We are building a vacation home in Kauai, Hawaii to winter at for 4-6 months a year. We would like to travel with our dogs back and forth from Boise, Idaho to Kauai. We will not be "relocating" but rather sharing time between locations.
Thank you for your question! It's certainly possible to travel back and forth between the mainland United States and Hawaii (provided your pets are healthy and fit to fly), but we recommend reviewing all factors as you decide how to move forward.
What are these factors? Primarily, price, time, and stress. Again, it's perfectly safe to bring pets to or from Hawaii, especially when you follow basic safety tips and choose a pet friendly airline like United, but the process requires a bit of paperwork, you'll need to have the right travel crates for your dogs, and you'll need to consider the costs of the flights and associated vet visits.
Here is an overview of pet travel to Hawaii. Because Hawaii is a rabies free island the process to go there will be more detailed than the process to return to Idaho, but there is no quarantine provided you follow the rules regarding rabies.
Hawaii requires that dogs have a passed rabies titer test before entering the islands -- the test must be done at least 120 days but not more than 36 months before arrival into Hawaii, so keep that in mind since you're planning regular future travel. Most people end up spending a few hundred dollars per pet going into or out of Hawaii, so that's something to plan for, as well.
Finally, it sounds like you may have bigger dogs, which can sometimes make flying a little more complicated because not all planes are equipped to carry big crates and smaller airports may not accommodate big planes -- we call this the "big dog, big plane, big airport" conundrum. Please read more about this and other challenges that may arise in our North America pet travel spotlight series.
Hopefully this has been informative, Kelly. Please let us know if you'd like to find out more about our door-to-door pet travel services, and good luck with everything!
Pet Travel Question Details:
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed: German Shepherd, Italian Spinone