Tips for Traveling with Pets Over the Holidays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The holidays can be a hectic time to travel, especially for those with furry friends in tow. Follow these quick tips to travel safely and comfortably with your family pet.

Before You Set Out on Your Trip

Tip 1: Research emergency vet clinics at your final destination. You may need to make an unexpected trip to the doctor. For a listing of veterinarians and pet emergency hospitals in the U.S., visit the State Veterinary Medical Association website. Keep this information in a notebook along with your pet’s things.

Tip 2: Make sure your pet is microchippedor has up-to-date ID tags. This will increase the likelihood that your pet will be returned to you if lost in transit.

Tip 3: If you’re staying at a hotel, make sure your accommodations allow pets. Many hotels are pet-friendly, including the Hilton Times Square in New York. Whether you’re taking a jaunt through Central Park, or visiting a local dog park, New York is a great state to visit with a four-legged friend. For a comprehensive list of hotels at your final destination, visit the Trips with Pets website.

By Air 

Transporting your companion animal in the cargo area of a plane is dangerous, and can be a terrifying experience for your pet. If flying is your only option, consider the following tips.

Tip 1: Book your flight early to ensure your pet has a reservation. Many airlines have quotas for how many animals can be aboard on any given flight. Better yet, book your pet on a flight with Pet Airways, a pet-only airline offering climate controlled cabins outfitted with individual crates.

Tip 2: Do your research. Regulations and guidelines vary depending on the airline, and whether the pet flies in the cabin or in the cargo hold. Due to seasonal weather conditions, Delta Airlines does not accept pets as checked baggage from May 15 through September 15.  A health certificate is also required, and must be issued by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of transport. When you check in with your pet, you will be asked to complete a live animal checklist/confirmation of feeding.

Tip 3: Don’t give your pet a tranquilizer to sedate them during the flight. The American Veterinary Medical Association advises against this, because sedatives can create respiratory and cardiovascular problems when the animal is exposed to increased altitude pressure.

By Land

When possible, driving is less risky for animals than flying.

Tip 1: Before setting out on a long trip, take shorter test runs to see how your pet responds. Does your dog or cat get anxious or car sick?

Tip 2: Be sure to use a kennel, or a canine seat belt for your dog. Clickit Utility is among the safest seat belts for your dog, and was given a gold star rating for being a top performer in a Forbes test.

Tip 3: Plan for plenty of bathroom breaks along the way. Pet owners should stop every two to three hours so pets can use the bathroom and get some exercise. Ideally, stop at a dog run like the Petco Foundation Dog Park in Oceanside, California. The park has a separate small dog area, astroturf, drinking water, benches, gazebo and shade.

 

An Open Letter from Boston

Greetings, Scout users,

My name is Nick Altschuller, and I’m the new Guides Editor for Scout.me. My goal is to inform you about all the compelling venues and events around you. My job, at the moment, is centered in Boston. So if you’re in the Hub of the Universe, and you need to know where to take your toddler for a play date, and where to get a strong martini afterwards, I’m your man.

The first step in this personalized approach is the creation of our Boston Twitter account, @ScoutMeBoston. Please, follow along, ask for a recommendation, or share your own tips and favorites. This is a journey we’re going to take together. And if we get lost, that’s what the GPS is for.


So, what makes me an expert?

Boston is my home of the past 11 years, minus the two I spent earning my master’s degree in journalism. From the beginning, my career has been about tackling the hard issues, like professional football and Neil Diamond impersonators. I’ve written sophisticated innuendo for Maxim. For Esquire, I grilled chef Robert Irvine on time travel and how he’d prepare tofu for a black bear. While ducking Pulitzers, I’ve spent the past five years with The Improper Bostonian, an arts and entertainment magazine. As an editor, I collaborated with a wide spectrum of local creators and innovators. In my position, I was plugged into city life, and often stained with red wine as well as red ink. It was a dreadful grind, one I made in the service of reporting on fun.

I plan to continue that work with Scout, and I look forward to discovering the best of the city with you,

Nick

Top 10 Memorial Day Activities

Memorial Day is the official unofficial start of summer!

The start of summer = outdoor fun in the sun :)

Whether you're staying local or going on a road trip, take advantage of the long weekend with these top ten things to do.

From beaches to hikes to ice cream, we've got you covered, thanks to Scout.me. Take a look at our full list after the jump!

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New Scout for Android Update: New Dashboard, Always There Navigation, ETA Sharing & Ad Free Search!

Hey Scouts! We're proud to announce our newest update to Scout for Android this week! The update includes an easier to use app with a cooler looking dashboard, less advertisements, downloadable maps to always keep you on track and great ways to share locations and driving information with your friends and family. We're making Scout sleeker, fun and just downright simpler to use than ever before.

Read on for more details and images!

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Top 10 Things To Do While America Is Inside Watching The Super Bowl

The Super Bowl this weekend and as such, you can bet that on Sunday, almost all of America will be packed in their homes and sports bars across the nation.

Why is this music to my ears?

It's simple: It's because for people like me who are less enthused about Super Bowl Sunday, it means that almost all of America will be in-doors and for that reason, in many of the places that are usually packed with people, there will be NO CROWDS. That makes Super Bowl Sunday the perfect day to go do and try things you haven't gotten around to because there is usually too many people.

Since Scout is all about helping you find & discover local things to do near you (and then getting you there), today, we wanted to share with you our list of the top 10 things to do while America is inside watching the Super Bowl! Enjoy!

  • Go catch a movie and enjoy the fact that you won't have to wait in line.
  • Eat at a restaurant that you've wanted to go to but haven't because it's usually too busy to visit on the weekend
  • Go shopping – Malls and shopping areas will be ghost towns.
  • Hit the slopes – It's the perfect day to go skiing and snowboarding.
  • Go to your local aquarium or zoo with your kids and love the fact that you won't have to fight crowds.
  • Go take photos at local tourist areas – It's the perfect time to take great photos without people getting in the way.
  • Visit wine country and go tasting.
  • Check out a local museum or art show.
  • Go on a hike at places that are usually too filled with other people.
  • And of course… if you don't want to watch the Super Bowl, you could always just watch the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet. No, seriously – it's a real thing.

Want to discover more things to do this Super Bowl weekend? Here is a great spot to find a bunch of local events & activities while the rest of America is watching the game.

Question: What are you planning on doing this Super Bowl weekend? Catch the game or something else?

5 Pro Tips for Using the Updated Scout for iPhone

Last week, we totally refreshed Scout for iPhone (see here for details) and according to my very scientific research (read: I looked at iTunes reviews), it seems like you’re all happy with the update.

Here are a just a few of the reviews our customers have left:

  • Sandman6667: The new update rocks with a killer UI (user-interface). More user friendly than Google Maps.
  • Daisy Sun CH: Using it for a long time. Routing is always excellent, display is pretty near. The new dashboard is so beautiful that (it) pulls Scout up to another level.
  • Iphonecritic2010: Really love the new look – super easy to use and one click access to everything (is) important. Really fast and accurate! Going to recommend to all my friends!

Actually, of the 48 of you who rated it, 52 gave the update 4+ stars! We’ll do our best to get the other four folks on board… ;)

As you could imagine, we’re really excited that you like the new update because our goal for it was simple: to make our app easier to use. If you look closely at the update, you’ll notice that we shifted a few features around and made other things easier to get to, and based on your reviews, it seemed like you’re happy with the changes.

To help you navigate around the newly updated Scout for iPhone, today I wanted to share with you 5 pro tips for using Scout for iPhone. It's a collection of my favorite ways to get more out of our app. Let’s get started!

Tip #1: The New “Things to Do” Menu – Discover More Around You

One of the newest features in Scout for iPhone is “Things to Do” search.  With it, you can browse 12 categories of events & activities for almost any occasion.

Tip: To find the new “Things to Do” menu, go to: My Dashboard > More > Things to Do

Bonus Tip: When browsing a category, tap the “Filters” button to narrow your results by distance, date, & more.

Bonus Tip: Want to see the results on a map? Tap the map button.

Tip #2: Save your favorite spots to “My Places” with just a Tap of the Heart

Similar to how you can save all of your favorite websites in your internet browser to view later, you can do the same for locations in Scout. How? It’s easy.

To start saving to your favorite places in Scout, just tap the white heart icon where it appears in the app. After you do, the icon will turn yellow, meaning it’s been saved to your favorites and is now accessible in the “My Places” menu.

To access all of your saved favorites in My Places in Scout for iPhone, go to: My Dashboard > heart icon (upper-right corner).

Bonus Tip: You can also access and edit/save/delete your favorites while logged into Scout.me.

Tip #3: Download Offline Maps in Scout Plus

For those of you who upgraded to a Scout Plus subscription, one feature you have access to is our offline maps. With them, you can download one of three regional areas (east, central, or west) so if you lose a cell phone signal, you can still continue navigating to your destination – without worrying about losing your maps.

To download offline maps in Scout for iPhone (Scout Pro subscription required), go to:  My Dashboard > My Profile > Maps on My Device.

Note: Downloading requires a WiFi connection as the map data contains a lot of very detailed information

Tip #4: Change Your Car Icon to Match Your Style

In Scout for iPhone, we wanted to add a way for you to personalize the way you navigate around. One way we did that was to add 12 different car icons for you to choose from. They range from classics like sports cars and convertibles to monster trucks and space fighters.

To start changing your car icon, go to: My Dashboard > My Profile > My Car.  Vrooooom!

Tip #5: Change/Edit Home & Work Address

The final tip we have is one based on a common question we receive: “How can I change/edit my home and work address?” It’s actually simple.

To edit your home/work address information in Scout for iPhone, go to: My Dashboard > My Profile > Addresses. Easy-peasy.

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Thanks again to all of our customers who have rated our app in the App Store. We love seeing your feedback so please keep it coming!

Have any questions about the new update for Scout for iPhone? Please don’t hesitate to let us know below.

Let us know what you think and you could receive a Scout SWAG Pack!

Do you use Scout on your Android or iPhone?

Discover things to do on Scout.me too?

If you do, then we'd love to talk to you!

We love our customers and we think one of the best ways to continue to build Scout out is by listening to the people who use our products the most. That’s why today, here on our blog, we're asking for your feedback about Scout. More specifically, our team is interested in learning a little bit more about what our Scout Facebook fans & Twitter followers like, don’t like, and in general, think about Scout.

Interested in telling your opinion directly to the people decision makers who work on our products? If you are, just fill out the following questionnaire and by doing so, you’re letting us know that you’re interested in being contacted by our team.

For those of you we do end up contacting, as a special thanks we'll be sending you a special Scout swag pack filled with goodies!

Thanks, everyone!

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50 Scares in 50 States: Your Guide to Finding REAL Haunted Attractions

Whenever October rolls around, thoughts of terror, fright, and spine-tingling experiences instantly come to mind and what could embody that more than a haunted house? With monsters, ghouls, & ghosts waiting for the right moment to scare anxious park-walkers, these attractions offer up a very enticing experience for those looking for a thrill.

As enjoyable as these are and fictitious as they may seem, there are some very REAL haunted houses living in our country, each with their own horrific stories and the eyewitness accounts – it’s the stuff of legend, and the Scout team are here help you experience them.

Below, we've put together a list of the best haunted house across the nation, state-by-state, so grab some friends, a flashlight and prepare yourself for a terribly frightening precursor to Halloween.

If you're looking for a scare near you, be sure to click here.

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3 Things You Really Need to Try This Fall

 

Do you see it? The leaves are starting to change, night is starting to come noticeably earlier, and talk of Halloween, Thanksgiving, & the holidays is already creeping into conversation.

These are signs of one thing: Fall is here. Are you ready for it?

As Scout is all about helping you find fun local events and cool things to do near you and helping you get there, today, we wanted to show you a few things that can only be enjoyed during the autumn season that you should absolutely check out before winter.

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#1: Football, football, football!

Across the US, there are millions of Americans who swear one thing: The Autumnal Equinox isn't the first day of fall; It officially begins whenever the first football flies through the air.

Have you ever attended a game? There's nothing quite like the atmosphere of watching a live football game with the crowd roaring, chanting, and screaming at every tackle, throw, and interception.

As football can only be enjoyed during the fall season, it's definitely something you should check out. So when can you watch a game?

It depends on what level of competition you're interested in.

Usually, high school football games can be watched on Friday nights (hence, the phrase “Friday night lights”). If you're looking for a higher level of football, then Saturday is when you can catch college teams play. Lastly, if the highest level is what you're interested in, professional level football can be watched on Sundays, but there are games on Monday nights (as well as Thursdays).

If attending isn't really your thing, it's just as fun to go catch a college or NFL game out at your local sports pub. To find one near you, click here.

#2: Pick the Perfect Pumpkin (& say that three times fast)

Another sure fire sign that autumn is in the air is the aptly named fall harvest. It's during this time of the year, vegetables that have soaked up all of the summer sun are ready to be picked and more importantly, eaten.

One vegetable in particular that many families love picking during this time of year is the pumpkin, which, of course, is a symbol of the fall season. For many, it's an annual family activity, one that everyone looks forward to – especially the little ones.

Not sure how to pick a pumpkin? It's actually really easy. Just follow these guidelines.

  • Pick a pumpkin that feels firm and heavy for it's size
  • Be sure to also feel the bottom of the pumpkin as if it flexes or gives, it's not fresh
  • Avoid pumpkins with soft spots, mold, wrinkles, or open cuts
  • Look for a pumpkin with a green stem
  • Be sure the stem of the pumpkin is solidly attached
  • Lastly, be sure to place your pumpkin on a level surface to ensure it will sit flat when you're carving it

Want to find a pumpkin patch near you? Click here.

#3: Seasonal Festivals

Around the US, fall is a time for thanks and across many parts of the country there are regional celebrations and seasonal festivals that you can attend and are fun for the entire family. Most of the time, these festivals offer live music, a wide variety of foods, arts & crafts, and tons of activities for kids.

Some of the more interesting fall festivals from across the U.S. include:

Interested in finding a fall festival near you? Click here.

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Across America, fall is beginning to settle in and with it, comes opportunities to get out and try many activities that can only be enjoyed during this time of the year. From festivals to football, autumn always offers a lot of fun for those who are willing to go out and enjoy it.

Do you have a favorite fall activity? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Photo credit: Isaac picks a pumpkin by christine, Salmon by Soggy Dan, Football by KM Klemencic, I Love October by D Sharon Pruitt

Scouting Life: We’re giving away a Canon Rebel T3i Super Bundle!

Not long ago, we launched Scout for iPhone, which we designed to be #alwaysthere for you, regardless if you’re out looking for something fun to do or you just want to find the quickest way home.

In the newly updated Scout, we added two new features to make getting around easier, including #alwaysthere (offline) navigation and speech recognition. Be sure to read more about it here.

As you could imagine, we’re really excited about getting an updated version of Scout out to everyone and we know we couldn't have done it without the support of our awesome fans on Facebook and Twitter. So to thank you all for your continued support, we want to give you a chance to win something BIG.

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