What To Expect And How To Access The Internet In Cuba

plaza de la revolucion

There are few major cities in the world where you can sit down, open your laptop, and see absolutely no wireless networks available in the wifi list. That’s because the Internet is extremely restricted in Cuba so in many cases, even in Havana, it will be impossible to get online.

Connections that are available usually are slow, flaky at best, and you can’t simply hop on any wifi network you find. Internet access in Cuba works differently than most other places – here’s how to get online and what to expect in one of the least connected countries in the world.

The Government Decides Where The Hotspots Are

There’s a reason why only 5% of Cubans have access to the Internet in their homes. It’s a privilege reserved to those with money – something in Cuba you tend to only have a lot if you’ve got the right government connections or are a visiting tourist. There’s a tiny chance if you’re staying at a casa particular in Havana the Internet may be available to you. For the most part though you’ll have to head to one of the bigger international hotels.

In Cuba there are roughly 240 total Internet access points with 40 being located in the capital Havana. Hotels are the main point for Internet access around the country. (Although some parks have access points as well, they’re often not working or too unreliable to use.) As a general rule of thumb, if a hotel offers currency exchange from the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) to U.S. dollars (USD) or euros, there’s a good chance they’ll have an Internet connection as well. Most anyone you ask will know where the hotspots are or you can just look around in the evening for groups of Cubans lit by the glow of cell phones sitting right outside a hotel.

You Need An ETECSA Card

There are two primary ways to get online: using the ETECSA card (La Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba) or purchasing a voucher from a hotel. The latter is a rip-off I don’t recommend because a voucher is basically is an ETECSA card with a you-don’t-know-better fee costing you 2-5 times more.

cuba internet etecsa card

An ETECSA card gives you an hour of Internet for about $1.50 USD. (There’s also a 5 hour card for $7.50 that nobody seems to have.) After you connect to a given wireless network, you’ll need to enter the numerical username and password on the ETECSA card. It’s best to stock up on them since the cards are the gateway to your online access. ETECSA cards also work on those hotel networks who only offer vouchers. No matter where you are in Cuba, if there’s a wireless network, you’ll need an ETECSA card.

Remember To Logout

ETECSA cards are good for 60 minutes or 30 days, whichever comes first. Once you’re logged in and online using an ETECSA card, keep that particular browser window/tab open. ETECSA cards (hardly ever) log you out due to inactivity or when you close your browser, making them deceptively easy to unintentionally use up.

cuban flag slow motion

Don’t expect much from the Internet in Cuba when you get online however. The connections are inconsistent, ETECSA cards are moody when it comes to working, and at the best of times you’ll have a very slow connection. (About one megabit per second up and download speeds.) Surprisingly though, the Internet is pretty uncensored. You’ll be able to access nearly all foreign news sites, connect to VPNs – social media is open too.

Forget about Skype calls though due to the terrible connection; not just video but even audio calls are barely tolerable. A trip to Cuba won’t be what you think it is, but when you warn your friends and family you might be slow in replying to them, remember it’s hardly comparable to the lagging connections in western Europe. Plan on having practically no Internet connection at all, much like the 1950s Chevrolets, a throwback to consider enjoying while you can. Pores in Cuba’s iron border have begun expanding beyond the airport to include the World Wide Web too.

12 Things To Know Before Flying Your First Drone (So You Don’t Crash It)

Drones offer a photographic flexibility no tripod can but are powerful, delicate aircraft that are surprisingly easy to crash. I learned this the fast, hard way, as you can see in the video above: by crashing a new DJI Mavic Pro right into a tree branch on my second day of flying. Despite being in an essentially empty parking lot, I still managed to down a drone equipped with obstacle avoidance sensors.

Drones sent back to DJI for repair are essentially refurbished, with nearly no visible sign of previous damage. Once I got the Mavic back, I flew it in a living room… for about a minute, before another (albeit) minor crash.

As I said, drones are very, very easy to crash, which is probably why we hear about it so often in the news. Since those first mishaps, I’ve flown successfully for hours, shooting travel videos around the world. Other times, I’ve taken the Mavic out to open spaces, pushing it to its limits in a variety of weather conditions. Those early crashes taught me a lot about how to avoid crashing. Here’s what I recommend to any new or inexperienced drone pilot about flying, to protect your drone, the people, and places you’ll be filming.

1. Start Small

arthurs seat drone photo scotland edinburgh

This is a hard piece of advice to follow admittedly, but if you’ve never flown a drone before, getting a serious machine like a Phantom 4 is akin to hopping into a Lamborghini right after receiving your driver’s license. Smaller drones like the Parrot Bebop 2 are more difficult to pilot since they lack the advanced stabilization features of more expensive models, giving you a very good feeling for quad-copter flight. They’re also less powerful, moving slower, staying lower, and being less expensive, not as costly if you make a mistake.

2. Read The Entire Manual

mavic drone camera gimble

Whether or not you completely ignored the first piece of advice above – read the entire manual of any drone before using it. Learn the controls and practice them, with everything turned off. When I first hit a tree, I attempted to turn left out of the way. All I ended up doing was rotating on an axis because I knew the controls but wasn’t familiar enough to use them unconsciously. You need to be able to use the drone controls without having to think about them, like riding a bike.

  • Particular Features To Review Well – Return-to-home functions, emergency shutoff, pause buttons, can all get your drone out of trouble quickly. Hopefully you’ll never have to use any of these functions but knowing about them can protect you as well as other aircraft and buildings against collisions.
  • Don’t Rely On Automated Avoidance Systems – A good feature in concept but in practice, they only detect large, solid objects. Obstacle avoidance is a good fail-safe but never assume its going to save you from smashing into things.

3. Don’t Fly Indoors

writers musuem edinburgh

Drones are hard enough to fly outdoors. Many people think the propellers of a drone will power through a small nick of a wall but what really happens is as soon as they touch anything, it’s game over. Indoors there are more obstacles to hit plus walls dampen GPS signals. Depending on the drone you have, losing a GPS signal can mean your drone switches back to a less accurate positioning system (e.g. ATTI mode on some DJI models). At best the drone will drift a meter or two horizontally – not a problem in most cases outdoors – inside though it could easily run you into a wall.

  • Return To Home Trouble – Many drones have a ‘return to home’ function that’s activated when the drone loses signal with the remote. Typically, there’s some preset altitude the drone will ascend to in order to avoid obstacles, then try to fly back to where it took off. You don’t want ‘return to home’ to be activated indoors since the drone might shoot right up into your ceiling. Yes, you can turn off return to home or set the drone to simply hover if it loses a connection, either way you’re still taking a big risk of an indoor collision.

4. Become Familiar With The Drone App

dji mavic drone app

Now that you’ve become a bit familiar with the remote controller, it’s time to power it on and the drone. Don’t take off yet. Many drones use a mobile app to give you a large variety of flight and video controls. Since your drone app probably won’t be fully functional with the drone turned off, keep it on the ground, power on, and become very familiar with the options. Set the important features: return-to-home (set default altitude as high as allowed), maximum altitude, distance, enabling beginner mode if available.

  • Simulator – A lot of drone apps (DJI, for example) have flight simulators built-in. Simulators are a fantastic way to get comfortable with flight controls while getting a feel for the drone’s sensitivity, without any risk.

5. Respect The Weather

loch ness drone

All manufacturers list maximum wind conditions you shouldn’t fly in. I have tested the Mavic Pro in winds higher than are recommended and found unless you are flying in winds much stronger (double or triple) the recommended maximums, it probably won’t bring your drone down. What wind does though is noticeably move the drone on its horizontal axis making it much easier to hit nearby objects. Especially difficult become landings – the stronger the wind the larger the landing area you’ll need to touch down safety. Beginner pilots should stick to calm skies only when starting out, and no matter how experienced you are, be aware of the risks of going over recommended limits.

  • Rain – Unless your drone is waterproof, don’t push your luck by flying in wet conditions as it’s quite dangerous. A battery that shorts out in midair can turn your drone into a small rock falling from the sky.

6. Learn The Laws

udvar hazy museum

Contact your local, then national, aviation administration if they don’t already have the relevant drone laws listed online.

7. When Flying, Avoid Pushing Control Sticks Full Throttle

dji mavic remote controller

This is important: be gentle with the controls! Most drones have powerful motors guided by sensitive joysticks. Drones can move sharply with light touches and really take off if you hit the gas push the sticks all the way in any direction. Many drones have some options for reducing the sensitivity of the controls. Personally, I don’t like doing so in the case I need to maneuver quickly (seagulls are not your friend) but many other drone pilots prefer to keep the controls toned down.

  • Sports Mode: If your drone has one, make sure it’s off. Every time.

8. Fly In Wide, Wide, Open Spaces

drone photo edinburgh

Flat lands with nothing around for as far as you can see are ideal.

9. Practice Moving Vertically, Then Horizontally, Then Both

loch ness aerial

Get comfortable going up and down first because it’s the easiest direction to navigate in most situations. Then take baby steps moving forward, backward, left and right. Once you’re comfortable manipulating vertically, then horizontally, independent of one another, you can begin combining the two. Slowly, of course.

10. Generally: The Higher, The Better

campina lake

Speaking broadly, the higher up you’re flying (as close to the legal limit, of course), the safer your drone is. There are few things to hit at altitude despite our tendency to feel safer flying closer to the ground. Practice honing your instinct so you go up when flying across areas, or have obstacles in your way. Going over, not around, objects is a mentality that can take time to internalize.

  • Birds – As a general rule, birds don’t bother things above them. Try not to fly underneath birds. If you see a hawk or eagle, it’s best to land, as they might mistake your drone for a stupid, slow bird meal. Seagulls have a habit of chasing drones while crows tend not to bother them if they’re alone. Groups of crows (called a “murder”) grow bolder, seemingly daring one another to “try and kick that thing out of the sky.”
  • Wind Drafts – Drones hover unless you fly them otherwise. Birds do not hover. Updrafts, common around mountains, cliffs, and hills will send gliding birds up and down. Be conscious of how the winds are flowing since any nearby birds will move in the same direction.

11. Look At Your Drone, Not The App

loch ness drone photo

After some successful flights, you’ll feel more at ease navigating with your drone app, as opposed to visually maneuvering it. Although drone apps typically have GPS maps, direction readings, and other very useful information, it can be tricky to look down at your remote controller too long before you get the hang of basic flying.

  • Directional Guidance – Drones that are high up in the sky can be difficult to orient by eyesight. Most drone apps have a directional arrow showing you which way the drone is facing relative to you. Being aware of this feature – and finding it – is why you practiced so much with the app before ever flying.

12. Landing Is The Hardest Part

mavic drone landing pad

The first step for a good landing is to have a good takeoff point. In calm conditions, the size of the landing pad should be at least twice the width of the drone itself. Give yourself more space if there’s wind, remembering not to force a landing if the drone moves in a gust as you’re coming down. Take your time landing and make things easy for yourself by choosing an area without any stones, high grass, or other obstacles around.

Take Things Slow

This may seem like a rather long post about not crashing your drone but the truth is there are many ways an accident can occur – most of which are caused by pilot error. You can avoid trouble by thinking like an airline pilot: know the machine you’re flying well, give everything a width berth, focus on safety, and don’t fight the flying conditions.

Remember to learn how to fly, then work on using your drone as a camera. Once piloting the drone becomes second nature you’ll be able to concentrate on creating wonderful travel videos from your trips.

The Bags And Other Non-Electronic Gear I Travel With (And Highly Recommend For Travelers)

osprey sojourn 60

I carry a lot of electronics and when I recently posted all of the gadgets I travel with, many of you sent me messages asking what that gear was kept in. We often focus on the complex items, forgetting about the simple, yet critical bags, covers, and cases that protect our valuables.

These are the road-tested, non-electronic items I have used, in some cases for years, and would recommend for your travels as well.

Luggage: Osprey Packs Sojourn Wheeled Luggage, 60L

osprey sojourn

The Osprey Sojourn 60L is a good medium between the larger 80L and compact 45L versions. The “L” is for liters of volume, roughly 63.5 centimeters (25 inches) by 35.56 cm (14 in) by 35.56 cm. It’s a roller; which I find preferable to a backpack so if you have another smaller backpack you don’t have to wear both in the “double turtle” tourist configuration. The Sojourn 60L does have backpack straps if you need to carry it on your back (a feature I’ve rarely used) but more useful are the interior compression straps. Those make it much easy to keep your belongings from dancing about, plus takes pressure off the exterior zippers. I have used the same Osprey Sojourn 60L for years, on hundreds of flights, over 6 continents, and they hold up incredibly well.

Electronics Backpack: SwissGear 1900 Scansmart Laptop Bag

swissgear smartscan 1900 laptop bag

This backpack has 15 pockets and comfortably holds all of my electronics, including the DJI Mavic Drone. Made of 1200D ballistic polyester fabric; I used a smaller version, the Wenger Synergy for over 12 years – only changing to the larger SwissGear 1900 to accommodate the addition of a drone.

Daypack: Osprey Daylite

osprey daylite

Carrying around a bag full of all your gadgets isn’t practical or very wise so for days out exploring. Fitting nicely into the Sojourn, the Osprey Daylite (22.86 cm x 22.86 cm x 45.72 cm) is an ideal size for a day pack, trips to the gym, or jiu-jitsu classes. It can carry a DSLR, Mavic Drone, gym clothes, though not all at once, it’s close. Weighing only 426 grams (.94 pounds) with a ventilated back panel, the Daylite is comfortable, small, plus has compression straps for times you need to push its capacity.

Cable Organizer: Cocoon Grid-It 10.5 x 7.5-Inch Organizer

I had put off organizing my cables for a long time but after another time in airport security having to pull out a clump of cords, send them back through the X-ray, and attempt to shake all the tangles out I decided on the Cocoon Grid-It, 5 x 7.5 inch organizer. It’s about the size of a standard sheet of paper with a very slim profile, plus its designed in a way that you don’t need to be very organized to make use of the Cocoon’s organizational benefits. Put the cable where they fit, then be on your way.

Toiletry Bag: SwissGear Deluxe Framed Toiletry Kit

swissgear deluxe toiletry kit

SwissGear make very durable products that are well thought out in design to an extent it’s easy to forget how useful they are. The main pockets of the SwissGear Deluxe Framed Kit are lined with rubber to make them water-resistant – ideal for packing deodorant, perfumes, shampoos or anything else you don’t want leaking into your luggage.

Drone Carrying Case: SwissGear Hanging Toiletry Kit

swissgear hanging toiletry kit

For those of you looking into a drone to travel with, the DJI Mavic Pro is a good combination of size (it’s collapsible) with excellent video quality (shoots 4K). Many of the hard cases sold for the Mavic are big, adding unnecessary bulk to a drone designed to be small. The SwissGear Hanging Toiletry Kit, odd as it may seem, is a soft case that perfectly fits the Mavic (in its sleeve), the remote controller (in the Altura Small Neoprene Pouch Bag), and charging cables nearly perfectly.

Laptop Sleeve: Incase Icon Sleeve

incase icon laptop sleeve

The Incase Icon Sleeve is a soft cover made for a number of laptops and what I keep my Macbook Pro in. The Incase has saved my laptop from what could have been a devastating fall at airport security, protecting it from the effects of traveling.

Wallet: J.Fold Men’s Roadster Torrent Slimfold

jfold wallet

Slim, durable, and as you may have guessed by now, with plenty of pockets.

A Few Other Covers And Cases

I don’t want to neglect mentioning the Moleskine Classic (5 x 8.25) Notebook. Although I tend not to be loyal to a particular notebook brand, I can recommend the Moleskine (5 x 8.25) because of the large writing surface for a compact journal. (The pages also fold flat; i.e. no gigantic hump when you’re writing in the middle of the notebook.)

Lastly, for my Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS45 camera, I use an off brand, particularly mundane looking black case. Another benefit to cases are they can reduce the perceived value of what’s in them and uglifying your gadgets when they’re public can make them less enticing for pickpockets. Like any good case or backpack, you want something functional, not much bigger than the things it’s carrying, with of course, plenty of pockets.

The Tech Gear And Gadgets I Travel Around The World With: April 2017

foxnomad electronics

The gadgets I travel with, including the laptop I’m typing this on right now, enable me to run a business, share my travels with you, plus stay connected from all over the world. Electronics are an essential component to the lifestyle I have, though the frequency of my travels means I need to be organized, efficient, and light. Reliability is also important since replacing equipment isn’t always an easy option depending on where I am. Because of this, I tend to get a model or two behind the latest version of a phone or laptop for example. This way, any potential kinks have been exposed and the hardware is still fairly future-proof.

Although I keep an updated page of the tech I travel with, in case you haven’t seen it in a while, let me share some updates with you here.

Laptop: Macbook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015): 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7; 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 memory; 500GB SSD; AMD Radeon R9 M370X

macbook pro mid 2015

  • Recommended Laptop Cover: Incase Icon Sleeve – Very recently my laptop took a scary fall from an airport X-ray machine. The Incase sleeve saved it from major damage, despite a nearly 1.2 meter (4 foot) drop on a hard surface. The fall only left a barely perceptible scratch.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS45 [Here’s my full review.]

lumix dmc-zs45

Phone (Daily Driver): iPhone 6s (64 GB)/Space Grey

iphone 6s 64 gb space grey

Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones [My full review.]

bose 20i headphones

Drone: DJI Mavic Pro

dji mavic pro

Backpack: SwissGear 1900 Scansmart Laptop Bag

swissgear smartscan 1900 laptop bag

  • All of the electronics in this list, including the DJI Mavic drone, fit into this one bag.

Cable Organizer: Cocoon Grid-It 10.5 x 7.5-Inch Organizer

cocoon grid-it

  • This is a major time-saver when going through airport security because you can pull out all of your cords and adapters at once. I’ve also noticed having cables organized like this means less time waiting for additional bags checks at security – a clump of cables often means re-scanning your backpack.

All Of The Accessories And Lesser Used Items

I carry a number of other phone models, to test new versions of my WiFox app, which is a continuously updated map of wireless passwords from airports and lounges worldwide.

  wifox ios app store   wifox google play android   wifox app amazon
lots of mobile phones

When I’m not using iOS, I find myself falling back on the Google Nexus 5x for stock Android time. For reading books or when I need a larger, mobile screen in general, I use a 64 GB iPad Air 2 protected by an Apple Smart Case.

apple smart caseApple iPad Air 2

amazon buy now

powertripPortable Batteries: PowerStick+ (2300 mAh) PowerTrip (6000 mAh). These batteries have a standby time of up to a year so you’re much less likely to be on a train and realize your batteries died on the road. Read my full review here.

Connectors And Converters

I almost omitted my quiet, simple, and reliable Genius USB optical mouse which I picked up in Argentina in 2010. It was an impromptu purchase to replace its wireless predecessor, stolen out of my bag by an airline employee. It’s a rough world for a mouse but at least its always got a good friend around – mouse pad Albert Einstein. Finally, if you’re a blogger and interested to know what services I use to maintain this site, I have listed them here.

Momo Man At Berlin’s Street Food Fair Will Make You And Your Stomach Very Happy

holy nepal berlin

Beating in the center of Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood is a weekly street food festival that brings together artisans cooking up the best non-menu items from all around the world. Reflective of Kreuzberg itself, once the shunned, poor, and mainly foreign part of town, street food is being embraced for many of those now exotic qualities.

Thursday nights from 6pm-10pm within the brick walls of Markthalle Neun (9), chefs from all over the world serve up their favorite street food from back home. And every Thursday night you’ll find a bright-smiled face waiting for you in front of the Holy Everest stall set up near one of the main entrances.

Momo Man

G.B. (Rajesh) Lama wants people to learn about Nepalese cuisine in the best way possible: by tasting it. So often G.B. says, the “Nepalese” food you find at any given restaurant is actually Pakistani. Similar but not the same, G.B. serves vegetarian momos, dal bhat, Himalayan soup, and the desert shi momo. Markthalle 9 is the only place in Berlin, Germany you can find these Nepalese foods, which is why I affectionately call G.B. ‘momo man’.

holy everest momo

What’s In A Momo?

A momo is a type of dumpling that comes in a number of varieties but the ones at Holy Everest are vegan, steamed, and filled with peas, cabbage, spinach, carrots, garlic, (the full ingredient list is posted on the stall) and covered in a seductively spicy red tomato sauce. You add a little chutney on top at your discretion.

Clearly G.B. has a system. He effortlessly moves momos from bottom to the top of a three layered steamer, calmly serving a long line of customers in between. They smile, he smiles.

Street Food Fair Doesn’t Stop There

Thursday nights the street food festival is an eating, drinking, and lounging celebration. Among the vendors you can find Japanese takoyaki being prepared by a young couple from Osaka (where this fried squid ball originated), homemade chocolates, and a wide spread of Turkish meze (appetizers) you’re not likely to find at a restaurant outside of Turkey.

A post shared by Anil Polat (@foxnomad) on

Stalls run out of food fast and the lines are long, so it’s best to arrive early for the full selection of eats. Arrive close to closing time and you can avoid the bulk of the crowds, but you’ll be limited in the foods you can find. (The beer however, never runs out.) Other days of the week, there are more special events. The first weekend of each month there is a breakfast festival for example; Saturdays are the artisan market.

From Nepal To Nepal

G.B. spent 16 years as a trekking guide in the Nepalese Himalayas, moving to Berlin in 2013 with his family. He’s brought his unquestionably positive pride in his nation to Markthalle 9, where you can find him some other week days as well. (Markthalle 9 is open from 12pm-6pm daily, with some vendors holding variable hours.)

markthalle neun

All of the momos at Holy Everest are homemade, as are the other menu items. A serving of momos goes well with Himalaya soup – an aromatic vegetarian vegetable broth. (Each are 5 euros.)

himalaya soup berlin

Currently, G.B. is planning on opening a true Nepalese restaurant in another part of the city over the summer so he can reach, and teach more palates in Berlin. But you shouldn’t miss a Thursday night at Markthalle 9 for a taste of the worlds best street foods, most easily reached via the Gorlitzer Bahnhof metro stop, a 7 minute walk away. Be sure to visit Holy Everest, say hello to G.B., have some momos, and you too are sure to have a smile.

How To Fly With Your Dog And Make Sure You Both Have A Great Flight

This is a guest post by Stephanie Yoder, a girl who can’t sit still! She writes about everything related to Millennial travel at Why Wait to See the World? (formerly Twenty-Something Travel).

pug on a train

Owning a dog is just the best: long walks and cuddles on the couch from an eternally loyal best friend. The only huge drawback is that it makes it much harder to travel. Unlike a cat, you can’t just leave your dog alone with a bucket of food, a litter box and then hope for the best. You’ll need to leave him the care of a dog-sitter or at an expensive kennel. It can really cut into your travel budget.

Unless… you take your dog with you. It’s not the easiest, and not the most enjoyable for some dogs, but it is worth it when traveling with your dog is the best or the only option. Last year we took our funny little terrier Leo across the country and back again. It wasn’t a difficult process, but here is what you need to know.

Know the Rules

Every airline has slightly different rules for traveling with pets in the cabin. Some don’t allow it at all, and those that do generally have weight and breed restrictions. Unlike babies, dogs don’t fly for free. There is usually a fee per flight that can range from $30-$500.

traveling terrier

Usually the cap is about 9 kilograms (20 pounds) – although in my experience there is a little wiggle room as they don’t usually weigh your dog at check in. Larger dogs will have to fly in kennels under the plane. Some airlines also have restrictions against  brachycephalic (flat faced) breeds of dogs, which are more prone to respiratory issues while flying. Breeds like pugs, Boston terriers and bull dogs might run afoul of these rules.

Aside from that, your dog’s presence on the flight is subject to availability. Most airlines only allow a handful of in-cabin animals on a single flight. Makes sure you call and check that there is space available on the flight, and that you reserve both of your travel at the same time. Call again 24 hours before your flight to remind them you are traveling with a dog.

Talk to Your Vet

Most airlines will require a health certificate from your veterinarian issued within 7 days of departure (you don’t need  a second certificate for your journey home even if it is outside that time frame). You might need immunization records if you are traveling internationally.

In my experience, airline personnel usually don’t ask to see these records but you will want to have them just in case. If you don’t produce them, you’re dog could be barred from the flight.

terrier

While you’re at the vet, take some time to talk about the best method for keeping your dog calm during the flight. Some people choose to sedate their pets with low doses of Xanax, but you may want to do a test run first since it can hype some dogs up. Your vet may have some other ideas on non-medical ways to keep your pet calm depending on their health and temperament.

We chose not to medicate our dog, and tried some essential oils to calm him. The oils did nothing, so we kept him calm but talking to him during the flight, feeding him treats and stroking his head.

Prep Your Pooch

Traveling on a plane can be a pretty scary experience for a dog. It’s loud, and confusing, and smells kind of weird. You will want to do everything you can to make them as comfortable as possible.

terrier at the beach

Get your dog a comfy soft crate (make sure it fits airline restrictions for fitting under the seat). It should be big enough for them to turn around comfortably and the sides should be ventilated. Give your dog the chance to get used to the carrier, have them spend some time in there each day and reward them with treats. It’s a good idea to have them hang out in there while in motion as well- take a car ride with them.

Before our flight we spent weeks practicing with Leo. He would sit in the crate and we would shower him with treats and praise until he started to actually enjoy that space. We laid down extra padding and put a couple of his favorite toys in there. We also lined the bottom with absorbent puppy pads in case he had an accident in transit (which he never did).

On the Day

On the day you are flying, feed your dog 4 hours before departure, so that they have enough time to digest and pass their food. Give them lots of water to drink so they don’t get dehydrated during the flight.  Take them for a very long walk if you have time, to work off some energy.

Check in early for your flight. Most airports have some sort of designated pet area where your pooch can relieve themselves before the big flight. Once you’re up in the air, do your best to help your pet stay calm. They will probably need to stay in their crate under the seat for the whole flight but you can reach down and talk to and comfort them.

When you’ve arrived at your destination and de-boarded you can finally let your friend go free. Take them outside for some fresh air and breathe a sigh of relief – you made it!

Thank you very much Stephanie for this guest post! Stephanie writes about travel for millennials on her website, Why Wait To See The World. You can also follow Why Wait To See The World on Facebook, Twitter @whywaitworld, and Instagram.

About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More


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