Road Trip.

How to Make Travel to Europe With Your Dog Easy!

Last Updated on 28/03/2024 by Claire Coney

If you love travelling and have a furry friend, you might wonder how to plan a road trip from the UK to Europe with your dog. Travelling with your dog can be a rewarding and fun experience, but it also requires some preparation and research. I plan to take my two dogs on a European road trip this year, so I thought I would share my information with you. Here are some tips to help you plan a successful road trip with your canine companion.  

Trip with dogs to Europe
Road Trip with my dogs.

1. What Do I Need to Take My Dog into Europe?  

Get the necessary documents and vaccinations for your dog. Depending on where you travel from and to, you will need different documents and vaccinations for your dog. The most common ones are:  

  • A microchip or a transponder that complies with ISO standards  
  • A rabies vaccination that is valid and administered at least 21 days before travel  
  • An EU health certificate or an EU pet passport that contains your dog’s microchip number, rabies vaccination date, and other health information  
  • A tapeworm treatment if you are travelling to Finland, Ireland, Malta, Norway, or the UK  

You should consult your vet and the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting for specific requirements and regulations. You should also carry copies of all the documents and keep them handy if you are asked to show them at the border or elsewhere.  

Top Tip: Remember to shop around as the vet fees for an EU health certificate can vary widely.  

2. How Can I Transport My Dog to Europe   

Choose A suitable mode of transportation for your dog. Depending on the distance and duration of your European trip, you might want to consider different options for transporting your dog. Some of the most common ones are:  

By Car

Driving your car or renting one. This gives you the most flexibility and control over your itinerary and stops. You can also bring your crate, harness, or dog guard to secure your dog in the car. However, you should also factor in the cost of gas, tolls, parking, and possible car troubles.  

I prefer to travel with my dogs in my car where possible. It allows me to monitor my furry friends closely and ensure that they are comfortable during the journey. I can travel at a time when it suits me and my 2 dogs and adjust the journey to avoid traffic or the heat on a hot day. I can also stop for walks, food, walk and relaxation along the way. By adapting your road trip to your dog’s individual needs, it will make your road trip easier for you all. 

Dogs in the car - Trip to Europe - Taking a break.
My Dogs in the car – Prepartions for our trip to Europe.

By Train or Bus

Taking a train or a bus. This can be a convenient and affordable way to travel across Europe with your dog. However, not all trains or buses accept dogs, and some might charge extra fees or have size or weight restrictions. You should also check if you need a reservation or a ticket for your dog and if they need to be in a crate or a muzzle.  

By Plane

Flying with your dog. This can be a fast and easy way to reach your destination, but it can also be stressful and expensive for you and your dog. You will need to check the airline’s policies and regulations regarding travelling with pets, such as fees, crate size, weight limits, health certificates, etc. You will also need to decide if your dog can fly in the cabin or the cargo hold. This will depend on their size and temperament.  

3. How Do I Plan a Route and Itinerary Through Europe with My Dog  

Plan your route and itinerary carefully. When planning a road trip to Europe with your dog, you should consider their needs and preferences as well as yours. Some things to keep in mind are:  

  • The weather and climate of your destination and stops. You should avoid travelling to places that are too hot or too cold for your dog or that have extreme weather conditions that might affect their health or comfort.  
  • The attractions and activities that you want to do with your dog. You should look for places that are dog-friendly and that offer opportunities for fun and exercise for your dog, such as parks, beaches, trails, etc. You should also avoid places that are crowded, noisy, or stressful for your dog, such as museums, monuments, restaurants, etc.  
  • The accommodation options that are available for you and your dog. You should look for hotels, hostels, campsites, or other places that accept dogs and that provide adequate facilities and amenities for them, such as water bowls, beds, toys, etc. You should also check the reviews and ratings of other travellers who have stayed there with their dogs.  
Claire in the car on a raod trip.
Me on a Road Trip.

4. Pack Smart for A Road Trip to Europe with Your Dog  

Pack smartly and efficiently for your dog. When packing for a road trip to Europe with your dog, you should bring only the essentials and avoid overpacking. Some of the items that you should pack for your dog are:  

  • Food and water bowls  
  • Enough food and treats for the duration of the trip  
  • Bottled water or a water filter  
  • A leash and a collar with an ID tag  
  • A crate or a carrier  
  • A harness or a seat belt  
  • A blanket or a bed  
  •  A first-aid kit  
  • Poop bags  
  • Toys and chews  
  • Grooming supplies  
  • Medications if needed  

You should also pack some items for yourself that will make travelling with your dog easier and more enjoyable, such as:  

  • A camera or a phone to capture the memories  
  • A map or a GPS to navigate the roads  
  • A guidebook or an app to find dog-friendly places  
  • A flashlight or a headlamp to walk your dog at night  

Final Thoughts…  

Now you are ready to start planning your road trip from the UK to Europe. Let me know in the comments below where your trip will take you.   

Don’t forget to return to The Fido Trail for more dog-friendly tip and to follow my road trip to Europe with my two dogs.  

Further Reading 

Travelling with a dog in a car

How do I keep my dog safe in the car when travelling

UK Gov – Take your pet dog aboard.

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