Biking the World with Dog in Tow – Pet Travel Ideas from Long Haul Trekkers

Lunch stop along the Carretera Austral in Chile

Welcome to a new feature of travel bloggers roaming the world with their pet as a companion. In today’s interview you’ll meet an Australian Shepherd rescue, Sora, and travel couple Jen and Dave who document the adventures the three of them go on at Long Haul Trekkers. So buckle up for one entertaining interview and some gorgeous snapshots of their travels!

Tell us a bit about yourself and your pet(s)

We are Jen, Dave, and Sora, our rescued Australian Shepherd, the adventurous team behind the Long Haul Trekkers. Since April 2015, we have been traveling the world with Sora, mostly by bicycle. We began in Oslo, Norway and pedaled to Athens, Greece via the Balkans and Turkey and will be finishing our Patagonia, Argentina to Medellin, Colombia tour this April. 

Which was your first trip with your pet and what made you want to bring them along?

At home in Oregon, we took Sora with us everywhere—camping, running, hiking. We rarely left home without her. About a year before we left on this particular adventure, some friends invited us to go on an Oregon wine country cycle tour with them. We jumped at the chance. We had two dogs at the time and zero clue about cycle touring. We brought far too much gear for a weekend tour and suffered going up all those winery hills! Regardless, we were hooked and started planning our next bike tour with the pups. 

Biking the World with Dog in Tow - Pet Travel Ideas from Long Haul Trekkers

How often do you travel with your pet?

Right now, always! Sora is by our sides most of the time, unless we’re eating at a restaurant or visiting a place where dogs are not allowed.

When your pet does not tag along, what do you do with them?

We will leave her in the hostal room, as long as our time away isn’t too long. Once, we left her with a friend we had met while cycling in Patagonia for the morning so we could go on a hike that did not allow dogs.

Do you find it much harder to plan your trip when your pet joins you?

We thought that it would be much more difficult than it is. We just make sure to plan around her. If it’s not dog-friendly, then we don’t go. It’s as simple as that. Finding hotels or rides if we are not on our bikes can take some convincing sometimes, but most countries have been fairly accepting of the fact that we travel with our dog.

Cycling across the Bolivian Salt Flats
Cycling across the Bolivian Salt Flats

What is your favorite destination to take your pet to?

We love hiking with Sora. South America has so many wonderful hikes that we can bring Sora along and most are completely void of people. We’re also big craft brewery fans, most of which are dog-friendly, so we bring Sora when we can.

Which are the most pet-friendly places you’ve traveled to?

Norway was super dog-friendly, we could bring Sora practically everywhere and there was always dishes filled with water out for the pups to drink on the trails and parks. Ecuador was also quite dog-friendly. All of the city parks allowed dogs and had fantastic dog parks. Almost every restaurant we visited allowed dogs, as did most taxi drivers.

Which are the most unfriendly places to travel to with a pet?

Chile was by far the most unfriendly place to travel with Sora. We had a difficult time finding dog-friendly accommodations, people told us we our option was tie her up outside all day long. After traveling through so many countries, we actually find the US to not be as pet-friendly as we had thought. While there are a lot of great spots outdoors to take the pups, it is impossible to get there without a car, as dogs are not allowed on the train. In cities, most public transportation doesn’t allow dogs either and in Oregon, dogs are not allowed inside restaurants. Surprisingly, Muslim countries like Turkey and Bosnia were not as difficult as we had thought they would be, given Muslim views on dogs.

Hiking at Lake Quilotoa in Ecuador
Hiking at Lake Quilotoa in Ecuador

Any anecdotes or mishap you want to share?

Sora had a small growth growing on her paw before we departed. Our vet in the US had told us it was just a corn and nothing to worry about. It kept growing and started to bleed, so we took her to a vet in Germany. It turns out that the growth was a cancerous tumor, so we had booked a surgery in Berlin to have it removed. It came back again while we were in Chile less than a year later, and we had it removed again. We have to monitor the growth, as it had a tendency to return, but so far, she’s cancer free.

And, we’re so glad we had this happen outside of the US. Veterinary care there is unaffordable, and in Germany and Chile, we paid less than $350 for both surgeries combined. In the US, this would have cost us thousands.

What advice would you give to others wanting to travel with their pet?

Finding dog-friendly activities can be tricky sometimes, especially in touristy places, so we ignore all the tourism posts and tours and ask the locals. They know where all the best hikes and uncrowded places are, most of which tend to allow dogs.

Biking the World with Dog in Tow - Pet Travel Ideas from Long Haul Trekkers

Jen, Dave, and Sora, thank you so much for being here today! I know if we ever met in real life, Ares would be just as thrilled to hang out with Sora as I’ve been to read about your adventures!

To keep up with the Long Haul Trekkers journey as they bike their way around the world, make sure to check out their blog, and follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

12 thoughts on “Biking the World with Dog in Tow – Pet Travel Ideas from Long Haul Trekkers

  1. What an interesting thing about the Muslim countries. I always thought they would be more difficult, but granted, Turkey is famous for hospitality. Bosnia seems to be catching up nicely and fast too.

  2. I love seeing people traveling with their pets! I’ve been away from home for about six months and probably miss my dog the most! Lol but I am curious…I have heard that you have to quarantine dogs before bringing them to a new country? Do you know if this is true or just a myth?

    1. There seem to be a lot of factors that play in to this. I had a friend bring a cat to Germany from Kyrgyzstan and that cat had to sit in quarantine for quite a long time. Another friend brought their dog from the USA to Germany and was just on the plane with them and walked through customs like any other traveler. I would be curious to know more about what determines this though.

  3. Love the new feature. This would be really helpful for pet owners who travels a lot with their pets. A surprising fact about the US, would’ve thought they’re more pet-friendly as there are many pets all over the place. But I do know that pets aren’t allowed for most public transportation, so that’s a bummer for pet-owners.

  4. Oh my goodness your Sora looks so cute,more energetic and happy being with you! If only she could talk, she might have tons of stories to share 🙂

  5. It’s amazing to see the commitment and love for our friends – animals. I really admire them as it must be really difficult to arrange accommodation and make sure the dog is always in good health. Regarding the previous comment – countries like Bosnia, Turkey or Kazakhstan are Muslim but the culture is way more western (especially in Bosnia) than in the Middle East. Islam is not a state religion there so there is little to practically no difference to other European countries. There are pubs, clubs everywhere, alcohol is widely sold and you can wear what you want. Surprisingly, I saw less women covering their heads with scarfs in Sarajevo than in London.

  6. Wow, this is totally something for me. My pooch is a Border Collie called Beast and we are doing regularly hikes with him in the South of France. I don’t want to take him on a plane but still, he is the most enthousiastic travel budy I ever had. Really cool post, just love it! 🙂

  7. They look so happy and so free! I’d love to travel with my pet, but my pet is a cat and he loves his couch, pillows and a balcony.
    I can also imagine that it must be difficult to find pets friendly activities and accommodations. Does the dog have an Instagram account?

  8. I don’t have pets so never experienced this issue. One of my friends hesitates to travel to all places because of a cute doggie she has. Need to show her this post. 🙂 I am sure it will inspire her to travel with her pet.

  9. This is an amazing arrangement! I had an Australian Shepherd for years but eventually gave her up to a big farm where she could roam free. City living was just making us both miserable. Now my dream is to have an Australian Shepherd Toy.. but I have refused having a pet for years because I travel too much. This just makes the temptation that much harder to turn away from!

    And amazing news about the surgery in Germany. I recently moved to Germany and shortly after had to have a knee surgery. Since I have insurance here, it cost me nothing! (other than the $6000 or so each year I pay for health insurance…)

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