Winter travel advice (when it's unusually cold)

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Jan 18, 2013
I could use some advice on travelling with my 11 year-old chinchilla when it's likely to get cold.

I have to take a ferry this week, with the temperatures forecast to hit -10C or below (14F I think), which is extremely cold for the area. While pets are allowed on the ferry they have to stay in vehicles on unheated decks. It's hit or miss whether the care will be on a deck I'm allowed to stay on, so I may have to use the pet area (it's "heated" it is on one of the open decks and unlikely to be very warm).

I usually cover the travel cage most of the way with fleece (leaving a gap for fresh air), and my plan is to get the car as warm as possible before we set sail, then add a wool blanket on top of the fleece and wrapped under the cage. I'll also add extra fleece to snuggle with. I would be tempted to let him snuggle up with me, but boy howdy does this guy not like cuddles.

Does this sound like enough for a 1.5-2 hour trip? I'll be able to get the heat back on as soon as I'm off the boat.


Well-known member
Nov 3, 2021
I don't know for sure that a product like this even exists (though I feel like it probably does), but if you could find some sort of battery-powered/rechargeable space heater you could leave running in your car, that seems like it would probably help.

Failing that, you could get some heat packs, securely wrap them in fleece, and put them in his cage (if he wouldn't chew through the fleece), or if he's a fleece-chewer, maybe you could put them under his cage to heat a spot in the cage through the bottom (though even then, you still might want to wrap the heat pack in fleece or paper, they can get pretty toasty and you don't want him to overheat if he sits right on top of it). I know they use heat packs when shipping reptiles through FedEx. When I had a snake shipped to me from Florida (I'm in California), her heat pack was still warm 24 hours after it had been activated, so they stay warm for quite some time. If you use a heat pack, just be extra cautious about a) making sure he can't chew on it, and b) make sure it doesn't get TOO hot for him.


New member
Jul 31, 2023
It's great that you're taking such good care of your chinchilla during the cold trip! Your plan to create a warm and cozy environment with fleece and blankets in the travel cage sounds thoughtful. Considering the short duration of the trip (1.5-2 hours), your preparations should provide enough warmth for your chinchilla. It's also wise to warm up the car before setting sail.
While cuddling might not be an option, the extra fleece for snuggling sounds like a comforting idea. Remember to monitor your chinchilla and ensure they're comfortable throughout the journey.
By the way, if you're looking for travel advice for warmer destinations, I've found a helpful article on the best area miami. It's always good to have travel ideas for various conditions.