When my mum and dad fell in love and decided to leave Spain together for a romantic adventure in Morocco, they weren’t exactly thinking of adopt a stray dog. Let’s be honest. Is it a good idea to start breeding like rabbits when you’ve only just started dating someone? No! Because you don’t know each other well enough to judge wether they would be a good life partner. They might fart a lot or sound like a bear when they’re asleep, you never know…
In my case, there was no time for such luxury. My mum and dad had to make a very quick decision: adopt me, or leave it to fate and pray I end up in some loving family. So after only two months together, mum and dad crossed their fingers, hoped very hard that they were a good match for each other, and came back to Spain to adopt me. One year later, my parents still love each other to the moon and back, and couldn’t be happier of their decision to be my parents. I am their very first, beloved ‘baby’! Even though I am a dog, I am definitely their baby… See picture below for striking proof.
But besides all the fun, cuteness and love I bring to their lives, am I not also cramping their style a bit? They are full-time travellers, are they not? Exactly how much is travelling with a dog a pain in the bumbum? Everything comes with a price, that is true. But my parents told me that they wouldn’t have it any different. So, precisely how difficult does my presence make our travels?
Because we only travel by land, we don’t really have any problems transportwise. Almost all trains we use accept dogs (or small purse dogs, in which case I work very hard to fit into mum’s lap and be as tiny as possible).
We also often use Blablacar, a super ride-sharing service you can find online. We have had no problems at all with any of the drivers, and they usually really really love me! Taxis drivers aren’t usually that excited to see me, and often bump their prices up. But mum always carries a big blanket with her so she can convince the driver that his taxi will stay clean and doggy hair-free! One time a driver was really scared that I might pee everywhere. Pffff. Do I look like a silly puppy to you?! I am TWO YEARS OLD, SIR! Almost…
The only big difficulty is travelling by bus. You are allowed to travel with a dog in most buses, but you need a big travel crate to put the dog in. And that’s a problem for us. One, because all our belongings fit into two backpacks. Where do you put a dog crate when you live like that? And two, because my parents would never put me in a dark space under the bus where it’s hot and stinky and suitcase-y!
#2 Crossing borders
This can be a stressful part of dog-travelling. Especially when you come out of countries with a high level of rabies! Luckily, we haven’t had any problems so far. Most border officers aren’t interested in seeing my passport. And if they do, they sort of flip through it real quick without knowing what look for. I think they just want me to get out of their hair! But in any case, I am 100% healthy and have all my vaccinations! It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Airbnb is our primary accommodation tool. Why? Because they have an awesome filter system that allows you to only see options that fit your needs! We always tick three boxes: #Pets allowed, #Internet and #Kitchen. That last one may seem unnecessary to the untrained traveller, but trust me, it isn’t. We once rented a place that had a microwave and a spoon and absolutely nothing else in terms of kitchenery. Lesson learned. With these filters set up, we don’t even see the accommodations where pets are not allowed. How can you miss something you never knew existed? Only Turkey and Morocco had only a few (nice) rentals where I was allowed, but most countries have plenty!
We slowly found out that not every accommodation that allows dogs is a guarantee for a pleasant stay. Some of them will welcome dogs, but offer very little in terms of “green space”. As in a dog’s gotta poo and run. We once rented a beautiful home that didn’t have a single square of grass for miles. Only cement. And that’s no fun. Now, we always look for places which are in the nature or have a big enclosed garden, or worst case, are next to a park.
So if you are a dog with a passion for travelling, let your parents read this article to convince them to take you on their next trip!