Traveling with a Dog

Traveling, both internationally and domestically, with a dog can prove troublesome at times.  There are a lot of hoops to jump through in order to ensure both you and the dog are happy with the outcome as I mentioned in my Moving Time post. You certainly need to allow yourself plenty of time to do it all.  I finally have Missy Fleur’s Pet Passport sorted out. All the vet visits have been completed and the documents, and photos of the dog and her carry bag, were sent to Vietnam Airlines to get their final approval.  It took a couple of days to get a reply from them and this is what I received;    

Vietnam Airlines headquarters has confirmed pet in cabin service already.
Please note that Vietnam Airlines apply PETC regulation as below.
1.     Passenger must be in possession of valid health papers for the pet. Please bring all document to the airport.
2.     Pet and container is not included in free baggage allowance, therefore passenger should pay PETC charge at the airport.
3.     The pet must not have an offensive smell or otherwise cause annoyance to other passengers.
4.     Final acceptance is always subject to Captain’s approval and removal to cargo compartment may be Order at any time.
 

So it looks all OK on the surface and we should be able to travel without any problems – but I’ll update that aspect of the trip once I arrive in Vietnam!  This service is NOT free, even after purchasing a Business Class ticket there is still an additional cost and you have to hunt very hard to find it on the web site.  I actually confirmed this with Vietnam Airlines just to be on the safe side.  Their charge is low compared to some airline that just have a flat fee. You pay US$15 per kilo with Vietnam Airline, so its the weight of the dog and the carrier.  My little girl is very small and her bag is very light so I am expecting somewhere between US$60-75.

We still need a quick visit to the Korean Quarantine Office before we fly, but I have been assured that I can see a vet at 7 am by just calling the phone number they provide when I get to the airport  (032 740 2660).  A quick call to their office was helpful, and my lovely Vet, Joanna, also confirmed this for me as she deals with US citizens taking their dogs home regularly.

Having finally got all the international travel things sorted out it was time to start looking at what I was going to do once I was in Vietnam.  As I mentioned before, hotels don’t seem to be an issue with many of them happily pet friendly.  But I want a vacation and to see something of Vietnam before I settle in one spot for a bit and to do that I have to undertake some domestic travel, three to four weeks of it I hope!

I have spent a good number of hours on the internet planning my vacation and doing the research and asking questions seems to be the answer.  I knew I could fly between destinations, but I always have to book a business class ticket in order to take the dog and that would limit the number of places I could go both cost wise and because some of the destinations are not served by aircraft.  So that left me with buses and trains. I had read on a number of sites (mostly blog based and I think most of the information was from a couple of years ago) that pets could not travel on trains and buses. I’m still not sure about the buses but after a brief email to Vietnam Railways it seems that I can take Missy Fleur with me on the train!

Oh yes, You can take it with you to get in train. If you can keep her not noisy and clean J
Many Thanks and Best Regard,
Vietnam Railway System
Cell+84 904 619 926
Website: Vietnam-railway.com

Thank goodness for puppy nappies!  Although based on many of the reviews I have read it is amusing that they make the comment about her being clean.  I’ve read very mixed reviews about the trains in Vietnam but having discovered that I can book a two berth cabin on the Orient Express to Sapa so I think I might just try it.  I can’t take a 2 berth to Hue from Hanoi so I will just have to fly that leg.

Hmmmm.. better get the final packing done or I wont be going anywhere!

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