Backpacking Europe with Pets

English bulldog dog puppy

[Carmelka]/[iStock]/Thinkstock

One of the biggest reasons many travelers are not also pet owners is the responsibility of having your animals watched after while you are off seeing the world. But, some pet loving travelers can’t resist the loyal companionship or the wanderlust and manage to merge the two together.

Accommodation
Most hostels do not allow pets, so you’re options are going to get reduced to large, pet-friendly hotels and campgrounds. If you’re traveling during the summer, a campground is an ideal way to stay on a low budget and travel with your pet.

Transportation
Most trains allow you to bring your pet on-board. However, some trains may require you to pay an extra fare for transporting your loyal friend. Some may require you to place the animal in a cargo carrier, or charge you to use one owned by the rail company. Such fees can get expensive quickly. Researching the trains you’ll take beforehand will help reduce the chance of hidden fees.

Pet Passport
The E.U. Uses pet passports to help ensure that all pet travel is in accordance with national border health and safety concerns. The passport is a collection of documents which verify that your pet has been micro-chipped for identification and vaccinated against rabies and tapeworms.

Resources
Carefully consider the added resources that you’ll need when traveling with a pet. Food, harnesses, leashes and other necessities take up space quickly, especially when backpacking. Before deciding on whether to take your pet, take a few practice trips near your home. Experiment by taking public transportation while carrying everything you and your pet might need for a few days away from home.

Considerations
Even with regulations set up to help coordinate your traveling with pets, problems can occur. Traveling with a pet only increases your chances of border holdups and accommodation problems. In short, traveling with a pet will almost always create some loss of mobility. But, traveling with a pet can be an exceptional rewarding experience and

By Patrick Hutchison

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