The COVID19 pandemic has led to more and more staycations in the UK with overseas countries offering limited travel options and the cost of getting a COVID19 test before and after travelling not justifiable for many. While international locations are set to reopen in the future, if you’re in need of a break, visiting somewhere in the UK could be the ideal alternative option for you. And one of the best parts about taking a staycation is that it’s much easier to take your dog with you. There’s no need to worry about choosing an airline that allows pets or quarantining your furry friend when you arrive; you can simply take them with you in the car. But there are several things to consider before you plan a holiday with your dog – here are some tips to keep in mind.
Why Travel With Your Dog?
Your dog is an important member of your family and it’s not uncommon for dog owners to miss their pets a lot when travelling without them, even Facetiming them every day and getting regular updates from whoever is pet sitting. There are plenty of reasons to consider taking a staycation with your dog this year while staycations are the best option for many. Not only can it be good for your mental and physical health, but it gives you a chance to bond and make memories with your pet and family together. Plus, it’s much cheaper compared to travelling abroad without your pet since you don’t have to arrange for somebody to look after and walk your dog while you’re gone.
Preparing for the Journey:
Driving to your destination is probably the best option to consider if you want to take your dog on a staycation. There are several things to keep in mind while preparing for the journey, especially when it comes to your dog’s comfort and safety. Make sure that your dog is suitably and safely secured in the car; you can do this using a special harness attachment that clips into the seatbelt so that your dog has their own seat while still being able to move somewhat freely on the journey. Make sure that your dog is hydrated with a travel water bowl and bottle and plan your journey around a few stops for toilet breaks and short walks. If your dog isn’t used to being in the car, it’s a good idea to take them out for a few journeys before you head on your staycation to get them accustomed to it. Bear in mind that some dogs can be prone to car sickness, so it might be worth avoiding giving them a big meal before you go. Never leave your dog unattended in the car since the inside of the vehicle can heat up very quickly even on a cloudy day.
You should also prepare for any accidents. Packing a first aid kit and purchasing pet insurance will give you peace of mind while you're on holiday with your best friend.
Picking Somewhere to Stay:
The best part about planning a staycation in the UK with your dog is that the country is filled with dog-friendly accommodation. From hotels that welcome dogs to entire holiday cottages and caravans where you can stay with your pet, you should not have a problem finding a great place to stay. You can easily find somewhere on booking.com and other popular travel accommodation sites by making sure to select dog-friendly in the filters when making your search. Rural areas rather than city breaks tend to be a better option for those travelling with a dog since there are usually more dog-friendly accommodation options and dog-friendly pubs and restaurants in the local area.
Walks and Activities:
It’s worth doing some research into the area that you want to stay in the UK to see what’s available that is dog-friendly. Bear in mind that many popular beaches in the UK have dog-free zones or dogs might even be completely banned, so if you want a UK beach break, it’s well worth looking into this information before you book to ensure that you will be able to take your dog on the beach with you. Check out the local walking paths and other options for exercising your dog nearby to make sure that there’s plenty available where you can have fun and even meet up with other dog walkers locally while you are there. If you want to visit tourist attractions in the area, check out what is available that’s dog-friendly.
Some dogs might be a little stressed and anxious when they are moved to an unfamiliar place, so it’s worth keeping this in mind when heading on a staycation with your dog. Of course, having you there with familiar sounds and smells will help your dog stay calm and settle in, but there are several other things that you can do to help them easily transition to staying in holiday accommodation including bringing something comfortable that they recognise from home such as their favourite blanket, bed, or soft dog toy.
Read the Small Print:
Finally, if you have found the perfect dog-friendly accommodation for you, it’s important to always read the fine print before you book to ensure that it’s going to be right for you and your dog. Bear in mind that just because accommodation is dog-friendly it does not always mean that it’s going to be a good fit. For example, some dog-friendly holiday cottages don’t allow dogs to get on the furniture or go upstairs, which might be a problem if this is something you are happy for your dog to do and they are used to doing it. It’s also worth finding out more about whether or not you will be able to leave your dog unattended at the property or if there are options for somebody to take your dog while you visit attractions that aren’t dog-friendly, for example. If your dog needs to be crated if you leave them alone at the property, will a crate be available for you, or do you need to bring your own? Do you need to pay a security deposit to cover any potential dog-related damage?
With UK staycations on the rise, it’s the perfect time to plan a memorable and fun trip with your dog.