10 Reasons Travel Is Better With Your Dog

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

February 24, 2016

I’ve traveled all over the world, seen famous landmarks, explored ancient ruins, and lounged by the bluest shades of water – and I’ve always done it with my pups, Max and Louise, by my side. You know your dog better than anyone else.  If you have a dog that adjusts quickly to new situations, he can be your best travel companion – and why not travel with your best friend?   Here’s why traveling with your dog is just plain better.

1. Selfies are better with a dog in them.  

Think about visiting landmarks like the Pisa tower in Italy and doing what everybody does there and taking a selfie?  Add a dog and that unforgettable selfie is now an unforgettable dog selfie!  Max was so popular with his selfies that that many people asked us if they could take a selfie with him. That made my day in Pisa!

2. Your dog can go anywhere with you.


Most dogs adapt easily to their owner’s lifestyle. They love to meet new people, places and to have different smells to explore.  Knowing Max and Louise’s preferences and how they react to being on a plane or even on the road are the most important considerations for me when planning a summer or winter vacation.  Our dogs weren’t so familiar with snow, so we brought them skiing! Skiing vacations with Max and Louise are always unforgettable, Max loves to ski with me inside a dog kangaroo carrier bag!

3. Dog padding looks best on a dog, so take them to the pool. 


There are some breeds particularly famed for a strong desire to make a splash. Max and Louise could spend an afternoon enjoying the water while I relax and read my book.  No problem if your dog doesn’t appreciate water at all, you can both relax on a deck chair.  Either way, you will stay cool at the pool with your buddy and enjoy your free time.

4. Dog friendly places can surprise you!

Traveling with Max and Louise means adding extra attention to planning.  For every trip, I always research dog friendly hotels, dog friendly restaurants, dog friendly places to visit and much more. Since our dogs adore the beach, often finding a dog-friendly beach is tough: so we find less popular beaches that are unlikely to be packed.  Traveling with your furry friend can often pull you away from the tourist spots and bring you to the more remote, special locations.  We’ve lived in Portugal since 2014 (Max and Louise are french travelers!) and this is them on one of our favorite quiet beaches.

5. You won’t be alone during lunch and dinner time.


There are a lot of dog-friendly restaurants everywhere I go. I don’t need to leave Max and Louise at the hotel or roasting in the sun outside a restaurant to have lunch or dinner. All it takes is a little research to dine with our canine companions at a nice dog-friendly place. Dogs are usually welcome at outdoor tables, which is not so bad.  Sometimes staff will serve your dog a souvenir water bowl and a treat while you enjoy your meal like they did at this restaurant in Porto, Portugal.

6. A dog can be a wonderful first-captain on a boat.

Max and Louise love boat trips! They are very adaptable and would happily split their time between boat and land life. When we visited Los Roques in 2012, Max spent his time jumping off the boat right in the beautiful Caribbean water to chase the fish. That was an awesome destination! He had so much fun when traveling in Venezuela, where all the beaches are accessible by boat.

7. Lots of historical monuments accept your dog (bet you didn’t know that).

Yes, small dogs are allowed to visit some historical monuments when traveling around the world. In France, Max and Louise could visit many properties of the Loire Valley. ‘Château de Chenonceau’, one of the most beautiful castles of that region allowed them in carriers inside the château, in the park (leashed) and at the outdoor tables of the restaurant. It was so cool to visit that castle with them!

8. Your dog can give you a whole new perspective of your favorite travel destinations.

It is always good when we can see the world from a different perspective! When I travel, nowadays, I always have two perspectives: the photos I’ve taken and the photos taken by Max, the official camera dog of the couple!  It’s so special to create my travel photo albums and add photos “taken” by Max or Louise.  It is a totally different and creative kind of photo album, isn’t it?

9. Sharing your passion (surf/skate/paddle) with a dog is totally possible!


If you usually go on a surf trip with your friends, don’t forget that your dog can love it as well. There are many dogs surfing nowadays and you if you’re willing to train them, they can participate in surf competitions, which we looked into when we were in California.  In my case, I like skateboarding when traveling to Miami. Two years ago when we were in South Beach for the summer, and Louise showed me that she shares the same passion as I do!  You can share your hobby with your dog when traveling – and there’s really nothing better.

10. And finally, you’ll be proud of your dog’s behavior on the way back home!

After many days of travel, your dog will probably be exhausted – Max certainly is.  Even if you travel by car, make sure that your dog is comfortable and secure to sleep all the way back home. When I travel by plane, I always arrive at the airport early to sit at a coffee shop or a restaurant where Max and Louise can relax a little bit before taking the flight.  It is in those moments that I realize that my dogs are more than best friends, they are the best travel companions I could ever ask for!




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Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

February 24, 2016

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