ESAs (Emotional Support Animals) are paramount in today’s world. With an ever-increasing mental health crisis, ESAs provide essential support to many around the globe. And travel is often a critical time when their aid is most needed.
So follow these three tips to ensure a stress-free journey!
1. You Need An ESA Letter
Before you even start planning your vacation or traveling expedition, if you have an emotional support animal, you need to check how to get ESA letter from doctor. This step is crucial for anyone wanting to travel with an ESA.
Unlike service dogs, support animals aren’t protected in the same way, so without an official letter from your doctor proving that your furry friend is far more than a pet, it’ll be harder to get them on planes or into hotels. You must obtain your ESA letter from a licensed mental health practitioner.
2. Check Your Airline Options
While it used to be the case that ESAs could travel with their owners in the cabin for free, the rules have changed in recent years. While this is great news for airlines, who can now charge you for having your ESA in the cabin or deny you the option altogether, it’s not good news for those who genuinely need their emotional support companions for a stress-free flight.
However, while there might now be a fee, it’s important to note that not all airlines will refuse you the right to take your animal with you. So always call ahead and ask the question. It’ll help you save money too if you call around and ask how much it’ll be (for a return flight as well if you need it) so you have all the information. This will help prevent any unpleasant surprises on the day of your travel.
3. Call Your Hotel Ahead Of Arriving
Hotels don’t treat ESAs the same as service animals, meaning that they can refuse you entry to their hotel should they wish to do so.
But don’t worry. You can always ring ahead so you know what to expect. Even if a hotel doesn’t call itself “pet-friendly,” it doesn’t mean they aren’t people-friendly, so talk to them and ask if you can bring your ESA. If you have your letter, explain that you can evidence your need for your ESA should that be necessary.
While the hotel cannot ask you questions about your condition, seeing the letter will help them understand your situation. Also, if you get anxious calling ahead, you can make life easier for yourself and check out pet-friendly hotels. Some hotels are ramping up their love of animals with pet amenities, including giving them dining menus.
Emotional Support Animals are crucial to those who need them, and while it remains difficult that they aren’t given the same credit as service animals, it doesn’t mean your vacation or work trip has to be full of stress. Follow these three tips to have a smooth, enjoyable vacation.