Planning a road trip around Europe with a dog

dog paws

Planning a road trip around Europe for yourself is one thing, but once you are taking your dog with you as I often do, there are some especial things you will need to take into consideration. Don’t worry, it is not complicated, it is just some extra work.

I have done many road trips with Enzzo around Europe. I like it, he loves it! We traveled by car to 10 different European countries, and each one of these trips has taught me tricks and the best way to plan a road trip around Europe with a dog. If you ever consider or are considering taking your dog with you on your next road trip in Europe, the following tips will certainly help you out with the planning…

Passport and vaccines

Planning a road trip around Europe with a dog. By Packing my Suitcase.

One of the most important things to do when you start planning your trip is to get a passport for your dog (every European country issues this document, which contains your pet’s vaccines and information, normally at the vet) and make sure that his vaccines are up to date.

It might be that when you are crossing the border from one country to the other, you are requested to show your dog’s passport. Even after all this traveling, crossing one border here and other there, I was never asked to show Enzzo’s passport. However, in order to avoid any surprises, carry it always with you. I always keep it together with my passport.

Hotel reservation

Now that you’ve checked that everything is ok with the passport, it’s time to really get that road trip planned and start looking for a pet friendly hotel (like this one).

I normally book my hotels on and once in a while with Expedia or HRS. In any case, all of them show the option Pets Allowed in their filters. As you can see here:

Planning a road trip around Europe with a dog. By Packing my Suitcase.Beside the option you normally find a number, which corresponds to how many hotels that accept pets within your search. You may also find this sign at the hotel description too:

Planning a road trip around Europe with a dog. By Packing my Suitcase.

Once you find a option and click on it, you will see at the end of the hotel information something like this:

Planning a road trip around Europe with a dog. By Packing my Suitcase.

or this:

Planning a road trip around Europe with a dog. By Packing my Suitcase.

It is important to notice that some hotels say that they accept pets, but sometimes you may find a restriction to pets with up to 25Kg for example. So you may want to check this before you click on book, in case your dog is heavier.

Once you find the hotel you like and that also accepts pets, you may look at the end of your hotel’s information if they charge you extra for you dog. Most don’t charge, while others may charge a daily fee (5€ to 10€) or a unique fee for the entire stay.

The extra costs

You have to keep in mind that there must be some extra costs for bringing your dog along with you on a road trip. The hotel fee is one of them, but you also should check if in the city you are going to, you will need to pay for public transportation too, in case you are taking your puppy on the bus/subway.

In case you are wondering, restaurants don’t charge for your dog if you decide to take him/she to one.

Explore the city or stay at the hotel?

Decide whether you are taking your dog to explore the city with you or not. It is important to check if dogs are allowed in certain attractions. I have noticed that they are never allowed in museums for example. You can check this on the attraction’s website.

I normally leave Enzzo at the hotel if we are exploring the city. I believe this way I prevent him from being stressed out, some attractions are too crowded and noisy depending on the city. I don’t know about your dog, but mine is very calm, sleeps the entire day and doesn’t mind being alone for a few hours. Of course, he puts that sad face when I say bye, but he never destroys anything.

On the other hand, if I am planning to do something more relaxed, like wandering around and stopping to eat or drink somewhere, then it’s fine to take him along. Besides, some cities are very pet friendly, San Marino is one of them:

Sign at a restaurant in San Marino.

Sign at a restaurant in San Marino.

** If you decide to leave your dog at the hotel, make sure to put the Do not disturb sign outside your room. Once a cleaning lady freaked out when she saw that there was a dog in our room!

What will you need for the car? 

Planning a road trip around Europe with a dog. By Packing my Suitcase.

Apart from booking a pet friendly hotel and checking the possible extra costs, you need to think of what your dog will need for the road. And here are some essential items:

  • His/her bed or a blanket
  • Dog crate (if it is your dog’s case)
  • Water container
  • Some snacks and food
  • Poop bags
  • Toys

A more detailed packing list is coming up in a future post.


The things you find on the road!

Once you know how long it will take until your final destination, try to plan a few stops. Your dog might not only want to pee or poop, but he/she might also need to get some fresh air and stretch the legs. Every 3 hours is fine, besides, you might also need a break too!

Before leaving

Before leaving the house, make a checklist and see if you aren’t forgetting something. Don’t forget to take your friend for a walk so he/she can relief himself/herself and stretch the legs before getting into the car. Also, make sure to give water and food to your furry friend.

Planning a road trip around Europe with a dog. By Packing my Suitcase.

All set? Awesome! Have fun and a safe trip!

 Have you ever taken your dog on a road trip with you?


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Planning a road trip around Europe with a dog

About Allane

A Brazilian living in Germany. Married to W. mommy to a baby girl and a Golden Retriever. Traveler, writer, aspiring photographer, diver, wine appreciator, Formula 1 fan, avid reader of historical and young adult fictions books. City girl, nature lover, believer of a better world, one little change at a time.

  • Gin

    I love the new design of your website ! But it’s too bad we can’t comment with our wordpress login anymore… 🙁 Unless once we comment we are registered forever ?

    Gin from Darwin on the rocks

    • Hi Gin, thank you so much!! Happy that you liked the new look 😀
      Ohh don’t worry, now you are registered, so every time you come I believe you will already be signed in 😀
      Sorry that I had to change 🙁

      • Gin

        You were not happy with the previous plugin ?

        • It wasn’t a plug in, it was from WordPress. Now that I migrated to self hosted I decided to choose Disqus, because it’s also easy for people without WordPress to comment and the system is very organized to reply 😀

          • Gin

            Oh I thought you were already self hosted before 😀

          • No no 😀
            I am actually still on the process, so many things to fix!!

  • Hanne – Places People Stories

    I love that you travel so much with your dog! I had no idea about many of these things, as I actually never traveled with mine. But they are all great tips to know. It does not seem to hard to travel with pets, as I was thinking.
    I also like your new design on your page 🙂

    • Yess Hanne, is not so complicated traveling with them. It is actually pretty fun, and different 😀 I like to have him around, so whenever I am traveling by car I take him along.
      Thank you dear, happy that you liked the new look 😀

  • That sleeping photo is the SWEETEST. Glad you get to bring along your bud 🙂

    • hahaha cute isn’t it? <3
      Yes, I am ver happy when I am able to take him along… whenever I have to leave him I miss him all the time… and I get worried about how he is doing and all <3

  • hahaha you are right Ting, in a way Enzzo is like a baby for me… I can never be so flexible to travel as I always need to think of him… and if we are taking him, more preparation is needed.
    I am very happy that vast majority of hotels in Europe accept dogs, in Brazil things are quite different 🙁
    Ohh I didn’t know you have cat <3

  • Dear Nihar, sorry for the change 😀
    Don’t worry, I am still here and I’m not going anywhere! I have just migrated my blog to a self hosted one, but all will be fine 😀 Thank you so much for your kind words and support as always! Happy that you liked the new look… it is good to change sometimes 😉

    We will keep in touch, don’t worry 😉
    It is always nice to read your comments!!


    • Nihar Pradhan

      I will not lie Allane but I was bit concern that such beautiful discussion between us came to an abrupt halt or I thought you have changed the protocol for discussion and have imposed restriction on friends like us, it is now assuring and thanks for such lovely words and yes, looking forward to our insightful discussion as and when you find time.
      Indeed change is what makes our life more exciting and I am for such beautiful change.
      Best wishes once again Allane for your Europe trip…

      • You are very sweet Nihar!! Yes we will still have many great discussions. Changes are sometimes necessary 😀 I am also still getting used to it.
        Thank you so much for your kind words. I have to catch up with your blog soon 😀
        Have a great day!

  • Such a useful post if you’re planning to travel with your dog – we don’t have one but we look after our friend’s dog while they’re away. It’s great to have a little doggie fix now and then! Love the new look 🙂

    • Awnnn how cool that you take care of your friend’s dog!!
      I know many people who would like to take their dogs in a road trip in Europe but feel afraid that it is too complicated, so I decided to help out and explain how I do my planning 🙂

      Happy that you liked the new look 😀 thank you!!

  • hahaha cute isn’t it? 😀

  • Awnn, sad that she doesn’t like cars or going to the vet!! Poor her 🙁 maybe if you take her with you she might get used to it, bring all her nice toys and bed, plus snacks… probably after the first trip she will feel better in the car.

    Ohh sorry… is Disqus that bad? 🙁

  • hahaha thank you 🙂

  • Hi Ashley, I have traveled with Enzzo by train before, inside Switzerland, when we used to live there. What I know is that normally you need to pay a child ticket for your dog, and I recommend you to check with the company in terms of transportation. Fox example, for small dogs they normally ask them to be in a crate, and sometimes for big dogs, they need to wear a muzzle no matter the breed. So before you leave, make sure to read the rules of the train companies just to make sure 😀

  • Happy to know that 😀

  • Alexia Erlichman

    I might be crazy, but I am planning a trip to Europe from NYC via Cunard cruises to Southampton, then road tripping down to Florence likely over the course of about a month. Cunard allows dogs on this voyage! Am I crazy to contemplate bringing our 4 legged child? He’s not a small boy – 62lbs. Is it easy to find pet friendly hotels? Thanks for any info!

    • Hi Alexia! I don’t think you are crazy, and yes, it’s easy to find pet friendly hotel anywhere in Europe. You only have a problem: arriving in the UK. The UK is pretty complicated when it comes to foreign animals, they require quarantine, which I dont think you will agree to. If it was to other European countries, then it would be manageable as far as I know, since you would need vaccination and some other bureaucracies that can be done back home. However, with the UK everything is more complicated, even for dog that are already living in Europe. I hope this information helps you 🙂