Traveling with Dogs

travel with spaniels

Traveling with dogs. AKA: Travel with Spaniels

“I came to realize that I traveled best when I traveled no faster than a dog could trot.” -Gardner McKay, Journey Without a map (2009)

There is so much planning and packing that goes with going on holidays with dogs. Those of you who are parents are probably rolling your eyes and laughing at our novice notions. That is OK. Our dogs are the closest family, to human offspring that we have, so bear with us as we travel with spaniels. Let me introduce our fur babies to you. Maui is a 4 year old boykin spaniel and Dexter is a 6 month old English springer spaniel (tri-colored).

travel with spaniels
He sleeps cradled like an infant!

Planning for your holidays with dogs

There are many variables to consider BEFORE your holidays with dogs. Such as, finding pet friendly lodging, to bring thy crates or not, packing dog food, bringing pet medicine as needed, and planning activities that include the fur babies. When you travel with spaniels or any pup, chances are you want to include them. So, do your research BEFORE the trip!

travel with spaniels

Accommodations when traveling with Dogs

Up until this point, our trips have been to the mountains, the beach, and to visit family. We always take the boys with us to hike. They love it! While most cities, in the USA, don’t allow dogs to enter restaurants (unless they are service dogs), there is plenty of outdoor seating for us to dine as a family.

We usually bring the crates along for bedtime and also for mom and dad to check out the local breweries by nightfall. Our trips have taken us to Chattanooga and Asheville, most recently, and both cities were pleasantly dog friendly. During the past 2 out of 3 adventures, we have used pet friendly Airbnb rentals.

travel with spaniels
The pups are ready for the last hike of the trip
Hiking with dogs

When going on an outing, keep your dogs leashed unless signage specifies otherwise. Once on the trails (or off the beaten path), we unleash the pups and let them roam free. We carry the leashes in case the paths become too crowded. Be sure to keep your dog in sight. Our dogs run ahead of us but know to look for us behind them. Maui is particularly great about leading the way and pausing to check on us every few feet. When you pack snacks and water for yourself, add some for the dogs. We always hike with a water bottle and bag of crunchies or fresh produce for the pups, otherwise, they snack on our sandwiches. Like I said, they are our kids.

travel with spaniels
They like to be superheroes too!
Precautions to take

I shouldn’t have to say this but I will anyway. If your dog doesn’t play well with others (be it humans or animals), consider leaving them at the hotel or at home. Socializing your pets begin with puppy hood. Yes, you can teach old dogs new tricks but some dogs have a scrooge-like personality regardless of training.  Also note, if it is too hot or too cold for you, Fido may be struggling too. Watch for excess panting (dogs can’t sweat), shivering/shaking, red gums/tongue, limping, or blistered paw pads-all are signs your dog needs rest and extra attention. (Of course,  I’m no vet so consult one if troubles arises).

travel with spaniels
Sandy Spaniels!

Lastly, bring all vet records with you on your travels. I keep recent shot records and rabies tags in the Jeep console should a mishap take place. It’s better to have it and not need it… Above all else, have fun making memories with your best furry friends. We know Maui and Dexter won’t live forever, but we can make their years full of joy, treats, new smells, and LOVE.

travel with spaniels
All of my boys were worn out

This post is set in the USA and focuses on outdoor vacations. Look for future posts, once we hit the rode around Europe, Russia, and the UK. We will let you in on the trials and tribulations of motor home life and our travel with spaniels.

Be well and travel often!

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holidays with dogs

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Maegan and Michael are Adventurous Southerners who share their world journey and approach to living the travel lifestyle. You can expect humor and lighthearted banter blended with REAL travel stories and tips. Maegan is a registered dietitian, while Michael has an excerise science background, but both are outdoor lovers, and revel in the beauty of cultures unlike their own. Now, Maegan and Michael are working towards expat life through remote work. Join the adventure. Do you love to travel? Does your full time job or career prevent you from living the life you dream of? This is the duo to follow. Feel free to contact us if you have questions.


  1. Sally says:

    Your dogs are so cute!! I think it is a lot more common to travel with dogs in the US and they have more pet friendly facilities like specific rooms at hotels. It would be great if they did that in Australia so we could travel with our furry friends too.

    1. Maegan says:

      I have realized, from other travelers, that Australia is a bit of a stickler with dogs. So sad! I’m looking forward to our move to Europe with the boys. Europe is pretty dog friendly!

  2. Jim Jones says:

    Very good, practical advice. We have cats rather than dogs – but a lot of this still applies, and it answers many of my questions about how we can travel with our own “fur babies” in tow! Thanks for the tips.
    Jim Jones recently posted…Amsterdam in 5 HoursMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      thanks for reading! Luckily the US is dog friendly like much of Europe. I have cat allergies, so I have ZERO experience with those furry friends!

  3. Anisa says:

    I don’t have any pets now myself, but I know how they really become part of the family. I am glad that you have been able to figure out how to make them a part of your travels. Great tips for other dog owners. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.
    Anisa recently posted…NYC Tenement Museum: Rediscovering the American DreamMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      Thank you for offering that service to other bloggers on YOUR site!

  4. Anda says:

    Good advice! I love my dog and take her anywhere I can. Traveling with dogs is not easy, but is so rewarding. We just took her skiing with us in Lake Tahoe, California. She loves the snow! #TheWeeklyPostcard
    Anda recently posted…6 Things That Will Sound Very Familiar to You If You Were Raised Under CommunismMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      Oh! I have not taken ours to the snow because we really don’t see it near us. We are going to Portland soon but they are staying with family for this trip.

  5. Greg says:

    Wonderful post! Traveling with friends and their furry companions is so much fun, yet brings a different set of challenges from traveling solo. Your outdoor dining idea tip is great! A friend and I found a Red Robin patio and asked if her dog could join us in the shade. The staff consented, and our server happily brought out a water dish and treat. That small act of kindness led to us returning to the restaurant for every post-adventure meal for a couple years. Thank you for sharing, and safe travels!
    Greg recently posted…Why take a BOSS course?My Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      Absolutely! It makes all the difference when restaurants take care and serve the pups too. We haven’t had a restaurant refuse to serve the dogs yet!

  6. Tendelle says:

    Your dogs are so freaking cute! Our furry friends deserve to travel too 🙂 Plus they’re a great way to make friends on the road!

    1. Maegan says:

      You are so right. I’m also the one who pets all the dogs on vacation and later remember their names. Lol

  7. Parampara says:

    Have never dreamt of travelling with dogs! It’s quite a responsibility, also I’d be more scared as to how they’d adapt to the weather and changes. But you guys are doing a great job. I am still thinking over this.
    Does it get easier with time?

    Parampara recently posted…Meet This Young Woman Who Sells Postcards To TravelMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      Yes, it is scary! As with kids, you find what works and they are easier than children lol. It does get better and it helps that we love having them around.

  8. Sara says:

    Whenever I travel, I always miss my dogs first (sorry Mom and Dad)!! I’ve just traveled across provincial borders but I’d love to take them across the border to the States one day this summer. I’ll definitely be saving this article for future reference!

    1. Maegan says:

      HAHA yep, we ask about the boys before checking in on my dad as well. I’m sure they would just LOVE to go wherever you are. I swear, mine are happiest when they are sitting ON my feet in the garden lol

  9. Mary says:

    Those are cute dogs! I wish I could take mine with me on more trips. We live in Dallas and don’t have too many cool places to drive to, we mostly take trips that require flying. Always a nice reminder on best practices for traveling with dogs!

    1. Maegan says:

      Thank you! Well, we are going to have to brave the plane ride next spring. I’m nervous for them but it’ll be worth it in the end.

  10. Julie says:

    Great tips — we love traveling with our dog too. It may seem like a hassle, but it really isn’t, and it’s way better than paying for boarding. 🙂

    1. Maegan says:

      Absolutely! That is what we say too, and who wants to be caged for 2 weeks when you can go hiking with your human.

  11. Your dogs are soooo cute! Happy travels with them! I must admit I don’t meet many people on a long travel with their dogs…

    1. Maegan says:

      I’m glad to hear we are “hopefully” helping to break that mold! These guys are love a good adventure and are just too fun to leave behind!

  12. This was really interesting – I don’t have a dog so didn’t know the kind of things to consider when travelling with them. I miss my cat all the time when I’m away though!

    1. Maegan says:

      Yes, it is so hard to leave our fur babies behind!

  13. Samantha says:

    I used to have a Springer Cocker cross called Dexter and I miss him so much. I love that you can get per friendly Air BnBs. I have no dog at the moment but lots of useful ideas there which I hope to use in the future. I would love to eventually travel with a pet!

    1. Maegan says:

      Oh how sweet! Dexter is quite the handful but I wouldn’t know what to do without him in our family! Maybe someday you can travel with a pup again.

  14. Naomi says:

    I love dogs and my job is the main reason for not getting one (or two). I grew up with 2 English cocker spaniels at my parents and used to have a Welsh Springer Spaniel and a English Springer Spaniel too! My parents now have a new cocker spaniel and she looks just like your Dexter! I love that cheeky tri-color look and those naughty freckles. If I’d get a dog, I’d take her everywhere! Travel with your dog is just so amazing.

    1. Maegan says:

      Aww! How sweet! I LOVE that you grew up in a home of spaniels. I grew of with mini doxies but spaniels have won my heart!

  15. Haley says:

    aww, so lucky you get to bring your dogs with you on your travels! I have pitbulls and they don’t play well with others, unfortunately. but I can only imagine the work that comes along with bringing your animal.. I can barely remember to pack everything I need fr myself lol
    Haley recently posted…The Outer Banks – Nights in RodantheMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      I love pits! Yes, we are lucky that our spaniels are allowed in most places. I totally feel like a mom at times haha (though I have no kids of my own)

  16. […] trips to Asheville, North Carolina with dogs, included our oldest fur baby, Maui. Asheville is very dog friendly, making us fall in love with this city even more! Here’s a guide for your first time visit […]

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