When Frank came home in 2004 and said, “We’re moving to Hong Kong!” we all had our “Not without my . . .” responses.
Frank’s is always, “Not without my cookbooks!”
Alex’s is “Not without my bikes!”
Mine is always, “Not without my dogs!” This latest move was no different. For all of us, it was important to keep the family together, including the pets. Leaving them behind, even with a good family, would have been devastating for all of us. Our airline tickets (purchased on miles) for the move cost a grand total of $120, so we could justify bringing the pets along.
This move was different from Hong Kong, however, in that we were footing the bill. I started looking into the “cheaper” option of taking the pets along with us on our flight as excess baggage. After attempting to navigate the regulations of pet travel with several airlines, I realized that with the non-direct nature of our move, this was going to be very difficult, if not impossible. Every airline, every airport, every country has their own set of regulations for pet import. I started on some leads for airlines, routes and airports that were reputed to have good care when transporting pets.
Each route turned into a logistical dead end. Endless internet forums warned, “don’t fly in the summer”, “make sure they arrive before 9am”; my nightmare of them sitting on the tarmac in Bangkok, 100 plus degrees, started to form and I started to panic. The only thing worse than having to leave your pets behind is having them arrive, well, I’m not going to finish that sentence, but you get the picture.
I had gotten a quote from Pet Relocations, an animal transportation service based in Austin, TX, as a benchmark. They take your pets, literally, door-to-door. After much research, because we were taking four pets, I realized the quote was not much more than the “cheapest” options. Plus, they have agents in all airports where the pets will be traveling, so they take ANY worry away from the move. Coming up…the mechanics of moving four animals halfway around the world…