vacations that pack a dog

Is there anything more glorious than closing your front door and heading off on vacation, ready for days of splashing in the pool and whipping up rose wine? Yes, there is, do it with your dog.

Just ask Simon Cowell, who has been seen in Barbados with his Yorkshire terriers. Or chef Gino D’Acampo, who brought his dachshund Snoop to Sardinia in April. Cats are flying too: Kate Beckinsale has shared photos of her and her Clive’s moggie on a private jet.

The data suggests that more than 3.2 million people in the UK have become pet owners since the start of the pandemic, bringing the total number to 34 million. So is it any wonder we’re keeping them in mind on our summer vacations? (And with style!)

Enter, ‘the ultimate dog driver’ and the brainchild of brothers Camilla Brillembourg and Hugo Mabbott. They have been accompanying dogs throughout Europe since 2017 and are now expanding to the US.

The dogs, which must have an Animal Health Certificate issued by a veterinarian (see opposite) or an EU pet passport to travel abroad, are driven by Mercedes SUVs or Land Rovers modified for comfort. It’s safe (Hugo is certified in dog first aid), friendly, and the ride is tailored to your dog’s needs—no carpooling with someone else’s pet. They’ll stop at dog-friendly hotels along the way (France is full of them) and if your canine likes to sleep in bed, no problem. Clients include celebrities and royals.

Is there anything more glorious than closing your front door and heading off on vacation, ready for days of splashing in the pool and lots of rose wine? Yes, there is, do it with your dog.


Beadnell Towers

Four-legged friends are more than welcome at this Northumberland hotel, and will love long walks along the nearby spectacular coastline. It has seven dog-friendly rooms. Doubles from £129 a night,

hare and hounds

As the name implies, dogs are valued guests at this Berkshire pub, where pups find a bed, bowl and biscuits waiting for them. Double rooms from £90 a night, dogs £20 extra;

Bouilhac Hotel

Treat Fido to the trip of a lifetime at this spa hotel in the Dordogne region of southwestern France, where dogs can dine with you in the medieval banquet hall. Double rooms from £153 per night; dogs £13 extra;

Of course, none of this is cheap; think £2,400 for Fido to be flown in luxury to the south of France. As Camilla says: “You’ll find owners who shell out a couple of thousand dollars to take their dog to Saint-Tropez, while they fly EasyJet.”

Makes sense, especially if they’re splashing out on one of the dog-friendly accommodations featured on the Mr & Mrs Smith luxury hotel website, which now has an entire section dedicated to hotels and villas that will make man’s best friends move from the tail. arrival’.

You don’t have to travel abroad to treat your dog to a getaway. The UK has a lot to offer as the travel industry has realized that family doesn’t just mean kids. Last year, searches for dog-friendly holiday destinations in the UK skyrocketed by 665%.

Just a few weeks ago, Storm, a fun-loving springbullsta (who’s a mix of springer spaniel, bulldog and staffie) enjoyed a weekend at The Swan in Streatley, Berkshire ( After a series of treats, he took a boat ride and behaved impeccably, until he saw some ducks and attempted to commit murder. She omitted this part of her stay from his entry in the hotel guestbook, or perhaps her pawrents did.

She’s not the only dog ​​taking advantage of the great British summer. Cas, a rescue dog, originally from Tobago, is currently frolicking on the beaches of Orkney, his owners taking a two-day journey plus ferry to get there – great fun, especially with two under-fours.

Do you think your furry friend would also enjoy life on the beach? So why not sign up for a dog surf lesson with in Dorset? Or if your pet prefers to kick back, try The George Inn in the Cotswolds (, where room service includes a doggy menu of ice cream, beer (yes, really), and toys, while at bathroom there is luxury shampoo from Sniffe & Likkit (for your dog, obviously).

Still don’t know what to book? Visit, which has over 18,000 UK dog destinations on its books and an expert pet concierge to help you find your perfect trip.

Meanwhile, if you have to go abroad, say for a wedding, and can’t take Fido with you, there’s, whose membership has doubled since travel restrictions ended. For £99 a year for unlimited stays, TPS will find a live-in nanny for her in exchange for looking after her pet, saving her the heartache of booking Fido into kennels.

However, for some people even that is not enough. Friends of mine hosted his chosen dog sitter for the whole week before his getaway, taking him to the pub to meet the locals and making sure he and his dog got along. They did it. And now my friends are in Greece and they manage to enjoy some calamari, without guilt.

Nobody has dared to go up Christmas with them for fear that the nanny already has plans.

Essentials for a trouble-free pet

Passports for cats, dogs and ferrets were introduced in Europe in 2004, allowing the free movement of people and their pets across the continent. But since Brexit, British pet passports no longer count in Europe. Instead, your pet now requires an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) issued by a UK vet (one who has completed further government AHC training) within ten days of the start of your journey. Your dog must also be microchipped, have a valid rabies vaccination and be treated for tapeworm before returning to the UK. That’s roughly an additional £300 per pet, per trip.

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