Hit the Road for a Fun Family Road Trip (furry friends included)
Head of Wanderlust at Camptoo shares top 5 tips for a pet-friendly family road trip.
Planning the next staycation has likely helped many Brits get through the various lockdowns, and now with restrictions easing and warmer weather, hopefully, on the horizon, it seems that these plans can at last be finalised – with campsites booked, local pubs fully vetted and outdoor events researched.
To help Brits enjoy a seamless family staycation, Ed Bassett, Head of Wanderlust at Camptoo, shares his top tips for planning a pet-friendly family road-trip.
“Travelling in the UK is a fantastic experience and one that many of us have fond memories of from childhood,” says Ed. “After a long winter, the majority of which was spent in various stages of lockdown, escaping into nature with our family and furry friends is undoubtedly the tonic we all need.
“It’s therefore unsurprising that enjoying a staycation immersed in nature has become such a priority, with more people recognising the benefits of some much-needed fresh air, and the tranquillity a rural escape can offer.
“A family road-trip is a chance to experience all the fun of camping from your very own home on wheels, however when travelling with kids and pets a little more planning goes a long way.”
Here, Ed shares his top 5 tips to plan a pet-friendly family road trip.
1. Do your research
Camping is a fantastic option for families holidaying in the UK with pets – however before booking, always check that the campsite is family and dog friendly and, if in doubt, simply call ahead to ask.
If it’s your first road trip or holiday with your pup, opt for a smaller, quieter campsite with fewer people to avoid overwhelming or overstimulating your dog. And make sure to abide by all the campsite rules by keeping your dog on a lead in communal/public areas. Just because a campsite is pet-friendly, it doesn’t mean everyone will be comfortable with dogs, so always be mindful of this and respectful.
And remember to check if a campsite offers WiFi. Whilst you may want to limit your family’s screen time whilst on holiday, there will undoubtedly be something you need to look up which would be made easier with having the internet to hand – for example, the closest dog-friendly beach or the phone number for the local pub.
If you’re in need of some travel inspiration take a look at this round-up of the top dog-friendly campsites.
2. Pack smart
If you’re travelling with young kids and a dog, it’s worth filling a small backpack with all the necessary essentials and taking it in turns to carry.
All dog owners should ensure they carry a dog survival kit that includes a reusable bottle of water, food, a blanket, poo bags, collar/harness with ID, a short and long lead, as well as a first-aid kit.
And don’t forget to pack water, snacks, sun cream, waterproofs, and a first-aid kit for your family too.
If either your kids or pet are nervous travellers, a familiar toy or blanket that reminds them of home will be of great comfort.
3. Road-trip basics
Nobody, human or canine, can sit still for longer than 2-3 hours so once you’ve decided on a destination schedule in regular pit stops along the route. Choose service stops with dog-friendly facilities or safe spaces for your pet or kids to stretch their legs and let off some steam, and ensure your dog has access to water (pack a minimum of 5 litres for any road-trip).
If your dog suffers with car sickness, avoid feeding them within two hours of starting your road-trip, and pack a favourite toy or blanket to give them an added sense of familiarity.
And make sure to pack water and sickness tablets for any family members prone to car sickness too.
4. Create a routine
Whilst it’s tempting to let any semblance of routine go out the window on holiday, all parents and pet-owners know that a good routine makes everything that little bit easier.
You’re on an adventure in a new place so dogs and kids may not sleep well at first – allow for this with a bedtime routine to help them wind down ahead of sleep.
Make sure to stop kids playing any loud or active games an hour before bed, and instead get them to enjoy a warm shower and milky drink to help them wind down mentally and physically. If your kids find the campsite noises unsettling, try playing white noise or soothing music to help them fall asleep more easily.
Similarly, don’t wind your dog up with an exciting ball game right before you’re planning on going to bed as you’ll simply unsettle them and struggle to get them to relax. A short walk will help tire them out naturally and make sure they’re settled in their usual bed for the best possible slumber.
5. Embrace the experience
And don’t forget the Scandinavian saying, “there is no such thing as bad weather, simply bad clothing”, which should be applied to all UK staycations.
Whilst it would be wonderful to enjoy blue skies and balmy temperatures for the duration of your trip, you’re more likely to experience the full host of UK weather, sunshine, clouds, rain and maybe even thunderstorms. So the best advice is to pack appropriately and embrace the experience – as come rain or shine, nothing beats spending quality time with your family surrounded by nature’s bounty.
To find out more and book your family road trip, visit www.camptoo.co.uk. When booking your vehicle, just remember to double check that it’s pet friendly.
Notes to Editors:
Camptoo’s Head of Wanderlust and UK Country Manager, Ed Bassett, is available for interview or comment upon request.
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Charlotte Wright | Jo Kendall | Elsa Findlay
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Launched in the Netherlands in 2014, Camptoo is a sharing economy platform that connects the owners and renters of campervans, motorhomes and touring caravans. The company was recently ranked the #1 fastest-growing travel company in Europe by Financial Times (FT1000, 2020).
Since it was launched, Camptoo users have booked over 300,000 nights in vehicles rented through the site. Owners can generate income from their campervan when it’s not being used while renters have greater flexibility when booking their vehicle so that it best suits their needs.
There are over 900 vehicles listed in the UK, with over 3,500 vehicles to choose from across Europe, and a further 400 across Australia, with more being added every week. Vehicles are properly insured to allow both owner as well as renter a carefree holiday, with Camptoo providing all the necessary paperwork, checklists and roadside assistance. For more information, visit www.camptoo.co.uk.