Trip through Europe with my dog!

by Nevena Tomovic

One of the biggest concerns people have when adopting a new dog is how will I be able to travel ? No one likes leaving their furry friends at home while off on an adventure, and you most definitely don’t want to stop having adventures once you get a dog. I want to share my story of how me and my dog drove across Europe for a summer in Sweden, and what an adventure that was!

Belgrade to Norrköping

Humus and I drove from Belgrade, capital of Serbia, to Norrköping, a mid-sized Swedish town close to Stockholm. I was spending 3 months in Sweden, and I couldn’t leave Humus behind. It took us 4 days each way – so a long trip overall.

The way I planned our trip on the way there:

  • Belgrade > Vienna (we visited Humi’s friend from childhood Niko)
  • Vienna > Hamburg (I always wanted to visit and heard it was a very pet friendly city – which it is! We stayed in a beautiful converted studio close to a forest.)
  • Hamburg > Copenhagen (Another city I was excited about and crossing the bridge from Denmark to Sweden)
  • Copenhagen > Norrköping

At each destination my Airbnb was booked close to a park, forest or river so it was easy access for evening and morning walks and I had done my research on how acceptable it is to walk your dog off the leash.

The way I planned our trip on the way back:

  • Norrköping > Ringe (Remote Danish town in a traditional thatched house, I highly recommend it if you like nature and your dog is ok with cats)
  • Ringe > Potsdam (We stayed in a arty district which was very dog friendly)
  • Potsdam > Bratislava (This was one of the most exciting Airbnb’s, we slept by the river close by a sports club, it was a beautiful view and Humus got to swim in the river.)
  • Bratislava > Home

Here are some highlights in pictures:


Planning the trip


The most important thing when travelling with your dog is to be prepared. Book your dog friendly accommodation in advance, if you have a big dog tell the hosts it’s a big dog! I had an uncomfortable situation when a host cancelled on me the night before in Denmark, because my dog was more than 10kg. I use Airbnb all the time, the pet friendly filter is great, and I like to message the hosts before I book confirming they take dogs.

Driving stops

Like anyone nowadays I use google maps, but when you have a dog it’s even more important not to just click “start” without having planned your pit stops. Go over your drive route for that day, and find out more about petrol stations and rest areas. You want to find places with some greenery so your dog can have a stretch and do their business on a nice patch of grass. I like to find petrol stations that have a picnic area, that usually means tables and some areas of green.

Also be prepared to stop more often with a dog, on average I drive 2 to 2.5 hours in one stretch. Then we stop for some water and stretching.

Bring supplies  

Like with a child you need to be prepared. Your dog needs a travel bowl for water and food. I love those expandable bowls (you can get them at most pet stores), and bring more water than you think you need. Some people recommend not feeding your dog while driving. My dog is fine, we wake up do our morning walk and have breakfast before we set off. It means he doesn’t eat on the road, I find that easier and less messy. You will have to see what works for you and your dog.

Top tip: bring all the food you need on the vacation so you don’t have to worry about it there. 

On your trip

Big morning walk

This one for me is key. My dog gets a BIG walk before we set off. I wake up an hour earlier than normal when I am travelling with him. We pick our Airbnb’s so that we have good walks close by – we do a big walk anywhere between 5 and 10km before we drive. It means he is tired and ready to sleep in the car for 6- 8 hours.

Don’t drive more than 8 hours if possible

Driving more than 8 hours isn’t good for you or the dog. I aim to do 8 hours of driving, which actually takes me around 10 hours. I stop 3-4 times in the 8 hours with one larger break for lunch. Your dog will appreciate the time to stretch, rest and sniff around.

Normally when we arrive, he is exhausted just like me. Dogs get tired from travelling too, so be kind to yourself and your dog when embarking on a road trip.

Car seat/dog bed

Final thing to remember is bring a car seat for the journey. Some people recommend dog cage in the back, that’s great. My car is too small and my dog too big :). However, you do want to secure your dog while traveling. Humus has a car seat that is also a portable dog bed where you can click him in and secure him during travel. The fact that it doubles as a dog bed is great, he knows it’s his, so if I do leave him at a new place he doesn’t get anxious as he has his own bed.

Other adventures Humus joined me for

Humus goes on holiday at least twice a year, and he loves to travel. Next year I am planning on taking him skiing with me!