Given current COVID flight restrictions and many more people choosing to go on road trips we thought we would share our experience of road tripping with our black lab Audrey.
It was Christmas 2018 and we decided to take an unplanned holiday break. Being Christmas the chance of us finding affordable accomodation last minute was slim. We made the spur of the moment decision to take our van, our bump, a mattress, the dog, and a webber BBQ and see where the wind would take us. In hindsight, it was a bit crazy. Memorable, but crazy.
Over the course of a week and a half we travelled just over 1800 kms going from Brisbane - Toowoomba - Armidale - Coffs Harbour then back up to Brisbane stopping at pretty much every small town along the way. We camped in lavender fields, farms, parking lots, and side streets. By the end of the trip we were in the groove of road tripping with a dog, here are our top three tips for doing the same;
- Manage your expectations, this is not going to be your normal holiday. Forget about going out to dinner and going to movies. This is a chance to spend some quality time with your family and your dog. We had great fun getting creative thinking of places we could go with Audrey along the way. Breakfast became our new dinner as most cafes generally cater for dogs. Having a dog means you're going to be going on plenty of walks which is a great way to explore new towns, beaches, parks, forests and so on.
- Get a dog seat belt. Dog seat belts don't cost a lot of money usually around $25 but they are worth their weight in gold. Road tripping is just that, spending a lot of time on the road and the last thing you want is your dog unrestrained and distracting the driver.
- Plan your accomodation. Or don't. The choice is yours! We didn't plan a thing and because of that we spent a couple uncomfortable but memorable nights on the side of the road. So when it comes to accomodation, caravan parks inland are relatively inexpensive mostly dog friendly but call ahead just to make sure. When you get closer to the coast the caravan parks get quite competitive and expensive but check out You Camp instead. You Camp is a platform where land owners offer up their plot of land to travellers. You Camp was a game changer for us and we would highly recommend it and always felt very welcome with our dog.