Skip to main content

These 4 pets are great for people who travel a lot

Pets need a lot of attention — they’re family, after all, and require a surprising amount of our time and energy. While they’re totally worth it, it can be tricky to juggle your other commitments with the care your pets need, especially for folks who travel frequently. While being gone a lot precludes owning certain types of pets, like dogs, there are some who will do just fine if left alone with the proper setup. 

Of course, before you leave any pet, you should have a full care plan in place. Things like meals and cleanings may need to happen in your absence if you’re gone for a number of days. We recommend having a friend or family member check in on your pets every few days even if they are totally self-sufficient. You can also set up a pet cam to check remotely so that you are always looking in on your animal while you’re away. Be sure to have an emergency contact for your critter close by in case you spot something. When you’ve made all your preparations, consider these best small pets for travelers.

3 fish swim in an aquarium


Your pet fish will thrive when left to his own devices during your vacation or business trip and will surely make the best low-maintenance pet. If you’re planning to leave him for long periods, stick with a freshwater tank as saltwater aquariums require more maintenance. You’ll also want to avoid fish like bettas, who may prefer to live in an environment without a filter. In preparation for your absence, get an automatic feeder. If you’re new to it, make sure to try it out while you’re around to ensure it’s dispensing correctly.

Aquatic frog

Like fish, an aquatic frog will do well on his own in a tank that’s suited to his needs. Unlike many of the wild frogs you’ve probably seen, these little pets never leave the water. No land is necessary for his tank, though you will need to keep the water shallow enough for him to surface easily — usually about 12 inches deep. Aquatic frogs can also be fed with an automatic feeder, but they often do prefer some treats mixed in with pellets when you’re around. The filter will keep their tanks clean while you’re on vacation, but the water does have to be tested weekly, so have someone ready to stop in as needed.

Mouse holding onto her cage
Kirill Kurashov/Shutterstock


Mice prefer nighttime and often like to be left alone, making them an ideal pet for anyone who may be frequently absent. While your mouse will almost certainly be shy at first, you can hand-train her to take food and be held. If you intend to leave your mouse for a couple of days, it’s best to have a pair, so they can have company. Make sure to get two females as males often fight. Of course, it’s important to keep any pet cage clean, but mice prefer to leave their area scent marked, meaning a regular deep scrub isn’t recommended. Unlike your fish, your mouse will definitely need a sitter to peek in now and then but will be fine on her own for a short while.

2 parakeets standing on a perch together
Uliya Krakos/Shutterstock


You don’t want to leave a lonesome bird by itself, but that’s less of an issue with budgies (another name for parakeets), which often prefer to be paired up. They’re called lovebirds for a reason and can do a good job entertaining each other. Many bird feeders allow for a slow release, so your bird can eat as needed. If you’ll be gone more than a day or two, get someone to pop in to replace the cage liner and refresh food and water. You don’t want your birds living in a mess while you’re out. 

No matter where you get off to, these four pets will be happily waiting for you to get back. As with any animal, you should not leave them when you first bring them into your home. Get your pet acclimated to their new place first and try to set a routine before taking any trips without them. If you get everything right before you leave, they’ll surely be glad to see you when you return.

Editors' Recommendations

Rebekkah Adams
Rebekkah’s been a writer and editor for more than 10 years, both in print and digital. In addition to writing about pets…
7 telltale signs of a dying hamster (and what you should do)
Here's how to figure out if your pet hamster is dying (or possibly just hibernating)
Vet checks out small hamster

It's one of the saddest parts of owning a pet: We know that someday we'll have to say goodbye. Our pets never live long enough for us, and preparing for the end can be painful (though important). Your pet hamster will be with you for between two and three years of happy life — full of spinning wheels and treats. Once they're getting close to the end, though, you'll want to help ease their passing, keeping them warm and comfortable.

By paying close attention to the signs of a dying hamster, you can be ready to step in as a pet parent and help them finish the end of their life well. Watch out for any of these symptoms, which should be accompanied by a visit to the vet, since they can have a few different causes.

Read more
Is my rabbit pregnant? 5 telltale signs you should know
Look for these signs to confirm your rabbit will soon have babies
Baby rabbit being held by owner

What's better than one pet rabbit? An entire litter of bunnies (as long as you're prepared for them, of course). If you've been wondering, "Is my rabbit pregnant?" now is the time to find out for sure. After all, you don't want to be caught unaware and suddenly have a whole new colony of animals in your hutch.

Sometimes, lady bunnies can take on the behaviors of expectant mamas, but it's actually a false pregnancy. The best way to find out if your rabbit is pregnant is to take her to the vet and have them confirm it. However, when you're figuring it out yourself, you should look for the signs that a rabbit is pregnant. If you spot these behaviors, be sure to call your animal doctor.

Read more
What you need to know about sugar gliders before you get an exotic pet
Follow these steps to set your sugar glider up for success
Sugar glider clings to their owner's thumb

Choosing a small pet involves almost as much deliberation as selecting a breed of dog. While there are a lot of factors to take into account, a sugar glider might turn out to be the perfect fit with their curious personality, attachment to your family, and fondness for pockets.

Like any exotic pet, gliders require expert care plus some dedicated research to choose the right breeder or pet store. But with the right prep, your new mammal will fit in perfectly and bond with the whole family. Keep reading to find out if sugar gliders are good pets.
What are sugar gliders?
Unlike most little pets, sugar gliders aren't rodents but marsupials. This gives you a few distinct advantages, as they behave differently from hamsters, guinea pigs, or gerbils. For starters, these are highly social creatures and they will bond with every member of the family and even other pets in the house. Because gliders don't smell like the animals your cats and dogs like to chase — rats, gophers, and bunnies, to name a few — many bigger pets can get along with your new friend. You'll need to introduce them carefully, but they can form lifelong attachments to each other.

Read more