Home » Travelling to Spain with our dog: part 1 (Pet Friendly?)

Pet friendly?

In my last post The fly in the ointment I let you in on the fact that in the middle of planning to escape the UK winter I had stupidly bought a long-haired Chihuahua. Urgent re-planning required! I’d also decided I wasn’t able to drive a vehicle as far as Spain, so would travel by rail with my pet to achieve sweet freedom from the UK winter…

Pet passports

If you’re planning to take a pet abroad you need to pay a visit to your vet. Firstly, your dog or cat must be chipped. Believe it or not, he or she also needs a rabies injection and its own passport. Don’t worry, the rabies injection didn’t affect my dog in any way, apart from making him rabies proof of course! The injection and passport cost me a total of around £120.

Seat 61

To take a pet abroad from the United Kingdom into Europe, without a vehicle – in other words as a foot passenger – you can only travel on the Newhaven – Dieppe ferry  You return after your holiday on the Dieppe – Newhaven ferry. I learnt this using the very useful Seat 61 website for train travellers. It has a section for those of us who can’t bear to leave the little critters behind when we go off having fun in the sun. This great site gives the low-down on travelling to all parts of Europe, even to Russia. Handy even for folks travelling to the World Cup in 2018 perhaps.

And if you aren’t a pet owner, you’ll be pleased to know the site gives great info for people train travelling, without pets too.

Newhaven port

Newhaven is in Sussex, so first of all you need to get there from wherever you live. For us that involved, believe it or not, 5 train trips! I hope for your sake you live nearer the capital.

We needed to stay overnight in Newhaven because we live so far from London. Here my old friend Airbnb came in useful. Airbnb if you didn’t know allows people to rent out an entire place (a house or an apartment) or just rent out a room in their house. I booked a room a few miles from the ferry terminal, before I left home. In my experience the places you come across, after you’ve booked and arrived, don’t always live up to your expectations. But you have to take the rough with the smooth when you’re travelling. We took the rough, this time. But less of that!

Newhaven is a popular destination for travellers because of the ferry. Accommodation can be £90+ and difficult to find. My advice is to book early to avoid disappointment.

We took the bus to the Airbnb place from Newhaven railway station – that’s 6 journeys to get here.

If you’re lucky enough to be taking a pet abroad, sadly he or she can’t travel with you on the ship. Pets must be slapped in chains in the hold. Well almost!  That doesn’t seem very pet friendly, does it?

And next time I’ll tell you more about all that …

© adewils 2018