Frequently Asked Questions (last update: 1April2015)

What will we do after this trip?
We honestly do not know. Most likely the mystery reveals itself during this new lifestyle.

What happens when your bike gets broken?
We will fix it.

What happens when you get sick?
We will cure ourselves and/or go to a doctor – same as you do when you are at home.

A question to Wolfi: Is your wife coming with?
(Slightly confused about this question) ... yes, of course she comes with!

A question to Ilta: Are you going in a bigger group?
Our plan is to travel with the family i.e. it will be the dogs, me and Wolfi. 

What is the thing you worry about the most?
Wolfi: "I am worried that girls stick their nose somewhere where some dangerous spider, snake or so is living and this creature might bite our girls."
Ilta: "How will I stay sane when being 24/7 with Wolfi!?" :)

How will you live?
We travel low budget e.g. sleep in our tent, prepare own food

What will you do with the dogs?
Our dogs come - of course - with us and they will travel in the sidecar.

How has it been to deal with the heat with the dogs?
Our fully-covered sidecar has three windows. Each window can be individually changed from solid (plastic window) to a mesh (UV-resistant) window which allows plenty of airflow. The top cover provides shade. It could be removed as well but then all would be open (not providing any shade) and dogs might jump out. We rode in 100+F/40C as well as below freezing, in dry and full raining weather - this solution appears to provide the best protection for our dogs.

How about getting dog food in different countries?Our dogs are vegan which makes it a little difficult but not too much. We carry some kibble food with as well as a few cans of "wet" food. Skippy has been also cooking for our dogs. In Ghana we run out of kibble food and bought some bunny food. They ate it all with delight, except the green stuff ;)

What about quality water for the dogs in different countries?
What is good for us is good for dogs. If we get filtered water, dogs get filtered water.

Have you crossed borders from rabies countries to non-rabies countries?
No, we have not been from high rabies to rabies free countries.

We have been from France (rabies controlled) to the UK (rabies free with some comments).
UK required the extra paperwork and they even checked the dog's ID with a chip reader before check-in at the ferry. 

Also we have been from Ghana (high rabies) to the USA (rabies controlled).
We did all the paperwork and checks in Ghana. When we entered the USA we presented the papers for all three dogs and after a one-minute check of the papers we could enter. Piece of cake!

On the other hand, there were some extra regulations (paperwork, health certificate) when coming from Ukraine (high rabies) to EU-country (rabies controlled). Since we would have been only two weeks in Ukraine (and it was only Wolfi who wanted to go there) we thought that "the visit would not be worth this trouble" and skipped Ukraine as a whole.

How have border crossings been with the dogs?
As of today (March 2015) we have been through 31 countries across 3 continents and so, yes we have been crossing borders. You need to have the dog papers (like ID, rabies, DPPi) in order in the same way you take care of your own visa and your Carnet for the bike.

Furthermore sometimes you need health certificates, or special vaccinations and then you just get them done.

While entering Ghana we needed to wait for the vet to "inspect" our dogs (from about 1m distance!). They also checked our yellow-fever cards so that was a thorough check for all of us.

When crossing borders via land typically nobody cared about the dogs. The bikes were much more headache then the dogs.

Have you had to stay in any rabies controlled countries for up to 6 months before crossing into a non-rabies country ?
That situation did not occur yet as far as I know.

We found some good info about rabies from those sources:
German Embassy Service

Our website as well as other people's ride reports might not that helpful as the rules and regulations do change over time.

Have you had to quarantine your dogs at all?
Our "rule" is that we try to avoid countries with quarantine. So far it worked out. South Africa would have required 10 days without visiting rights if we would have flown there from Ghana. However we decided to skip South Africa as a whole as shipping a sidecar is bloody expensive.

Do you have trouble finding places to stay if not camping, with the dogs ?
There were occasions where Wolfi lost some nerves. In general it was easy to find accommodation which allowed dogs. Typically those accommodations are some 20+% more expensive compared to the cheapest e.g. hostel. Furthermore there was often a surcharge for a dog, the worst case we had seen was in the US with 60USD/night for the room and 40USD per pet per night i.e., with three dogs 120USD!

Often we were asked what kind of dogs we have. Poodles are easy because they do not shed hair and some hotel owners know that. If you book online and it is not clearly stated that dogs are for free it is always good to check how much they charge before booking.

In UK we experienced camping restrictions of max 2 dogs per tent. One camping place did not allow us in, many others made an exception to the rule because Ulpu is so small. Outside the UK it was easier with camping.

Do you feel you have missed certain places and/or experiences because you have the dogs?
That's a tricky question because it also depends on you and what you want to do. We would both say that we missed certain things because of high entrance fees not because of the dogs.

National Parks in the USA typically do not allow that one walks with dogs on the trails. But do you really have hiking stuff with? In Colorado we went together with our host to public land on a 5km hike. In Europe, it is a delight for dog and owner to walk through the forests. Some beaches in Europe were off limits for dogs. Sometimes we left girls alone in the hotel (this is not always allowed) and sometimes in the sidecar.

When we visited the monkey sanctuary in Ghana, Skippy stayed with our girls to guard and protect them (the so-called human guards just threw stones on some goats moments ago).

Maybe once in a while there were some limitations because of dogs and then on other situations the dogs make the journey more rich.

If you had to do it again, would you do it with or without the dogs?
In case we would do another RTW and own dogs, we would take the dogs with or not do the RTW trip. For short vacations we take our dogs with whenever possible and feasible. This means that when we travel within Europe our dogs come with.

When we went for our 5 weeks trip to Australia we had hard times to get info from the care takers on how our dogs were doing. That was not a nice feeling. On our 5weeks trip to New Zealand we left the girls in good care to avoid the flight stress and the quarantine. During that time our girls gained about 50% weight! Those were good lessons for us and now Skippy thinks that two weeks would be her maximum to give the girls into the care of others.

In short, no way to give our dogs away so that we could go on a RTW tour and therefore it was obvious from beginning on that dogs come with (would you abandon your kids for such a journey?).

I know it is a commitment and will be extra work, but I think it could also add to the adventure, having the dog with me...and add to the experiences.

Yes and it will add to your pleasures as well. You have a true companion with you! Most likely this journey will melt you together as you could not have imagined before.

Traveling with dogs is very different than just riding. We have typically several walks per day and - at least Wolfi - would not have those if he would be alone, at least not in this extend. This gives the opportunity to see "behind the scenes". We also observed that our dogs helped in breaking the ice when encountering people. Of course if you have a barking biting monster then maybe not in a positive sense but with our cute little (trio) duo we collected some attention.

We would mostly worry about stress for the dog. This constant routine of packing/unpacking might give the dog stress. Also pay attention that the sidecar is really comfortable and not noisy for longer journeys. Hertta was a real sidecar dog, she climbed in there all by herself and slept through the entire riding sections. The little ones are somewhat more stressed. Also the stop-and-go e.g. when looking for a hotel in the end of a day might be stressful for a dog.

Other issues:
Make sure the dog drinks enough water especially in hot countries.
Rules and regulations are changing all the time so always need to check latest info (as for dogs, as for visa, as for bike).


  1. Is it really possible to take dogs to each of these countries? It's even difficult to take them to Sweden

    1. Sweden is difficult in this respect and that is one reason why we do not start our journey through Sweden. We have checked our route in such a way that it is easy to travel with dogs e.g. originally Wolfi wanted to ride through Ukraine. However due to the strict regulations when coming back to Europe, we decided not to go to the Ukraine. And in case, somebody denies our dogs the entry, then we might not go there at all. We will see.

      ~ Wolfi

    2. If you would give some forecast where you will go in the next week(s), probably somebody could give you advice or tipps, where you can get "dog-friendly" B&Bs or low budget hotel rooms. It seems to be a little bit difficult for you as I understood...

  2. Hi it's Kris from Jesse Luggage. We are featuring world travelers on our website and would like to add you. I have a form to email you if you would send me your email address. Please send your email address to kris@jesseluggage.com

  3. I Love your blog and videos! WIth regard to traveling Central to South America with your pups, how would you estimate difficulty to be to maneuver and navigate the ministry, border crossings, etc related to transporting them and obtaining clearance if you were to have done the trip solo and not as a couple? I am searching the internet for first hand accounts of doing solo with a pet and not able to find much information on that. Thank you!

    1. Thanks! I would say that I (Wolfi) took care of almost all paper work since Skippy hates that stuff. I tried to put all relevant info in our posts tagged with border-crossing. So if you look for that tag you will get some sort of listing. In CA the vets were competent enough to tell me what to do next. It was mostly correct.
      We just slipped into Colombia (no idea what hassle you will face if you use a flight or make noise at the officials).
      I did whole SA except Colombia alone. For me leaving Colombia was no issue at all (not like the hassle Skippy faced).
      Then you will have peace until Chile which is a real hard nut. Chile/Argentina and back to Europe was again easy - plenty of paperwork though.
      If you have any specific questions beyond our posts please ask.

  4. Hi Wolfi, I followed (from Australia) your South American BMW sidecar trip with great interest, admiring your ability to keep a complex high-tech rig operational despite adverse circumstances. Well done, Sir! Now it seems you're off downunder quite soon? Having ridden extensively in Oz and Asia, I'd like to proffer several ideas for your consideration. First, it'd be far more cost-effective to 'fly-buy-ride' around Oz than air-freight a moto/bicycle to Oz from Europe and return. Push bikes are cheap here; but summers are really hot and the country vast, so you'd scarcely survive; you're not a skinny, super-fit bicycle type like Skippy! Better to go low moto-tech, fly in and buy a cheap second hand low km motorbike eg. Honda CB125E/Yamaha Scorpio (about AU$1800-2300, see Gumtree), gear it up a little, add a fairing and putter around the country at about 80 kph, then sell it and then perhaps travel overland back to Europe at your leisure. You could even ride a Honda Dio/Honda SH150i back to Europe overland- no one has yet it seems! Good luck.

    1. Howdy, thanks for following my adventures in South America. It is so great to meet people who have confidence in my abilities ;)
      As said before, Lyra and Ulpu are not up for motorbike riding, so bicycle it will be. I have traveled with Lyra in a box where the topcase normally is, but neither she nor me liked it much. When traveling with a pet on a motorcycle, a sidecar is a much better solution in my mind.