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