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12 months around UK and Europe ... with our pooch?

Perth
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12 months around UK and Europe ... with our pooch?

G'day peeps!

My wife and I are planning to spend the majority of 2011 in the UK and travelling around Western(ish) Europe.

We plan to Arrive Heathrow (ish) mid feb (ish). Allowing approx 3 - 4000 pounds for a campervan using www.gumtree.com as a price guide for cheap campers.

We plan to wander around England, Wales, Scotland maybe Ireland depending on costs involved in ferrying the van across.

Eventually getting across to the west Coast of France into Spain, Portugal back into Spain, Italy, Croatia, Austria Czech repub. Germany, Belguim then maybe back to the UK.

I am an Australian Citizen that holds a UK passport and am in the process of applying for a UK passport for my wife.

We will have a budget of approximatly $A40,000. (24,000 pounds) for the 12 months. We plan to stay at caravan Parks with the occasional 'couch surf' at rellies throughout Scotland.

We dont have kids but we do have our 'Fur-Kid' who we'd love to take with us and not leave him here for 12 months. We have dipped our toes into the quarantine pond and that aside we would like to know if this is a bad idea or quite do-able.

I have the AA Caravan and Camping guide for '010 and it seems most parks are quite dog friendly. We plan to be seing the sights and countryside rather than cities and nightclubs. He is a well behaved dog and wouldnt pose a problem to us during the trip from our point of view but what about the authorities in the various countries and the logistics of it all?

We are in dicussions over the pros and cons of the idea, pros include having our dog with us would keep the budget in check

because it would ensure we stick to the slow paced outdoorsy chill out type holiday, but we would hate to find it becomes a real drag and ends up being a really bad idea.

The two main questions Id like to ask are:

1.Has anyone done a similar trip to this and does this budget seem realistic?

2. Can anyone see any real problems with travelling thru Europe in a campervan with our pooch?

Finally if anyone has any other general advice it would be greatly appreciated!

Regards

Steve Rachel and Merlin.

Bingley, United...
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1. Re: 12 months around UK and Europe ... with our pooch?

For the UK your dog will need a pet passport - even if coming from mainland Europe.

direct.gov.uk/en/…dg_4000019

AFAIK mainland Europe doesn't have any restrictions on the transport of pets. And given that you'll need to pass the rules in order to get back to the UK you might want to consider flying home from mainland Europe.

I'd also remind you that mainland Europe drives on the right rather than the UK & Oz left, so consider hiring two vans - one for UK & Ireland, one for mainland Europe

And do note - the UK WILL impound your dog if you fail to follow the letter of the law and probably give you a hefty fine to boot. So don't even consider trying to avoid the rules on this

Final point - being married to a UK citizen doesn't give you the right to a British passport. You need to live in the UK and become naturalised. So unless your wife is entitled in her own right to a UK passport, she won't be getting one. She is however allowed to live and work in the EU outside the UK without the need for a visa or UK passport because of your passport, so the normal Schengen rules do not apply. But if your visit to the UK is extended she will need to get a visa

Edited: 01 May 2010, 14:40
Kingston-upon-Hull...
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2. Re: 12 months around UK and Europe ... with our pooch?

Will your dog have to go into Quarantine for a few weeks when it gets back home?

ian480.

Perth
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3. Re: 12 months around UK and Europe ... with our pooch?

cheers 4 reply guys.

After deciphering gov website regarding quarantine it seems 4 weeks in Australia upon return. still to look into further.

RE: wifes passport. We relise she may not automatically get one thru marriage however her grandmonther is Scottish and that may be an avenue. If she can visit the UK / Europe for 12 months on her Australian Passport its not a problem.

On the van. We will be buying a van and reselling prior to leaving for home. Buying two vans would be unsuitable. Is it a legal thing or just more a safety / ease of drive thing?

We have no problem following rules providing they are in black and white.

We are resposible travellers however we would hate to get into a pickle over

something silly. I am aware if we breach australian quarantine laws whilst abroard we may not be able to re-enter Australia with our pooch. This would be the absolute worst outcome possible.

Cheers again for input.

Kingston-upon-Hull...
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4. Re: 12 months around UK and Europe ... with our pooch?

Have you got a quote from the airline on how much it will be to ship your dog across to Europe and back? If not make sure you are seated when you get it.

ian480.

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5. Re: 12 months around UK and Europe ... with our pooch?

I once worked at for a vet and sometimes we (me and the vet) would go to an airport to check on pets which had arrived into the UK by plane. I don't want to scare you but this is something I think you should consider - some of these animals died due to stress. They were travelling in the hold. I don't know if pets are allowed in the cabin now (this was 10 years ago). The animals don't know why their loving owners suddenly leave them stuffed in a box, which is then placed in a strange noisy place for over 24 hours (which causes their ears to pop and probably had many changes of temperature). Absolutely NO WAY would I do this to my animal. Especially if it is an older pet. You should speak to your vet about this.

Note it is difficult to buy any type of vehical in the UK if you do not have a UK address. Secondly, if you do buy a camper van here, it's re-sale value in the rest of Europe will be zero. There have been other threads on this if you search for them.

North West England...
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6. Re: 12 months around UK and Europe ... with our pooch?

Hi,

This site might be useful in your planning, there's lots of practical information, a good site directory and the forum could come in handy.

http://www.practicalmotorhome.com/

Good luck!

Bingley, United...
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7. Re: 12 months around UK and Europe ... with our pooch?

<<< RE: wifes passport. We relise she may not automatically get one thru marriage however her grandmonther is Scottish and that may be an avenue. >>>

It isn't. The basic rule is that the one of the parents must have been a British citizen.

However she can get an ancestry visa - but for a trip where you aren't spending several months in the UK it's a waste of time, effort and money

Perth
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8. Re: 12 months around UK and Europe ... with our pooch?

Thanks for the replies.

The visa thing is no problem. We will be spending approx. 6 months in the uk and about 6 in Europe. So as long as we can wander through the UK and Europe for 12 months without working or have any other conditions on us thats ok. Thought it might be easier if we were on the same passport.

I have several uncles aunties etc.. thoughout England and Scotland who can provide an address for the vehicle and it will be sold again in England once we are ready to leave. After reading thru gumtree.co.uk i have found that buying and on selling after a trip is very common.

The note about dogs dying on the plane is of concern. We love Merlin far too much to take any risk or even put him through something that would cause him stress or any pain so this will have to be investigated further.

RE the cost. I have sent a request off for a quote to JETPETS but have not had a reply as yet. I figured it may be more than flying us to the UK!

As ive said taking the pooch is still up in the air and is a 50/50 at this stage.

I was also interested if our budget would be sufficient, as mentioned we plan to take it easy and just bum about for 12 months. There will be alot of book reading, hammock laying and watercolour painting to fill our days so i would asssume that, allowing for car problems, border taxes etc... that about 400 pound a week should do it.

We would be keen to hear from anyone whos done a similar trip and their tips or stories.

Thanks again guys.

Steve Rach and Merlin.

Edited: 02 May 2010, 02:05
Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: 12 months around UK and Europe ... with our pooch?

I understand that people with an Australian passport cannot automatically spend more than three months in any period of six months in the Schengen Treaty area, which basically is the EU plus Switzerland but excluding UK and Ireland. To stay longer than that requires a special visa, and other posts in European forums have indicated that this is not easy to get.

As you would presumably be entering the Schengen area through France, you might want to talk to the French Consulate about this.

Perth
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10. Re: 12 months around UK and Europe ... with our pooch?

Thanks for your input.

This is beginning to be bigger than Ben Hur.

One would think you could do this sort of thing easily. Perhaps it will

be more like 9 months in the UK and 3 in Europe....?

Having spent alot of time in the UK in the past....although only seeing a small percentage of it overall.....we were really keen to delve into

the back streets of Europe.

My wife being a chef is dead keen on sampling cuisine from the lesser known areas of Europe. Weve already had a deep fried mars bar in Edinburgh!

This 3 month visa in the Shengen countries.....does it 'reset' if we shoot back to the Uk for a few weeks then head back across the channel.

Say....3 months in uk then 3 in europe....3 in Uk then 3 in Europe?

It seems obsurd that someone cannot travel for 12 months around the world .... i am getting flashbacks from Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boormans 'Long way around'......I dont have his budget and i cant afford a team of fixers to organise all the paperwork! HoHo.

Looks like i will have to start pretty soon door knocking all the embassies and sending off emails and phonecalls if we plan to leave in 10 months.

Cheers for your time.

Steve Rach and Merlz.