It wasn’t on my itinerary to fall in love with a Costa Rican beach dog, but after two months of having her replace my shadow, I made the decision to adopt and take her back home to Utah. The language barrier made it extremely difficult to get a clear cut idea of what steps needed to be taken. I spoke on the phone with numerous people at the airlines, all of which gave me different answers: “Yes, our airline accepts pets but not in Costa Rica, its too hot.” or ” I think we can take dogs but I’m not sure if the cabin is pressurized, let me put you on hold…” ARGGHHH! It was extremely unnerving to not get a standard and reassuring answer! I decided to take it into my own hands. I searched the web for any information that could help and I was pleasantly surprised. After posting my situation on a travel blog, I received several comments from individuals that had successfully transported a dog overseas. One specific girl found me on Facebook and told me step by step what I needed to do specifically for Costa Rica deportation. I then went to the airport and spoke to the cargo representative of each airline. I finally found a lead! Continental Airlines was the one airline at Liberia Airport (northern Costa Rica) that had adequate pressurized cargo area and a crew that assured me they would take excellent care of my four legged friend. Luckily, from Costa Rica to the United States there is no quarantine so after a few rabies shots, some paperwork that was stamped by the state and an expensive doggy plane ticket (specifically the fee and taxes), we were off! Jaya is her name and today she is enjoying a full belly, a dry bed and her first snow! I am a firm believer that travel does not have to be limited due to your pets. You love travel and you love your pets…combine the two for a completely new travel experience! Plus, walking a dog around your destination can assist in seeing a more personal landscape, companionship in a place outside of your comfort zone and most importantly starting conversations with locals! People love animals in all countries and its an easy conversation starter or even an excuse to exchange smiles. I found one specific web site that is very useful when needing information about traveling with pets. http://www.pettravel.com/.
Sonja Nash, Cruise & Travel Masters