I ‘m always impressed with my good friend and fellow travel blogger Kevin Wagar and his wife from the Wandering Wagars for taking their children to places around the world that don’t involve giant rodents in theme parks. As you know I’m qualified to make that statement since I have a diploma in child development and know how difficult it is to get a child to eat their vegetables let alone take them to a whole new part of the world
But what about your pet (more specifically your four legged friend). I assume leave it with family, friends or worse case a doggie daycare. That’s what I do with my pet leopard gecko “Gekkzilla” (which isn’t cheap btw). But, the thought of bringing your dog with you on your travels never really crossed my mind until now.
Name(s): Shandos Cleaver
Travel Blog: Travelnuity | https://travelnuity.com
Blog Content: I’ve recently rebranded Travelnuity to focus on dog-friendly travel. After realizing the only way to reconcile my love of traveling and of my Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel was to take him along on my travels, I realized there was a shortage of information about traveling with a dog. Whether that was about sight-seeing, the best transport options or where to stay.
On my blog, I’m aiming to provide honest and informative help to other dog-loving travelers, as well as simply inspire people to travel with their dog.
- How do you incorporate dog-friendly travel into your travels? How do you prepare? Can you give us some tips?
As my husband and I are traveling full-time with our dog, Schnitzel, it’s something that is constantly incorporated! There’s no ignoring the fact I’ve got a four-legged friend who I need to take into consideration in all of my plans. In particular, I try and plan our transport well in advance. (Trains and hire cars work best for us, while many budget airlines and coaches don’t allow dogs.)
While traveling at first with a dog seems hard, it gets easier with practice. If you’re traveling with your dog for the first time, send an email to double check the rules for pets before booking your accommodation. Also investigate whether they’re allowed on transport, inside attractions or in restaurants. Ideally, try and travel somewhere that is particularly dog-friendly for your first trip! You’ll quickly work out whether your dog is happy traveling and what works best for you.
- Share one of your favorite travel stories…How do these type of experiences change you as a person?
Some of my most memorable travel experiences have involved climbing mountains. For instance, I met my husband through going hiking with him and a mutual friend, when they were starting training for an attempt on Kilimanjaro. The mutual friend ended up changing his plans, and instead, I started training with my now husband. A year after we met, after a lot of weekends spent training and a hard slog on the final ascent, we ended up both reaching the summit! Then, a few years later, we got married.
On my current trip to Europe, when we were in Wales we climbed to the top of Mt Snowdon, its tallest peak, along with Schnitzel. It was a tough but doable ascent (with just a few stretches of being carried) for a dog with such short legs – definitely the shortest legs on the mountain! (Someone along the way joked that he had been a Doberman when he left the car park!) Achieving something like that made me realize that if you want to do something, such as traveling with your dog, it’s possible if you want it hard enough!
- What are your top 5 travel rules that you follow every time you travel and why?
- Always have travel insurance, whether with your credit card or purchased outright, and know if there are exclusions. It’s horrible to hear of people with huge medical bills they can’t pay, as they didn’t travel with travel insurance.
- Try and travel with a carry-on only. It’s so liberating, not to mention cheaper if you’re traveling with budget airlines. I did this last year when traveling around Asia for 6 months (swimming costumes and summer tops don’t take up much room!) and find it frustrating this wasn’t possible on my current Europe trip with Schnitzel.
- Try and plan a lot (but not everything) in advance. In particular, work out details for transport connections and find out whether any museums you’re planning to visit are closed one day of the week. This is extra worthwhile when traveling with a dog.
- Don’t splurge on a hotel room if you’re barely going to be in it, apart from sleeping. I like to stay somewhere comfortable but will only spend extra if I’m going to be spending a lot of time on site and making use of the facilities.
- Walking is the best way to explore cities, especially if you have a dog.
- What are your top 5 travel hacking tips and tricks?
- When traveling by train in Europe, try and book long-distance trains well in advance. With our train from Switzerland to Italy, it would have cost us 3 times more if we booked it the day before instead of 2 weeks in advance.
- Also in Europe, avoid one-way car rentals across country borders. Assuming it’s actually allowed, the one-way fee will be prohibitive; return the car in the same country, even if it’s still one-way, then take a train. Also, check if you’re allowed to take your car to other countries, and any extra costs.
- Never let the funds in your credit card get too low, especially if you’re hiring cars! Holds can be expensive, especially with discount car rentals.
- If travelling with a dog, avoid dog surcharges for accommodation by staying in Airbnbs, which rarely charge a fee. Double bonus if you’re driving a car and can park if for free, rather than pay for the privilege.
- Ignore the check-in time listed for a hotel. I’ve often turned up before check-in time and straight away been given a room, even at 10 in the morning. If you’re hesitant, just say “I know check-in time isn’t yet, but is my room ready?”
- What are your top 5 travel things you must bring in your carry on, purse and/or satchel?
- Bottle of water, refilled after security
- My laptop and phone
- Something to read
- Spare change of underwear
- My contact lenses (although I wear glasses on the flight)
- What is the most prized souvenir you brought back from abroad and what’s its story?
Even when I had my own house, I was never a big buyer of souvenirs. My photos are by far my most valuable memento.
- Where are you off to next and what are hoping to experience, eat, see and/or learn?
My husband and I are attempting to visit every UNESCO site in the world. Currently, I’ve been to 179 out of a total of 1073, with my husband just behind. For the next 2 months, we’re travelling through Central Europe, including Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland, visiting the UNESCO sites we haven’t been to yet. We’ve mainly only visited the big cities, so I’m looking forward to exploring the countryside, and hopefully trying some local wine.
- Thanks Shandos for taking the time to talk with me. So much great information for those considering (or those who never considered) bringing their dogs on travels
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Using the latest travel apps, technology, and gear, I take a city; see the sights, taste the food, smell the roses, hear the stories and feel the love. All in 48 hours. Then, using videography & editing, photography and writing I retell and share those stories with my readers and viewers.
I'm Christopher Rudder and welcome to Rudderless.
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