I want to start out by saying that my husband and I didn't actually make any plans to van travel with our two Siberian Huskies. We just kind of inherited it.
His grandparents converted a van into a mini mobile house back in the day. They were the pioneers of this now very popular style of living/travel before it was the thing to do. While they still had a home, they used the comforts of the van for traveling.
The dogs patiently waiting to go while we're packing/arranging
The van was then given to us and we have at various points even lived in the van with our huskies. Together we have traveled thousands of miles, eating, sleeping, and adventuring in the van.
So while we didn't originally make plans for this kind of adventure, I can't deny that it really has provided us with the kind of life experiences that we wanted for ourselves, but were also able to share with our dogs.
When it comes to my girls, Ely (E - Lee) and Lola, I hate leaving them behind. If I'm going for adventure my heart naturally longs to include them. However, some parts of traveling are much more complicated by including them.
It's not all warm and cozy sunrises and mountain venues, there are some super frustrating moments that can make some days on the road very difficult. It is undeniably much easier to travel without them.
Frequent stops are a must, so there is no grit and bearing it out behind the wheel to reach your destination. Huskies are huskies, even on the road. They want to get out and sightsee.
Taking time to smell the flowers in North Carolina
If you put a little more effort into the planning process, road trips with the pups can be awesome. Find unique destinations along the way to stop and see vs always going to rest areas. I will also note, not all rest areas are the same, some are super awesome and beautiful.
Make the most out of your journey by choosing these stopping points carefully and make those locations a part of the trip rather than a nuisance to burn energy. It's rewarding for both of you, take in some new culture and explore. Go big with it and embrace the extra adventure.
This is my husband and the pups at Falls Park on the Reedy in South Carolina. I planned this as a must-see stop on our journey, strictly to get out and walk the dogs for an hour. This ended up being a much cooler location than I expected. We loved it and the dogs loved it. They swam in the river and made friends with strangers, and the geese threw them some shade. It was awesome!
One of the perks of van travel is being able to crash/stay anywhere that you might need to. While some hotels accept dogs, not many hotels accept multiple dogs or big fluffy talkative ones. So, having a van is really awesome to avoid that hassle.
So, here is the real talk. A lot of places like state and national parks don't allow dogs or only allow them in certain spaces. Restaurants, museums, historical sights, beaches, etc also might not allow them. Some parks and campgrounds require proof of rabbis vaccinations. You can also expect leash rules to be enforced. Huskies are known for escaping, so having our dogs contained isn't a big deal for us, but for some people that might be a hassle.
My sister and niece and their doggo Daisy joined us for a little camping adventure.
This is where planning a pup-worthy adventure comes into play. You might have to sacrifice some of the things on your "must-see/do" list to compromise for what activities are dog acceptable.
We spend a lot of our time taking shifts with the dogs if there is a really unique location we want to see that is not dog friendly. One of us will go enjoy it, while the other stays with the dogs. The downside is that we don't get to explore and enjoy new locations together and that is the compromise of taking the dogs along.
This is a picture of my girls in the kennel at the Bigfoot Museum in Georgia. Dogs are not welcome inside the building, but they offer a kennel at no extra charge. This is the only place we have been to that offered this. It was a blessing because it allowed us to do something together that we hadn't anticipated being able to do.
While some parts of your travels with a husky or pup might be more difficult, I think you'll find being able to have bonding experiences together makes it all worthwhile.
If you have a favorite place to take your doggo, comment below and tell us about it.
What are some of the challenges you face when traveling with your pets?
As always, keep it safe, keep it cool, and stay curious.