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Old 12-17-2008, 10:04 PM
 
93 posts, read 371,398 times
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Hi all, I'm getting laid off early next year and have decided that I want to move to Tampa, FL to join the rest of my family. I currently live in San Jose, CA.

Some background: I don't have a lot of furniture to move to FL, but what I do have, I definitely want to move because it has sentimental value - probably the equivalent of a 1-bdrm apartment. I haven't yet settled on a mover.

This is my dilemma: I am not really sure about the best way to move my pets across the country when it's time to vacate and get moving. I have a VW New Beetle which means it isn't as roomy as a lot of cars. This is what I'm thinking of doing:

1. Put two Chihuahuas in one carrier (they're used to it) and my 3rd Chi in a second carrier. I'll pull the back seat of my VW down to create a platform in the car, and put the dog carriers in the back of the car.
2. Buy 3 travel cages for the parrots (1 Derbyan parakeet, 1 Alexandrine, and 1 African Grey). Put them in front of the dog crates in the car.
3. Put everything I will need for the journey in the rest of the car, which means I will probably not have room for an extra human. As of now there is no one who will go with me.

I've thought about all different kinds of setups for this situation, including towing a small trailer, however my New Beetle isn't big enough for towing anything. I don't feel comfortable driving a truck across the country towing my car, so driving my VW is about the only way it's going to get from CA to FL.

I have already checked out hotels along the route so I know where to stay. My concerns are:

1. Weather.... I will try not to move when it's really hot, as I will be going thru the South. I am aware of the best way to move the parrots so they don't get overheated. I will have the cages and crates partially or fully covered while driving.
2. Traveling as a single woman - I'm very careful about everything and also very independent and organized...I would love to do some sightseeing on my trip (have always wanted to drive across the U.S. and have never been to the South), but because I will be alone, I figure I'll have to spend all my time driving, take the dogs out periodically for potty breaks, then check into a hotel room each night and possibly go out for dinner but not sure yet about that. I'm wondering how I will be able to use a bathroom myself, if I have to leave the pets in the car while doing it?

Sorry I realize I have a lot of questions. Am I totally nuts for considering this? Should I try to take my birds via airplane to FL before I do the cross-country trip? (however because I have 3, that may not be possible). I've read a lot of posts on this forum and love the idea of renting a mini-van or RV, but then how would I get my car to FL? Don't have a lot of money (I'm an executive assistant) and I really don't know anyone who could drive the car and make the journey with me.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, R.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Coachella Valley, California
15,564 posts, read 36,555,561 times
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I traveled from CA to TX and back again with 3 parrots in my car, but I also had my son with me too. At the time he was 13. We would stop at places I felt were reasonably safe. We took turns staying in the car with the birds while one of us went to quickly use the bathroom. We did have towels in the car so we could let the birds out of their cages and "ride" on our shoulders. I made sure to have the windows locked just in case. We stayed in bird friendly motels and the birds were really good. They didn't make any noise at all in the room(s).

You are traveling alone, so you should probably just eat drive through food for your trip just so that you can be in the car with them. When you stop to use the restroom, cover their cages with a towel so that nobody will see them and try to take them. Do your business and get back to your car as quickly as you can. I hope this helps. I am friends with a lady who has a bunch of birds and has traveled with her birds as well. She is more experienced than I am with birds and travel. She has a website and you can also email her and get some advice if you need to. Her website is lindibiggi.com.

I didn't address the furry critters because I have no experience with dogs and travel, but it's probably very similar except you have to let them out to potty.

Good luck with your trip and stay safe!
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:10 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,949,692 times
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A couple ideas:
Get a roof rack for spare room and maybe enough for a 2nd driver
Leave the car running to keep the pets cool when you park, and use another key to lock the door
Drive at night, so the pets won't get hot in the sun when you make stops
Call FedEx
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Old 12-18-2008, 06:25 AM
 
93 posts, read 371,398 times
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>Call FedEx
LOL!

thank you TwinkleToes and Sterlinggirl, great ideas! I will follow up with the bird lady....I had an idea last night of trying to get my niece and her husband to come out to CA and drive with me. I looked at Hertz.com and saw that a mini-van was surprisingly cheap, $700 for a one-way trip. I could drive the mini-van and my niece and hubby could drive my car, and I could have the critters in the mini-van with me.

I'm also thinking about getting an RV, where the kids could sleep and I could sleep in a motel room. Anyone know if it would be safe to leave the critters in the RV if I want to go sight-seeing for a short time? Not sure how cool it would stay in there - I know NOTHING about RVs....
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Old 12-18-2008, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,211 posts, read 12,559,732 times
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Adventurous!!

As much as I would also love to do the sightseeing along the way, I think in this scenario I would do a straight-shot trip taking the fewest amount of days to make the trip from CA to FL. The night-time routine of transferring the dogs and birds and their stuff as well as your overnight bag into a hotel/motel will get old fast. Plus, if your birds and dogs aren't used to traveling, being cooped up in a car for days will be an experience (good or bad depends on your pets.)

Depending on the route chosen, I don't think I'd drive at night as a single person. I have done it on the heavily-traveled north/south route of I-95, but I don't think I'd do it on some of the lonelier parts of I-10 if you chose that as an example.

When traveling alone with my dog, my pit stops are at highway rest stops, but mostly at fast food places where I kill two birds with one stone - a pit stop and a meal. I also take advantage of gas stations with convenience stores - get gas, pick up some snacks, make a pit stop. I'm not nervous at all about traveling alone, but I do stick to "crowds".

The car-top carrier/roof rack for extra stuff sounds like a good idea, but having no experience with that, is it a beacon for the curiosity of no-good-doers? Anybody have an opinion about that?

As for flying your pets across country, I know it's done all the time, but depending on time of year the weather may be a factor. I know that airlines are strict about temperature. For example, in winter time the possibility of temps being cold in Atlanta could force the airline to refuse to fly animals - that happened to a friend of mine.

I like your adventurous spirit! Since you're independent and organized, the trip is doable with some logistics and preplanning. Certainly it would be a trip with memories remembered forever and ever!
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Old 12-18-2008, 06:42 AM
 
93 posts, read 371,398 times
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Gosh, great information! I agree, I would be hesitant to put a roof rack on top of the car....I have no experience with them, and I can just imagine what would happen if I'm in Podunk, Whatever State and it comes loose or comes off!

If I flew my pets, I would go with them...gee, I wonder if that's a solution? That way I could go across the country on my own....hmm....

Just checked with Cruise America and they quoted $2500 for a 25' RV to go one-way from CA to FL, not including .32/mile. They have a limit of a week for one-way travel, minimum 25' RV. Wow. I can get a mini-van from Hertz for $700 one-way including mileage. Perhaps I'll go that route, and I think I'll also contact the airlines to see about flying to FL with the pets....I'd feel much safer being on the planes (no direct flights) than just watching them go. That way I could also put the Chihuahuas in a kennel once I arrive, and set up the parrots in my niece's house. Hmmmm.....
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Montrose, CA
3,031 posts, read 8,044,822 times
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What does being single OR female have to do with this question?
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:42 AM
 
93 posts, read 371,398 times
Reputation: 30
>What does being single OR female have to do with this question?

Not sure I understand your question....I mentioned "single" because I'll be traveling on my own. Ditto female - I believe more danger and more work in general if I'm by myself - plus how will I manage leaving the car for bathroom breaks, etc.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rheadabovewater View Post
Just checked with Cruise America and they quoted $2500 for a 25' RV to go one-way from CA to FL, not including .32/mile. They have a limit of a week for one-way travel, minimum 25' RV.
We used Cruise America when we moved from Calif to Texas. When we move back to Calif we will do it again. One of the main things (besides plenty of room, a bed and kitchen) is that there is a bathroom in the RV. So we didn't have to make any pit stops along the way.

We had 2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 parrots and 3 fish all in the RV. We made it safe and sound. But never were they left alone in the RV.

Good luck!!!! (our parrots are White Bellied Caiques)
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Montrose, CA
3,031 posts, read 8,044,822 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rheadabovewater View Post
>What does being single OR female have to do with this question?

Not sure I understand your question....I mentioned "single" because I'll be traveling on my own. Ditto female - I believe more danger and more work in general if I'm by myself - plus how will I manage leaving the car for bathroom breaks, etc.
It's only an obstacle if you buy into the old-fashioned thinking that women aren't as capable as men. If you fall into the mindset that you're more vulnerable and less able to deal with things as a woman, then you will just look like a target. And...it's no more "work" for a woman than anyone else. Bathroom breaks...you open the door to your car, make sure all your pets remain inside, and then go in for a bathroom break.

Just my opinion, from someone who has been "single" and "female" on many cross-country drives.
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