But now that pets are becoming an even bigger part of families, many are tagging along too.
Quarantine laws have been relaxed between the United States, Britain and many other European countries, so more dogs, cats, and even ferrets are taking to the skies with their pet parents.
In fact, the percentage of people traveling with their pets is going up between 10 and 15 percent monthly. And, pet owners can now enroll their pets in frequent flyer programs. Israel's El Al Airlines launched its "points for pets" program in 2001. After three round-trips in three years, the pet earns a free ticket. On Virgin airlines, dogs receive a "Welcome On-Board" pack with a t-shirt and a special collar tag. Cats receive their own catnip mouse and a collar tag, while ferrets will get a baseball cap and scarf.
So if you're thinking about bringing your pet along to take part in the festivities, remember that planning a plane trip is a whole different ball game with Fido or Fluffy. Before you head to the airport, it's essential to check the specific requirements of the airline involved. Airlines usually only allow one pet per cabin for domestic flights, so alert them well in advance. International traveling often restricts pets to a special cargo section, where costs vary according to weight and generally start around $169 dollars for a pet under 50 pounds. And here's the kicker. You can even get your pet a passport that can be stamped at international destinations, now that's flying the fur-friendly skies. Interested? Go to PetTravel.com.