by Diane Burroughs April 25, 2016 5 min read

By Diane Burroughs

Now that summer is in full swing, you may be thinking about taking a trip.

As a bird owner there's a lot to consider around the care of your bird while you are away or on the flip side, why not bring him?

As you know, parrots are very social and require human interaction to thrive and stay healthy. Having someone stop in to replenish food and water while you're away isn't the same as when you're at home and interacting with him daily.

The option to travel with your parrot would be the perfect solution however it does require some planning.

This article will cover all the bases when it comes to traveling with your feathery friend.

 Your Guide To Traveling With Your Parrot

First, depending on the method of transportation, your bird will require different preparation. For example, there will be different provisions needing to be made if you plan to stay in a hotel vs renting an RV. And a plane ride presents entirely separate criteria. (Stay tuned because at the end of this article, we have a resource guide for methods of transportation).

Bird Travel Must-Haves

When traveling with your parrot, safety should always be top of mind. Things to think about include air quality and sun exposure. 

There are also some must-have bird travel accessories which include:


  • A sturdy, well-ventilated bird carrier
  • A bird carrier cover 
  • A bird harness
  • Jugs of distilled water
  • A mister bottle
  • Bird food and treats
  • Bird toys
  • Vet records, leg-band and/or microchip number

Finding The Right Bird Carrier 

It is critical to have a carrier for your bird. If you choose right, your carrier can serve you well for several purposes from medical emergencies to vet trips, evacuation situations, travel and vacation as well as becoming a safe place for daily sleep.

Your bird carrier should be light in weight, easy to lift and transport and keep clean. There should be proper ventilation that also minimizes drafts and the structure itself should be sturdy enough to help prevent your bird from being crushed if there was ever an accident. 

Choose your carrier with ventilation top of mind. You'll find a wide variety of bird carriers in our store. The Pak O Bird line offers several options from their backpack-style bird carriers to the in-cabin bird carrier with divider. 

For more information about choosing the right carrier for your parrot, you can visit our article here.

8 Tips For Bird Safe Travel

Tip 1: Secure Your Bird Carrier
Once you've purchased your bird travel carrier it's important to test it out. Practice loading and buckling your bird carrier in the back seat of your vehicle. Once you feel that it's secure take it for a test drive around the block to ensure the carrier stays put. 

Note: Never put your bird in the front seat. If the airbags ever go off, it could crush the cage and your bird and your bird may not survive.

Tip 2: Practice Traveling With Your Parrot
The second step to traveling with your bird involves getting your bird used to travel. You should purchase your bird carrier at least a few weeks before your trip and start taking your bird on short, fun trips so he can become familiar with the routine and overall feel of traveling.

Some birds get car sick, so its important to start slow.

If you only use your carrier for trips to the vet, this can create anxiety in your bird when it comes to traveling. 

By making the trip fun, your bird will look forward to getting in his carrier. The same applies to harnesses. We highly recommend that your bird is harness-trained before embarking on a vacation. You don't want to risk a fly-off.

Tip 3: Create Your Bird Travel Kit 

A travel kit is very handy and can be used and replenished over and over again. Consider a plastic tub for your supplies to allow for easy accessibility and organization.

Tip 4: Keep Your Parrot Cool

Your bird can over-heat in a matter of minutes so it is crucial to keep a mister bottle and carrier cover on hand to help keep your feathery friend cool.

You can use the misting bottle to cool your bird down quickly. This also means less dander in your car too!

Tip 5: Invest In A Sun Shade

To help shield your bird from having too much sun exposure, purchase a sun shade. This can also act as double duty for keeping your car environment cool overall.

Whenever you can, check on your bird to make sure that he can access water for the entirety of your journey.

Please, don't ever leave your bird unattended in the car.  

For one thing, cars heat up to deadly temperatures in the summer heat and secondly, someone may steal your feather baby right out from your vehicle.

Tip 6: Protect Your Bird From Environmental Pollutants

From hotel room cleaners to gas fumes, your bird's lungs are delicate and need to be protected from environmental pollutants all of the time. If you're gassing up, roll up the windows. If you're staying at a hotel, ask the front desk to refrain from using cleaning chemicals during your stay. 


Trudy in her Pak O Bird Carrier
Take Your Bird Along for Meal-time at an Outdoor Cafe.

Tip 7: Spend Quality Time With Your Bird

Once you reach your destination your bird might not be able to do everything with you so it's important that you spend as much time with him as possible so he isn't feeling lost and lonely. Birds thrive on routine and familiarity so if he's in unfamiliar surroundings combined with a disrupted routine, he will be more susceptible to being upset. You can check out local cafe's that may offer outside seating so you can take your bird along during meals. 

Tip 8: Use A Harness

When you're out and about with your bird, it is wise to keep a harness on hand. Even a well-socialized bird can get easily startled in new surroundings and attempt to fly off. It's part of their instincts. A harness will provide you the opportunity to walk with your bird rather than always crating him around in a carrier.t might be wise to keep a bird harness on your bird when you're out and about.   

Final Thought

If you are new to traveling with your bird, make sure to clip his wings BEFORE you embark on your journey.  No one wants their vacation to turn into a recovery effort in an unfamiliar city!

Bird Travel Resources

Planes, trains, and automobiles oh my! No matter how you plan to travel, we have an article for every situation. Check out our resource guide below:

If you're taking your trip by car we have 6 Quick Tips for Car Travel here.
RV-ing with your Parrot can be loads of fun! Visit our RV Travel Article to learn more.
Will you be staying in a hotel? Check out this great article on where to find a bird-friendly one here.




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