Why weekends? Pet care.

Over several years of traveling together, Hubs and I have found that 3-day trips work really well for us. In the “Why weekends?” series, I share ways that weekend travel compliment our lifestyle, personalities, and travel needs. 

When we were thinking about getting pets, several people reminded us that travel would become more difficult.

And we heard them. We really did! But I don’t think we heard them. We thought we were solving the problem by getting a really low-key pet (guinea pigs). But we still stress about travel.

For family visits, the pigs usually ride along. (We visited my family in Ohio and left them behind because it was only a 5-day trip. First question in the door: “Where are the pigs?” My niece was crushed, and kept asking Hubs where they were in hopes that we were just teasing her.) But we haven’t [yet] tried to sneak them into a hotel, which means we have to leave them behind for most of our travel.

This is where weekend trips become convenient. Our pigs need to be fed once per day, but they’re pretty flexible on the time of day. If we go out for 3 days, we feed them before leaving on Day 1 and after getting home on Day 3. It’s usually not difficult to call in a favor to have a friend stop by on Day 2. We can even ask last-minute, because we’re literally only asking 10 minutes of our friend’s time. I make a reminder list of what the pigs need, package up their fresh veggies for Days 2 and 3 (so it’s easy to feed them if we get in late at night), and drop off a house key.

Some pets, like cats, can get by for a weekend with minimal accommodations. Other pets, like dogs, need a lot of attention and care. A cheap and low-guilt way to have dogs cared for is to trade pet-sitting with a friend who has a dog (assuming the pups get along well). Whatever your arrangement, keeping trips short helps you avoid wearing out your welcome.

I just went through the hassle of finding a pet-sitter in a city I haven’t moved to. After we get my apartment settled in Minnesota, we’re going to New Jersey for two weeks to get Hubs settled and celebrate his graduation with his family. I tried Care.com but found their fees unreasonable for a one-time care need, so then I tried Craigslist. I did find a lovely woman to care for my piggies, but it’s still a little scary for me to leave my pets with someone I don’t know for two whole weeks. As much as I love being in Joisey, I wish I could try out a sitter for the weekend first.