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Van Life Dog Edition – How to prepare for traveling with your dog

van life dog

Table of Contents

Picture this; van life, dog, sun, endless beaches, dinner at the sunset, surfing – freedom!

This is how my partner, my dog (Mollie), and I lived for three weeks in Portugal. 


Bringing your dog on road trip is absolutely amazing. You get to see them thrive in nature every hour of the day. No more missing your furry best friend when you’re away on holiday, just bring them with you!


Of course, this comes with a few adjustments. You might have to prepare a bit and travel differently than what you’re used to. Here are all of my dog road trip tips and exactly what you need to prepare to bring your dog on road trip.


Vaccinations and Passport before bringing your dog on road trip


First of all, we recommend you book an appointment with the vet. Before traveling with your dog, you need to get them a passport and the required vaccines. Van life dog edition rule number 1: Be safe! 


Vaccines are different for every country, so ask your vet what vaccines they recommend for the country/countries you’re going to. We also recommend checking online to see the rules for entering the country with a dog. 


What is certain is, that you’ll need: 

  • Rabies Vaccine min. 21 days before departure
  • Microchip 
  • Passport

We went to Portugal in May 2022 from Denmark, and Mollie (my dog) needed a Rabies vaccine, a passport, and a microchip to enter. If you are unsure of the requirements for entering Portugal from your country check this out


Other than the microchip and the rabies vaccine, the doctor recommended she got 1 shot including 5 vaccines for various diseases. Again, please talk to your own vet about this. Your vet will know what diseases are in the country that you are going to.

If you want to travel in a campervan, Portugal is a great place to go! There are also no quarantine requirements for your dog.

“Dogs, cats, and ferrets entering France from non-EU countries must be accompanied by a health certificate completed by a veterinarian within ten days from the date of travel. Exceptions to this requirement are animals from Andorra, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and The Vatican.”

dog road trip tips

Calm your dog on road trip

Does your dog get a bit anxious and nervous when traveling?

For some dogs, traveling can be pretty stressful.  If your dog gets motion sickness, anxiety, or is just a bit uneasy when traveling, you need to try this tip that I’ve used for my dog.


CBD oil! Yup you heard me, CBD oil is one of my best dog road trip tips.

I started giving Mollie (my dog) CBD oil for dogs about 2 years ago and it helped so much with relieving her anxiety.

She would always pant and shake when we took her in the car, and she would be on edge when going to the airport or train stations. After using this CBD oil she is way more relaxed and even takes long naps in the car now! 

I know it almost sounds too good to be true, but trust me it really worked for Mollie. Have patience because it can take a while for your dog’s system to get used to the CBD, and it will NOT work the first time you give it to them.

You have to give it every day for around 2-3 weeks to see the results. 

If your dog gets nervous when traveling – give it a try!

Remember to check the dosage on the packaging before buying and giving the CND to your dog. If you want to know more about CBD oil for dogs read our article about the subject and learn more about this miracle oil.


dog on road trip

Get Your Dog Groomed

If you have a fluffy pup like me (check out the floof below) – then do yourself a favor a get them trimmed before you leave on your road trip!

I trim my dog myself, I know round of applause for me… thank you, thank you. But if you want to get your dog trimmed at the groomers – go ahead! I just recommend getting a short sporty cut for your dog, because let me tell you, they will get diiiiirtay! 

Make life easy for yourself and get a short trim for your dog, and bring a good dog shampoo and brush for the road.

Your dog is gonna be living her best life on this road trip, jumping in the ocean, rolling in the dirt, and sleeping on the ground, so you will really need a good shampoo for your trip.


van life dog
Mollie living her best life


I have a few recommendations on what to buy for your camper van trip with your dog. You don’t need a lot but there are definitely a few items that you need in order to make the trip great for your dog. I also write a few more dog road trip tips in that article so check it out.


 We hope you enjoy your van life dog edition!

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