What are your post-pandemic plans?
A party with friends? Reunions with family?
If you’re a travel lover, chances are you’re probably considering an international adventure of some sort too.
And good for you! Taking off for a few months to experience the world in all its glory? Well, it’s a nomad’s dream.
It’ll have a few challenges of course, especially if you’re a dog owner. You might be reluctant to leave your four-legged best friend behind in the care of family, friends or a kennel – and why should you?
With a little creative thinking, there are plenty of ways to travel with your pooch at your side, and these four tips will help you plan the perfect trip for you and your pup.
1. Plan ahead!
Ok, so this goes without saying for any journey.
But traveling with pets can be harder in ways that might just surprise you.
For instance, how are planning to get around? Is your dog used to traveling by car? If not, how can you make the experience easier for him or her?
Get some practice in before you go – use those rainy afternoons to take your pup on a test drive around your local area. These outings can start with short trips to the shop or local green spots and get gradually longer to ease your dog into the experience of being in the car. If your pet struggles with stress or motion sickness in vehicles, it’s worth reaching out to a veterinarian, who may be able to prescribe medication to take the edge off during that training phase.
Make sure they’re properly secured in the vehicle – a dog’s head poking out the window may make for a funny picture on your Instagram, but it’s important your pet is safely tucked in at all times when you’re on the move. Crates are a comfortable way to seat your dog in the back of the car provided it’s a good size for them, while doggy car seats are an acute and cozy option to help your best buddy ride shotgun safely.
If you are planning to drive on your trip, there are car rentals out there that will allow pets in their vehicles, but you’ll have to seek them out, and they may well charge more than others. Alternatively, many train services including the Eurotunnel will permit dogs provided they are well-behaved – again, training your dog on short journeys in preparation for your trip may help.
You may come across similar challenges with hotels, hostels, and other establishments, who will often specifically ban guests from brings dogs, whilst others may welcome them with open arms – your best bet is to do the research ahead of time.
2. Pack smart
You have items you wouldn’t want to be left without in a foreign country, from your toothbrush to your lucky charm or travel mascot.
And your dog will probably feel the same! She won’t need her own suitcase, but a couple of toys, treats, and other supplies are good to have to hand.
If you’re not sure what you can or can’t take on a plane, do some research to find out what products are available in the country you’re traveling to. If nothing else, it could be the chance to make a few savings and will also help you pack light – there’s no need to carry excess baggage if you can source those essentials at a good price once you reach your destination!
Consider climate too when packing – doggy jackets are not just an adorable accessory, but one which can give your furry friend a little extra warmth in cold conditions. Conversely, if you have a particularly hirsute pup, their luscious fur may be something of a hindrance in warm weather. Be sure to keep them hydrated and try to keep them well-groomed – a professional trim before you embark on your adventure might be in order!
3. Find dog-friendly activities
Finding unrestricted dog-friendly activities may well be the hardest part of your trip, but Can We Take The Dog has some great resources on dog-friendly locations in the UK for those looking for trips close to home.
If you’re venturing further afield, you’ll find plenty of similar resources online specific to your destination, but as mentioned previously, it’s a good idea to call or email ahead and check with places like hotels and restaurants on their dog policies, particularly as these may have changed due to Covid restrictions.
Beaches are usually a safe bet as they are generally welcome to dogs, although again it’s advisable to check ahead in advance. And if you are planning a trip to the seaside, heed the aforementioned weather advice too to keep them cool, and when in doubt, bring plenty of water and find an umbrella-shaded spot for them to catch their breath if they need a moment out of the sun.
Taking your canine on vacation might be an unconventional venture, but it could just be an opportunity to bring in a little extra cash!
After all, all travelers need to support themselves, and there are plenty of ways to run a side business on the road. Dog owners rely on all sorts of services, such as pet-sitting, grooming, and walking – all of which could be afoot in the door to a pet owner with the right experience looking to make a quick buck.
For those with big entrepreneurial ambitions, a remote Business Management BA from flexible study institutions like ARU Distance Learning from distancelearning.anglia.ac.uk can help to kickstart a brand that crosses borders, whilst those with smaller goals in mind might look instead to research the best way to source customers and manage administrative concerns like tax whilst earning abroad.
Besides, meeting new people is one of the most exciting aspects of any travel adventure, and a canine enterprise can be a fantastic opportunity for both you and your companion to meet many new friends, including four-legged ones!
There are plenty of pros to having a companion on the road, and hopefully, these tips will help you both make the most of your journey!