Winter is one of my favourite times to travel. But the thought of leaving the hound shivering in a kennel on a concrete floor instead of being curled up by the fire with me used to mean I just stayed at home. Not any more!
Here’s how to take your pet and have your holiday too.
Team cosy digs with great outdoor activities for a great pet-friendly break. Whether it’s a cabin in the snowfields, or a beachfront bungalow with an open fire, your pet will need to have a cruisy combo of inside warmth and outside activities. Oh, and that’s usually a good recipe for the humans, too.
The first stop is finding pet-friendly accommodation. Fur-related flexibility is on the increase when it comes to holiday rentals. Even some hotels are recognising the binding relationship between man and pet in accommodating their guests — especially when your travel companion of choice is a dog or cat (as opposed to less mainstream choices like snakes, flamingos or talking birds).
Look for accommodation through a dedicated pet-friendly website or directory, which is operated by agents who are used to dealing with pet owners and know how to cut down on the potential hassles and paperwork.
Then choose your winter wonderland… I find it’s sometimes best to think about the breed of dog or cat you’re taking. A Siberian Husky, for example, would be right at home in the snow-capped wilds of the Snowy Mountains or Falls Creek. A Chihuahua or hairless Pekinese? Not so much, unless you want to pack a large wardrobe of ski gear and thermals for the little guy as well as you.
Most breeds will love beachside holidays, and there’s the added advantage here of being able to access cheap deals, during what’s commonly understood to be the coastal holiday ‘low’ season. Try the secluded and picturesque stretches of coast along Southern NSW and Victoria, where you can also get a bird’s eye view of your surroundings on the inland escarpments and forests that often hug the beach.
No matter what your ideal winter break looks like, forget leaving your extra family member at home. Take your pet and enjoy the holidays together.