Travel Lifestyle & Culture

Traveling with Assistance Animals

Emily Davis, RN
May 19, 2023
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We understand that your assistance animal is more than just a pet. They're your faithful companion, providing vital support and comfort in your everyday life. However, traveling with them is not always a walk in the park—figuratively and literally!

That's why we're here to lend a helping paw and guide you through the ins and outs of traveling with an assistance animal. Whether they can sit, stay, shake, or perform remarkable feats, it's crucial to be well-informed about your rights when it comes to traveling with them. By understanding the regulations and requirements, we can ensure a seamless housing search tailored to your unique needs so that your next Trusted assignment goes purr-fectly!

So let's embark on this incredible journey together, where no hurdle is too high and no destination is out of reach!

What are the types of Assistance Animals?

Service Animals

When it comes to assistance animals, service animals take center stage. These incredible creatures, often dogs, undergo specialized training to perform a remarkable range of tasks for their owners so that their owner can live more independently. Even in places where pets are typically not allowed, service animals are granted access in order to assist their owners.Service animals are trained to carry out a diverse array of specialized tasks tailored to their owners' specific needs. Whether it's reminding their owner to take essential medication, offering comfort during moments of PTSD or anxiety, alerting diabetics to fluctuating blood sugar levels, or warning of an impending seizure, service animals are true heroes in action. They exemplify the profound bond between humans and animals, showcasing the power of compassion, training, and teamwork.

Emotional Support Animals

In the realm of assistance animals, emotional support animals (ESAs) hold a special place. These incredible beings offer an immeasurable source of comfort and emotional support to individuals facing mental health challenges. With their mere presence, they have the remarkable ability to alleviate distress and provide solace to their owners.

Unlike service animals, emotional support animals do not undergo specialized training. Instead, they rely on the powerful bond they share with their owners to provide much-needed support.  They offer companionship, reduce feelings of isolation, and provide a source of emotional grounding. By offering unwavering support, ESAs contribute significantly to the overall mental well-being of their owners.

Navigating the Legal Landscape: The Fair Housing Act and Assistance Animals

Fair Housing Act

In the realm of housing, the Fair Housing Act stands tall as a beacon of equality and non-discrimination. This crucial legislation aims to prevent housing providers, such as landlords, from engaging in discriminatory practices based on race or color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or disability.

Under the Fair Housing Act, housing providers are obligated to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities who require assistance animals. This means that landlords cannot deny housing or impose additional restrictions on individuals solely because they have an assistance animal. The Act ensures that disabled individuals have equal opportunities to secure suitable housing, allowing them to fully enjoy the benefits of independence and companionship that assistance animals provide.

While the law upholds the rights of individuals with assistance animals, housing providers are permitted to request supporting documentation to verify the need for an assistance animal. This documentation typically comes in the form of a letter or prescription from a healthcare professional, confirming the individual's disability and the therapeutic benefits of the assistance animal. By requesting such documentation, housing providers can ensure that accommodations are provided to those who genuinely require assistance animals.

Balancing Right and Responsibilities 

While the Fair Housing Act protects the rights of individuals with assistance animals, there are certain exceptions that acknowledge the need for balance and practicality. These exceptions come into play when providing housing to an assistance animal would result in undue financial burden for the housing owner, pose health or safety risks to the owner or others, or cause property damage. In such cases, the housing owner may have valid grounds to refuse housing.

Additionally, if an assistance animal becomes out of control during a stayand the owner fails to regain control, or if the animal is not housebroken, the owner of the establishment may ask that the animal be removed. These measures help maintain a safe and respectful space for all individuals involved.

It's important to note that establishments that typically charge additional fees for customers with pets are required to waive those fees for customers with assistance animals. The goal is to ensure equal treatment and avoid any discrimination or financial burden placed upon individuals with disabilities. Assistance animal owners should not face unfavorable treatment or be asked to pay additional fees solely due to their reliance on their loyal companions. 

Our Favorite Travel Nurse Housing Resources and Their Policies

Hello Landing

Hello Landing allows up to two animals (note their breed restrictions!) as long as the property you are renting allows pets. If you’re booking with a service animal (as opposed to a pet), you will need to provide documentation with your reservation.

As an added perk, if you take an assignment with Trusted, Hello Landing offers $300 off any  reservation of >90 days, connects you with a dedicated account manager, offers a flexible cancellation policy, and waives fees! Learn more about Trusted’s housing partnerships!  


Airbnb guests traveling with a service animal may not be refused booking or charged an extra fee, guests are not required to disclose they are traveling with a service animal when booking either. 

Guests traveling with ESAs may be turned away when making a reservation or may be charged an extra fee unless the property is located in California or New York. 


VRBO requires “all hosts with properties located in countries that have service animal laws to accommodate guests who require a service animal”. This is required regardless of the property’s normal pet policy. 

Furnished Finders

Furnished Finders does not have a specific pet policy related to Assistance Animals. They do have a filter on their website to search for pet friendly housing and have some breed restrictions as well. 


Hotels are considered temporary housing and therefore are required to provide accommodations for guests traveling with service animals regardless of the pet policy. However hotels do not have to make those same accommodations for guests traveling with ESAs.

Empowered and Ready: Find Your Next Adventure Today!

Embrace the excitement, the possibilities, and the freedom that awaits you. By advocating for yourself and knowing your rights, you'll discover the perfect place where you and your furry companion can thrive together. 

Sign up to find your next adventure with Trusted today!

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