I know most couples go on romantic getaways to celebrate their anniversaries together, no distractions, just you and your partner enjoying time alone.
Well, my husband and I let Mash third wheel our first year wedding anniversary to Paris. It’s a getaway I’ll never forget and incase you want tips I’ve shared some insight on our trip from London to Paris with you.
Preparing for your trip
First things first. Before making any plans to travel with your pet, it is important to speak to your vet and have their opinion first, especially, if your pet has any health issues or anxiety related issues. As joyful the thought is to have your pet join you on your vaycay, you want to make sure the trip doesn’t cause them any distress or further problems to their health. Especially if your planning to travel to a hotter country, think of what’s best for your pet.
That being said, if all is good and approved from the vet, then the next step is to make sure your pet is micro chipped. If yes, then you can get your dog a pet passport too. You’ll also need to check if they will need a Rabies vaccination where you’re going, (France does require rabies jabs). Your vet can do that at the same time they issue you with a pet passport and just to let you know, the rabies vaccination needs to be given 21 days before you travel out of the UK.
The government website https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad is a useful site to check what you need depending on the country you are going to, including information on worming also.
Breakdown of costs:
- Microchip – £15
- Pet Passport – £106.50
- Consult fee – £34.50
- Rabies Vaccine – £64.50
- (Prices may differ from vet to vet)
Form of transport
You can’t fly from UK to Europe with a dog, unless you have a guide dog. You also can’t take the Eurostar from London to Paris, again, unless you have a guide dog. The only possible route out of UK (without sending them on cargo) is to take the Ferry or the Eurotunnel.
We opted for the Eurotunnel, it’s a 35min journey from Folkstone to Calais, and the best part about it is that you and your dog are able to sit together in the comfort of your own car.
We drove from London to Folkstone, which took about 1.30-2hrs. once we got to the eurotunnel and checked in, we took Mash to the pet exercise area, where your dog can relieve themselves and let of some steam before the continuing the journey to Paris.
From Folkstone we drove onto the Eurotunnel/ shuttle were we a had a 35min journey to Calais.
Mash wasn’t so sure about the shuttle, so my advice in this case is to distract them with positive reinforcement as you enter. We gave Mash his food in a kong and he soon stopped barking at the workers.
Driving in France
There are some rules to driving in France, you will need
- Full, valid UK driving licence
- Proof of ID (passport)
- Motor insurance certificate
- V5 registration document
- Car must display GB sticker (some already have this on their number plate) but we didn’t so bought one from Amazon.
You are required by law to also carry a reflective jacket, warning triangle, headlamp beam deflectors, spare bulbs and breathalyser. We bought a European travel kit. Police apparently target foreign cars and you could be heavily fined so it’s worth making the purchase, even if you’ll never need to use it. Find out more info about driving in France here.
Remember to always keep right.Driving in France
Calais to Paris
It’s about a 3 hr drive from Calais to Paris, and you do need to pass some tolls on your way, so remember to bring your card as there isn’t a cash option, it costs approximately €10 to pass the toll.
We had a couple of pitstops on our way to break up the journey a bit and let Mash go poo, so make sure you give yourself enough time for travel.
Parking in Paris can be quite expensive if not booking in advance. Once we arrived in Paris, we parked out car in a pre paid near by underground parking lot. It cost about €32 for the few days we were there. And we booked via Parclick.
Air bnb vs. Parisian hotel
We stayed in a pet friendly apartment from Air bnb during our stay in Paris and it was disgusting. Sometimes reviews lie and our romantic getway definitely died after seeing the bed we had to sleep in (we slept in our hoodies, long tacksuits and socks, we didn’t want any skin touching that bed).
There are many pet friendly hotels in Paris, there might be slight fee for your pet but I’d highly recommend a hotel for Paris.
Things to do in Paris with a dog
There is a lot to see in Paris and more importantly a lot to eat. The whole time we were away in Paris, it rained. It wasn’t the best weather at all but we made the most of it, and came back drenched each day.
Mash had the worst time, Paris has a funny sandy gritty floor around the main attractions like Eiffel Tower etc. When wet it would just stick to the bottom of his poor belly. He cried on one occasion so we carried him around a lot.
The rain meant we wanted to hide inside a lot, and at first I was apprehensive that restaurants won’t welcome dogs but I was SO WRONG. Every single place we entered were so welcoming to Mash in. Even if they’re not ‘dog friendly’ you don’t loose anything asking if they will allow your ‘petite chien’. Is it because he’s small? Is it because he’s cute? Or in a bag? I don’t know but we were so happy the French loved Mash and allowed him EVERYWHERE.
Dog Friendly restaurants in Paris
EVERYWHERE – even if they’re not just ask, most are so welcoming we particularly liked
- A La Croix Pâtisserie
Dog friendly transportation in Paris
- Public transportation in Paris is pet-friendly
- Metro, RER train and SNCF trains are all dog friendly (small dogs can ride for free, larger dogs must buy a child ticket which costs €7)
- Buses are also dog friendly but must be on a leash and muzzled
- Batobus boats is also a great way to go sight seeing around Paris
Returning to the UK with your pet
It’s important to give your pet tapeworm tablet 24-120hrs before entering back to the UK. This would need to be given by a registered vet who will sign, date and record the time the tapeworm was given into your passport. Not doing this can result in your dog being refused entry back into the UK and could risk them being sent to quarantine.
If your pet passport is up to date with rabies and tapeworm signed by the vet, then you shouldn’t have any issues returning back to UK.
When driving back to the Eurotunnel in Calais, keep right and follow signs to pet reception for your dogs check in. Here they will scan your dogs microchip and check your pet passport. You will then be handed a card that will need to be displayed on your cars dashboard.
And that is it. Once you’ve checked your pet in, all that’s left to do is check in yourself via passport station and then board the shuttle to Folkstone and home. It’s so hassle free and easy.
Check out our Paris highlights on Instagram
B and Mash x