Taking a parrot on vacation

Can I take my bird on a road trip?

If you love your parrot bird as much as we love ours, you’ll want to take your parrot on holiday or vacation.  

Parrots everywhere are hitting the road. Summer vacation. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even Winter holiday. Parrot can be seen at the beach, in the mountains, or simply visiting the extended family.  

Is traveling stressful for birds?

With a little preparation and training, your pet bird will come to enjoy road trips and the RV time.  It can become accustomed to riding in a bird carrier, staying on a bird car seat, and lodging in a hotel.

Being flock animals, your parrot will really appreciate you keeping it in mind when you leave town. After all, he considers you part of his family and may be fearful of strangers or bird sitters.  

Another reason to consider bringing your feathered friend on vacay is that finding a reputable pet bird boarding facility can be daunting. Since we "parrot lovers" passionate about our parrots, who wants to potentially expose their pet bird to life threatening disease at a boarding facility?  

Maybe you can find an experienced bird sitter to come to your home and take care of your pet bird, but that’s just not the same as a fun road trip.  

Depending on your birds' disposition, it may be much less stressful f to just load your bird up and take him with.

Pak O Bird Carrier on a hiking trip

Bruce S. Used With Permission

If you are reading this article about vacationing with parrots, you’re probably used to having your parrot participate in daily family activities and socialization. 

If your bird isn't used to being around family activities then there's no better time to start than now.  

  1. Plan on getting your bird out of the cage to socialize it on a bird stand.

  2.  Harness train your bird and take it out on walks around the neighborhood.

  3. Get your bird used to riding in a backpack style bird carrier, like my friend Bruce in the picture above does with his birds.

  4. Get your bird used to riding in the car so that it doesn't get carsick on your first trip. 

  5. Exposure bird to novel activities everyday so it's not dependent on a particular routine. 

How do you transport a bird in a car?

New experiences only help your pet bird parrot bond with you.   Never the less, just like vacationing with your kid or your dog, you'll need to make some minor accommodations to your travel plans. 

There are a few really nice, high-quality bird carriers available on the market. Depending on your bird’s size you could spend anywhere from $50 $400 on a suitable bird carrier that you can buckle into the backseat of your car.

I've trained my bird, Peachy, to stay put on a bird car seat early on. He loves it!

Peachy on his bird car seat


However, a bird car seat isn't for all birds. You have to take into consideration how many times you are going to stop for breaks and whether your bird will stay put on the car seat while the car is in motion. Some birds prefer to be in a bird carrier.

It goes without saying that it is never safe to leave your bird unattended in a car. I'm sorry

Anymore, however, I prefer to live by the motto, better safe than sorry, by keeping my birds in a carrier during my travels. First of all, it's always safer for your bird to ride in the back seat of the car. If you were to get in a wreck and the the airbags deployed, it could be deadly for your pet.  

Also, there have been different occasions when I've had to unexpectedly stop quickly and trying to round up my birds to place them in the carrier has occasionally proved to be a problem.

Plus, I tend to be a little bit of a stickler when it comes to keeping my car  interior clean. 

I actually have a few different styles of bird carriers for the car. My old standbys are Lexan or polycarbonate style bird carriers that have stainless steel doors so that my birds can get plenty of ventilation.  The stainless steel doors are great to hang a food and water dish on. I can also hang toys inside to keep my birds occupied.

I've also got some Celltei Pak O Bird models.  With the stainless steel window screens, my birds can enjoy sightseeing. These styles also allow me to place food and water dishes inside of the bird carrier, as well as hang toys to occupy my pet. And, they accommodate natural perches.

How far can birds travel in a car?

With the right carrier and planning ahead, I've been able to take my birds on some lengthy trips, including a couple of evacuations that we were required due to Colorado wildfires.

Here's how I plan car my trips with my birds:

First, take your parrot to the veterinarian to ensure he is up for the trip and to groom him.  The most important thing to me is that my bird is safe and that I do everything I can to prevent a potential fly off.

Second, find a hotel that accepts pets.  A quick Google search will help you find hotels that do accept pets.

Next, pack up the following bird parrot supplies.

  • Bird Cage or Bird Carrier

  • Bird Perch & Food Cups

  • Usual Bird Food and Water to minimize digestive upset

  • Portable Bird Stand

  • Foraging Bird Toys

  • Bird Leash Harness

  • Emergency Bird Supplies

    • Bird First Aid Kit 

    • Picture of your pet

    • Leg Band and/or microchip identification numbers

    • Home Vet and destinations vet what's contact information

Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. With over 30 years experience, in a range of settings, she’s created thousands of successful behavior plans to help turn around challenging behavior. Diane got parrot fever in the ‘90’s and founded BirdSupplies.com in 1998. Nowadays, BirdSupplies.com focuses solely on Science-backed Parrot Wellness with bird collars for feather plucking birds, nutritional supplements to support avian wellness, and a range of educational materials to support bird behavior. Diane’s authored a number of books on supporting challenging behavior in birds.

Hey there! Because of conscientious parrot caretakers like you we are able to continue to offer valuable, science-backed parrot wellness support that will help your feathered friend to thrive so that you can enjoy it for years to come.

Please take a moment to share this blog with your friends and on your social media. If you want to learn more about science back parrot Wellness, check out my social media channels like YouTube and Pinterest. And request access to my private Facebook group, UnRuffledRx Feather Plucking Help. I can find it by clicking the banner below.