4 ways to travel to Europe from the UK with your Dog

Many of us in the UK can’t wait to go abroad on a holiday to somewhere warmer in Europe, say Spain, Greece or Italy.

Those days of traveling might become a reality again soon and if you have a dog and you’re planning to take them with you on a European trip then you will find that you have quite a few ways to get there.

For us two-legged folk, it is quite simple to hop on the Eurostar train to Europe or take a quick flight but if you have a dog and you want to bring them with you on holiday then it is far more challenging to do so, but definitely not impossible.

While some airlines in the UK may allow you to take a small dog with you in the cabin, the majority of them will not allow dogs in the cabin, unless the dogs are assistance or guide dogs. This means if you want to fly with your dog, then they must fly via the cargo hold, or you will have to rent an expensive private plane to take them in the cabin.

But overall, unfortunately, when it comes to pets, the plane and Eurostar options are out of reach for most dogs as these are methods of travel are really only allowed for assistance dogs.

Paris, a short-road trip away from the UK

But fear not, here are four methods to bring your dog with you to Europe from the UK.

  • Driving via the Channel Tunnel

The channel tunnel is a simple and straightforward option for getting to Europe from the UK by car with your dog. You can simply visit the Eurotunnel website, book a ticket and add your dog then you take your car to Folkestone,UK where the channel tunnel is located and board the tunnel train which takes you across the English channel.

If you don’t have a car then you can book a Folkestone taxi or other similar service and travel via the tunnel.

  • Driving via ferry 

If you have access to a car, you can visit one of the many ferry sites that allow for transport between the UK and European countries such as France, The Netherlands, Ireland and more. 

Simply visit the ferry website for the route you wish to travel to and check to see if they allow dogs in that ferry. One of the more common routes is the Dover, UK to Calais, France route. Book a ticket and add a dog(s) and pay.

For many of the ferry routes, your dog will have to stay in your car for the duration of the trip, so do keep the weather in mind. Other routes will have kennels for your dog to stay in, so be sure to prepare accordingly and leave them with plenty of fresh water and their favorite blanket.

Taking the Calais ferry (image: https://www.instagram.com/rockythetraveller/)
  • Foot passenger via ferry

There are a few different routes which allow you to travel via the ferry by foot. Including the route which takes you from Harwich, UK, to Hoek of Holland in the Netherlands. There are a few more routes which allow you take your dog with you with no car. Visit the UK ferry websites online to see which options are available to you and your dog.

  • Carshare via ferry or tunnel

One option which works well if you do not have a car, is carpooling to Europe. You can go with a friend or family who is already going there or you can visit a carpooling site.

Did you know that websites such as BlaBla Car allow you to book a seat in someone’s car who is already planning to travel from the UK to Europe. You can go on the site, search for the cities you plan on going to and find then message drivers and ask if they will allow you to bring your dog. If they do allow you to bring your dog then you can book the seat.

The driver would have to travel via ferry or tunnel as discussed above and then you both agree to a drop off point. This is an option for those who do not have a car and want to travel with their dog.

Check out our video below in which we share the four ways to get to Europe from the UK with your dog.

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