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Tourism. Going on vacation with your pet: what formalities?

Which airlines accept animals? Do you have to pay for a seat on the train for your dog or cat? Are all hotels pet-friendly? According to a survey carried out last summer by OnePoll for the travel agency eDreams, a quarter of people with a pet would like to travel with their companion. But it requires to be perfectly organized. We take stock.

Flying with your pet

Transport arrangements for animals are listed on the eDreams website. For example, Ryanair and EasyJet do not accept them, with the exception of guide dogs.

On the other hand, it is possible to board your companion with Air France. Dogs and cats weighing less than 8 kilos (including the weight of the container) can travel in the cabin, provided the bag measures less than 46 by 28 by 24 centimeters. Between 8 and 75 kilos, dogs and cats travel in the hold. Those weighing more than 75 kilos travel as freight. As an indication, the transport price should be between 40 and 125 euros, depending on the destination.

In addition, it is good to know that the holds in which the animals travel are heated, unlike the baggage holds where it can be around five degrees. No worries therefore for the comfort of the animals.

Take the train

The SNCF site details how to take your companion with you. In France, several travel conditions are possible depending on the weight of the animal.

If it weighs less than six kilos, it must be transported in a container on the owner’s knees or feet. The maximum dimensions of the box or bag are 45 by 30 by 25 centimeters. Do not forget to book the ticket for the animal at the same time as your own ticket.

Beyond six kilos, the animal must be muzzled and settle at the feet of its master. You have to buy a ticket from him, which costs half of a full price. On the other hand, guide dogs do not need a ticket and are not obliged to have a muzzle if they do not wear one the rest of the time.

Finally, note that Ouigo trains offer an animal option when booking, regardless of weight.

To travel to other countries, the travel conditions for animals with neighboring railway companies are also listed on the SNCF website. For example, it is not possible to take an animal on board the Eurostar, unless it is a guide dog. At Thalys, travel is free for animals that fit in a container less than 55 centimeters high, others must book a ticket with a special rate. To travel to Spain or Italy, companies impose similar rules.

Go abroad

To leave the country with your animal, some administrative procedures are necessary. As detailed on the service-public.fr site, a European passport is necessary to travel in the European Union, which is issued by veterinarians. The animal must also be vaccinated against rabies.

Outside the European Union, the conditions depend on each destination. Information can be found on the country’s website or at the embassy or consulate. In addition to the rabies vaccine, a rabies test may be requested, but only for a minority of countries. The list of those who do not claim it is on the service-public.fr website. Be aware, however, that the maximum number of animals with which it is authorized to travel is five, unless this is in the context of participation in a competition or a sporting event.

More details, for example for traveling with a bird or other animals, can be found on the customs.gouv.fr website. The birds must have received a booster vaccine against the avian influenza virus, or have tested negative for this virus.

Choose your place of residence

When booking a hotel, check that the establishment accepts pets. Many holiday booking sites allow you to check this option and sort it automatically.

As far as addresses in France are concerned, the Animals Allowed website lists by department the hotels where it is possible to stay with an animal. Some charge extra at the time of booking.

Once there, remember to notify the reception if you leave the animal alone for a while in the room. On the other hand, if your animal is not clean or if it is noisy, choose another accommodation solution instead.

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