Exploring Europe with a Four-Legged Friend: A Traveler's Guide

By Ivan PetrenkoJun 18, 2024 09:30 AMNews
Woman with the labrador in the park on sunset
Woman with the labrador in the park on sunset. Source: by Adam Griffith on Unsplash

Travel enthusiast Alice has embarked on a unique journey, exploring nine European countries with her chocolate Labrador, Hector. This adventure highlights the possibilities for pet owners who wish to include their furry companions in their travels.

As the holiday season nears, many tourists face the dilemma of leaving their dogs behind. Pet hotels can be costly, making it feel like you're paying for two vacations. Alice, 27, from Essex, offers an alternative approach by traveling with Hector. Together, they share their experiences on Instagram and TikTok under the handle @Hectorthechocolabo, with over 400k followers.

Despite new travel regulations, Alice demonstrates that traveling with pets is still feasible. She emphasized the importance of having the correct travel documents. "Make sure you have all the necessary travel documents for your dog," Alice advised, highlighting the need for an animal health certificate and a rabies vaccination. Detailed information is available on the government website.

Alice and Hector have visited nine countries, including France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, and Belgium. Among these destinations, Alice found the Netherlands, especially Amsterdam, to be the most welcoming. "Everything we did there was dog friendly, from the cities to the smaller towns and villages," she said. Cafes and restaurants welcomed Hector, often offering water and even blankets.

Alice's favorite destination is Switzerland, admired for its stunning scenery. They visited during winter, experiencing heavy snowfall which Hector enjoyed. "We stayed in a lovely Airbnb in the Swiss Alps with beautiful walks on our doorstep. It was an experience I’ll never forget," she shared.

When selecting accommodations, Alice generally uses Airbnb to find dog-friendly options. She ensures the places are suitable for large dogs and have enclosed gardens. "We have also stayed in a few dog-friendly hotels in cities like Paris, Amsterdam, Bruges, and Brussels," she added, noting that some hotels have weight limits for dogs, so checking in advance is crucial.

Traveling across Europe, Alice and Hector frequently use the Eurostar, finding it convenient and pet-friendly. The Eurostar offers a smooth pet check-in process and allows easy car transport. They also used a car train in Switzerland, enjoying the scenic views and snowfall during their journey.

Alice highlighted the ease of using public transport in various countries, where Hector was warmly received. "Hector would lay down by our feet and many people gave him a fuss. We have never had any issues when traveling with Hector on public transport."

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