VICTOR TEIXEIRA – LMDI

“TRAVELING WITH A DOG” DOGBLOG

As a flight attendant of 20+ years, catching a flight to go anywhere became a routine activity for me, much like catching a bus or train for most other people. So much so that I was starting to contemplate the possibility of commuting from Portugal (living there while working in England) and that would mean getting on a flight as a passenger to get on a flight as crew (catching a flight to catch a flight).

I tried this lifestyle for 6 months at the beginning of the pandemic and it was clear to me that I was spending a lot of time just getting to work/back home, even worse than my drive between Central London and Heathrow Airport. So I realised I wasn’t a fan.

I had also decided (along with my husband Paul) many years before that we would never put our dogs in the hold of an aeroplane unless we were moving continents and there was no other way of transporting them – we would possibly consider it once in each dog’s lifetime.

So when we had Oscar in 2011 – and bearing in mind we spent every Christmas with my family in Porto – we decided to drive through France and Spain, spend Christmas and sometimes New Year’s Eve in Porto, then drive all the way back again. We always tried to spend 4 to 6 weeks in Portugal to avoid 2 such drives in the space of a month. This routine continued when we got Ollie in 2016 and we’ve now done this for 12 years.

One of our great frustrations as dog owners is not being able to take our well-behaved dogs inside aeroplane cabins. They are better behaved than many adults (and children) I have come across in my extended experience travelling the world. They don’t fight other dogs, make a mess of their surroundings, steal what’s not theirs… I could go on.

So reading stories like the ones shared by Lisa, this month’s DogBlogger, fills us with hope that one day we too will be able to fly our dogs everywhere. In the cabin. With us.

 

Welcome to our “Traveling with a dog” DogBlog!

Hello everypawdy! My name is Lisa Marie York, dog mom to two adorable, sweet and well-behaved Yorkshire Terriers.  I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, but I have always had the desire to explore the world even at a young age.  My family took me on a few memorable trips growing up that opened my eyes to the joy of travel.  I moved to NYC when I was 21, and at the age of 25 moved abroad to Spain, and lived in Barcelona, but my love for NYC brought me back to the USA.  Back in 2009, Amy came into my life, and we have traveled the world together to 54 countries on 4 continents.

Ever since I was a little girl I loved all kinds of animals.  I grew up with cats, canaries, hamsters, lizards, pet mice, fish and ferrets.  Happiness back then was being surrounded by animals, reading books about them or hanging out at the pet store learning about the various pets in hopes of taking a new creature home to love and care for (still sounds like pure bliss).

It wasn’t until I was old enough to purchase my own dog with my hard-earned teenage job money at age 16 that I was able to prove myself responsible for taking care of a dog; then I was able to get my first dog.  I love the docile, kind and loving Labrador Retriever breed, and got myself a female puppy and named her Zoe.  I felt a special love and bond with Zoe different from the love I had for my cats growing up.  Zoe was super attentive, and eager to please. She really was a true angel.

Sadly Zoe passed away too young, and fast forward many years I was older and more stable. I was dreaming of getting a small dog that I could bring everywhere with me. I had visions of traveling the world with my dog that would be small enough to fly in the cabin with me and fit into a carrier or purse if I needed to sneak my pup in.  After losing Zoe at a very young age, I wanted to get a dog that I would never have to leave behind, as I realized just how short their lifespan is and I wanted to spend as much time together as possible.

Amy is now 14, and since then we’ve added Emily, another yorkie who is 7 years old, to our family.  When I finally got Amy in 2009, Instagram wasn’t really a thing, nor were iPhones with incredible cameras.  It wasn’t until 2015 that I started posting a lot of our travels in Europe on Instagram, and then we started having people message us constantly about traveling tips; we decided to make our account public in 2016 and called our account @nycyorkiegirls. We mostly posted when we traveled to document our travels and preserve our memories.

In 2018 I started writing about our trips and started working on a book called “Memoirs of traveling with a dog”. At that time we lived in NYC, and were constantly on the go so finding time to sit down to share our stories was challenging to say the least, especially since we were traveling back and forth to Europe a lot – it was such an easy flight from NYC.

Then came the pandemic in 2020, and people were forced to stay home.  That gave me time to ground myself, slow down and look back to reflect on all of our beautiful past trips. I started blogging about my favorite places to travel with a dog, as it brought back so many fond, happy memories. Our dog travel blog is www.travelingwithadog.com and we offer dog-friendly travel inspiration, tips and tricks. At the time Italy was definitely my favorite, but now it would most likely be a small remote village in Switzerland with a gorgeous landscape, stunning views, plenty of fresh grass for the pups and fresh air to breathe in.

Good Experiences when “Traveling with a Dog”

One will never realize how great it is to travel with a dog, until one starts.  I have met so many wonderful people and had so many beautiful experiences all because I was traveling with my girls.   

It opens you up to socialize with others. Traveling with a dog draws in a lot of attention – mostly good and adoring people who want to say hi to your pups.  Most of the time I hear stories such as… they left their fur babies at home and miss them so much!, they want to know how we travel with our dogs?, or they tell me how their soul pup just died (that’s the saddest part though)… Dogs are truly angels and bring others together and unite people to the one thing that truly matters in life – LOVE.

I have also met some incredibly kind people in my travels who had been following us for years on Instagram, and we met up when we were visiting their city or country.  It’s great meeting locals and others who know the area and can guide you on all of the dog-friendly places and activities when traveling with a dog to a new place.

Challenges when “Traveling with a dog

For the most part we don’t have too many obstacles when traveling together.  Since both of my yorkies are small enough to go into a carrier or purse, we are very fortunate to get accepted into many places where other larger dogs may not be able to go; they are so small, can be carried and don’t bother people, so many people won’t even know they are there.

Of course, the one thing that all pet parents have in common when traveling to other countries is the paperwork required for entry.  Since I am traveling with a senior dog, at this point I prefer to travel to countries that only require rabies vaccination – Amy is now 14 years old and does not need any more vaccinations. Acquiring a European Pet Passport was a complete game-changer and really helped us travel around Europe without having to go and get a Health Certificate each and every time we flew to Europe.  We were very sad to see the UK Pet Passport was no longer valid for travel to Europe after Brexit.  Pet Passports make everything so much easier as everything is in one place and laid out easily to read and comprehend.

Shoutouts to all companies who have picked up their dog-friendly game.  During the pandemic lots of people added furry members to their family. Hotels and restaurants, especially really honed into the fact that dogs are family and started adding dog menus, dogs spa menus and pup packages to enhance the experience for their guests.

There are so many hotel chains that really cater to dogs. Here’s a list of our favorites that don’t charge a pet fee for your best friend to join you – Kimpton, Virgin, Aloft and we have seen some Sheratons also waive the fee (this is based on US hotels).

Our other favorite hotel brands are Loews Hotels, Four Seasons, Rosewood, Fairmont Hotels and StayPineapple as they have very nice dog amenities for your traveling dog such as comfortable beds, bowls, dog menus and treats upon arrival.

Also I want to note that many smaller airlines in the USA are now enticing people to fly with their dog as they allow bigger dogs on the flight, and many have lower pet-in-cabin fees, and some have NO FEE to bring your dog with you on the flight like Tradewind Aviation.  We recently flew Tradewind from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to St Barts and I was able to fly with both of my small dogs with no fee. This was a short 45-minute chartered flight in which they allow up to 3 dogs on the flight depending on the total weight for the combined dogs in-cabin. For dogs over 100 pounds, an additional seat needs to be purchased. They are an incredible customer-service-focused airline that services the Caribbean and Northeast America including Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Newport. 

Our next big trip

We just got back from a week in the West Indies, St Barts, and we are planning on taking a few small trips to NYC, Chicago, maybe Florida in the fall, but nothing big planned until December.

We have currently been to all but 4 countries in Europe and we plan on visiting 3 countries that are left on our list. What’s left on the list of places to go? Latvia, Finland and Estonia. We decided to go in December so we can check out the European Christmas markets. Tallinn, Estonia, is supposed to have an incredible and famous Christmas market. We are also hoping to catch the Northern Lights while we are in Finland.

After that trip we hope to visit Cyprus and Turkey sometime in Spring 2024. We are unable to visit Iceland, as they have mandatory quarantine for dogs to visit the country, so we will happily avoid that country.

Once we finish traveling all of Europe, we will pick and choose our favorite places to visit, and will be focusing more on traveling within the beautiful USA, and visiting all of the Caribbean Islands.

Follow us to see where we end up and send us a message telling us how you found us!! We love meeting new friends, and maybe one day we will end up in your part of town.

Safe Travels, Everyone!!

 

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