A road trip to Europe is one thing (it's an epic thing if you ask us), but taking the whole family, including your favourite four-legged friends, along for the ride is a recipe for an even more epic European adventure. The bonus? You don't have to think about who can pet-sit for you when you are away - big win. With dog-friendly destinations covering the continent and easy pet travel between European countries, it's no wonder so many people want to take their beloved pooch with them. Read on for some of our top tips when it comes to travelling with pets...
Can I take my dog to France? Good question. The short answer is yes, but we are here to break it down for you because of course, it's not that straightforward. Firstly, and most inconveniently for every pet- and travel-lover, the Eurostar does not allow dogs, cats or any pets on board (unless they are guide dogs), so your pooch won't be able to join you on the train from London to Paris. But fear not - there are other ways of taking your furry friends with you to Europe...
Furry Friends on Ferries
Taking to the seas with your furry friend is a great way to get your pets to Europe, but there are a few things to consider before piling every person and pet in the car. Most ferries will only allow pets on board if they are in a vehicle for the duration of the ferry crossing. If this is a concern, there are shorter ferry crossings during the summer which make leaving your dog or cat in the car an easier choice, or you can always book a pet-friendly cabin on board.
The Purr-fect Eurotunnel
Probably your best (and most convenient) bet when travelling with a pet is the Eurotunnel. Your dog or cat stays in the car with you as you whizz from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes - resulting in a stress-free travel experience for you and your pet. The whole process is a breeze: it's super easy to check-in (particularly with FlexiPlus tickets, which let you choose which train to take), you don't have to be there any earlier than you do sans pet, and there are even dedicated pet-exercise areas and complimentary doggie bags.
Put Your Best Paw-Forward
When it comes to travelling with a pet, there are a few things you'll want to know about before booking your pooch-proof trip. Dogs must be over 12 weeks old to travel and will cost extra on ferries and the Eurotunnel, so will cats (and ferrets, if you must). To travel, your pet has to have a pet passport (no teeth, smiling or glasses in the photo, please), an up-to-date microchip and a rabies jab - make sure you check the specific requirements, such as jabs and worming, with your vet before you travel. Just as you need your snacks and the children need their entertainment, you'll need to pack and plan ahead when travelling with pets. You might want to bring the following: their favourite snacks, lots of water and a bowl, a snuggly bed, spare - well - everything and a toy. Plan lots of driving breaks to stretch their four legs and use up some of their energy, after all no one needs an over-excited furball of fun when driving on the wrong side of the road.
Travelling with your pet is easier than you think, you just need a dash of forward planning, passports - for everyone - and a killer itinerary (we can help here) and your purr-fect family adventure awaits.