UK to Bulgaria With Small Dog

Travel Forums Europe UK to Bulgaria With Small Dog

1. Posted by Flutterbug (Budding Member 12 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Hi! After 18 years long haul backpacking with my daughter since she was a baby, I’m now swapping her for my dog!
He’s a trained 20 month old Havanese. Totally chill personality but capable of very high energy. Obedient and loves cats, kids, the bustle of public transport and sleeping on my lap, so he’s perfect for travel.
I want to take him to Bulgaria this year by road and rail. I’ll need to do it in short bursts so he can toilet and stretch etc. Does anyone have suggestions for a route to break it up nicely please? I don’t mind dog friendly sleep-stops. I’m in no rush for getting there and back. In fact, the opposite!

Thanks in advance :)

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 4270 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

I assume you already know the requirements for taking animals from the UK to the EU but, for others who may read this post, details on the official UK government website:

https://www.gov.uk/taking-your-pet-abroad

Finding accommodation which will accept a dog isn't easy so you'll need to research that aspect in advance. I suspect you're more likely to find it in cities and larger towns simply because they have a much wider range of accomm available. I'd advise you not to just turn up and assume you'll find somewhere on spec: you may find yourself sleeping at the station.

The reliable and long-established https://www.booking.com/ has a 'pets allowed' filter (under 'Facilities'. Choose the city/town, choose your dates then use the left-hand menu to filter what's available. The site lists hostels, b&bs and self-catering accomm as well as hotels. I believe Airbnb has a similar filter.

I assume that by 'road' you mean buses rather than hiring a car? Finding long-distance buses which will accept animals will be difficult, if not impossible Flixbus is the main EU long-distance operator but only accepts assistance dogs) though local buses will almost certainly be ok. I suggest you focus on a combination of train travel and local bus travel.

DB, the German railway website, lists train times and details for all the countries you will (or may) pass through. English language version:

https://www.bahn.com/en

DB sell tickets for/from Germany but imo it's better to buy train tickets for other countries either online from the official railway website for that country (all have English language versions) or at the station. Imo it's only worth buying tickets in advance online if you intend to travel on the fastest (and most expensive) trains which don't allow standing because for such trains buying in advance online often gets good discounts as well as guaranteeing you a seat.

You could also look at lift-share options such as https://www.blablacar.com/

if it was me I'd be looking at UK>Belgium>Germany>Austria>Hungary>Romania>Bulgaria though if you're happy to go outside the EU you could go via Croatia and Sebria (check dog entry requirements for Serbia)

You could, for example, travel Eurostar>Brussels then onwards roughly via e.g Munich>Vienna>Budapest>Timisoara>Bucharest>Bulgaria or Munich>Graz>Pecs>Osijek>Belgrade>Bulgaria if you're happy to travel via Serbia. You'll need to break up longer route segments with either several shorter stops (you'll need separate tickets for/from each stop) or an overnight (ditto).

Enjoy your planning! :-)

[ Edit: Edited on 22 May 2022, 09:30 GMT by leics2 ]

3. Posted by Flutterbug (Budding Member 12 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

That an absolutely amazing response! Thankyou so much. I like the idea of the first route option, and the DB site will be invaluable I’m sure. I don’t drive so yes - it’ll all be by public transport. I’m very aware of navigating ‘dog friendly’ transports and hostels / campsites etc. i forgot about booking.com’s filter. Thankyou. I forgot to say my pup also loves other dogs too. He’d be no problem anywhere with anyone or anything. He’ll hike for 12 hours or sleep for 12 hours. He’s pretty bombproof! I can’t wait to start adventures with him and the broken up routes you suggest all seem very manageable. I’ve got time. I’m in no rush to get from A-B. The only navigation for a slow, broken pace by road is for his comfort and loo needs. So, Thankyou. I’ll get him legally ready via the help from the link you kindly shared with me and I’ll get planning ! Thankyou for giving all that time and thought to me.

4. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 4270 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

You're more than welcome!

Just realised I made an error...my apologies.

Eurostar doesn't take animals...and many ferry operators only take them in vehicles . You'll need to research UK>European mainland ferry operators to see if any still offer on-board kennels (you'll need to book them long in advance).

If not, I'm afraid you're stuck with flying yourself & dog to e.g. Brussels. It won't be cheap (you'll have to use a mainstream carrier) but at least it'll be a shortish flight.

I hope you can work it out and that you and the dog have a super trip without any major glitches. :-)

[ Edit: Edited on 22 May 2022, 16:16 GMT by leics2 ]