior food and medications, and even a bag of ringer IV fluids to treat Yoda’s kidney condition.
And the litter box… I prefer the Cedarific brand of litter, which is light and smells better. The disadvantage is that he drags it all over whatever room we’re staying in. And you can’t find it in Florida so we drag giant bags of that around with us too. Oh, and did I mention the 3′ tall scratching post that goes back and forth to Florida – Yoda prefers upholstery to anything but this particular one.
Yoda relaxing in the hotel
We stayed in quite a nice hotel in DC this time to visit our son, and of course the first criterion was pet-friendly. (Not that easy with a cat!) As we were leaving, everyone in the lobby exclaimed over the dog. The distracted bellhop was getting ready to sling Yoda’s carrier onto the cart.
“Be careful,” I said, “there’s a cat in there.”
“Of course ma’am,” he said, and tucked the kennel in gently next to the litter box and the massive sack of pet supplies.
Then he picked up the cooler. “Who’s in here, the rabbit?”
We all burst out laughing.
The challenge for snowbirds
Snowbirds face a twice annual challenge – how to move from one home to another with as little trouble as possible. There are many challenges. One home might not be as well equipped as the other, particularly if you are renting. Not everyone has the room and the budget to outfit two homes with two sets of everything – not just clothes, but computer printer, musical intruments, pet supplies, golf clubs, etc. If you drive, no car is big enough to transport everything. Where will you stay, particularly if traveling with pets, and how many days will you spend traveling? If you fly your baggage is limited, although you can ship some things ahead.
Comments? What are your challenges and success stories, either for traveling with pets, or for handling the daunting test of moving your household from place to place as someone who lives in more than one place. Please share your experiences in the Comments section below.