We’re Off! Dog Travel Road Trip Packing List … NC or bust.

It’s summer… heats on, holidays have started and the car has a new battery. I’ve got a $200 gas gift card burning a hole in my pocket so that means one thing: Road Trip! … with my dog, Victor, of course.

road trip packing listWe’re packed and ready to go. The following is a dog travel packing list we utilize every trip that’s more than a weekend long – actually, most items we take overnight. Yes, Victor’s suitcase is almost as large as mine.

Where are we headed? Unlike a previous five-state road trip through the US (check it out here), we won’t be stopping at a new spot almost everyday. That was a bit much for Victor – he loves the car but like a kid eating his second bloomin’ onion at the country fair, his enthusiasm waned as his stomach resisted.

My dog is also getting older, so our future adventures will be modified. Time has a way of influencing choices.

Dog at Pawlooza 2017 dogtrotting.netThis time, we’ve got a destination: We’ll be chill-laxing and playing in the leash-free run at a dog-focused camp ground in North Carolina. (check out our previous success in Northern Ontario).

Along the way, we’ll visit a dogs-welcome botanical garden in West Virginia, a pooch-loving brewery in Pennsylvania and likely the Fido-friendly Biltmore Estates in North Carolina.

Stay tuned….

In the meantime, start planning your own tripl. Here’s your dog travel packing checklist. We’ll be trying out some specific products along the way.

Dog Travel Packing List

Vaccination Records

We won’t get into the US without these and I carry a copy in the glove compartment just in case. Rabies, specifically, must be valid.

Food and water

Obviously, though the variety might vary. I bring my dog’s regular food and hope he eats it; however, he’s often food shy while travelling. So, I pack tasty individual serving wet food to entice him on those days. Plus, single servings are more practical.

Bottled water in the car is a necessity – both to make sure you have access and you’ll save money buying it a tourist sites. Sample bags of dry kibble are a perfect overnight stop size – and each pack opens fresh.

Towels and wipes

I learned this lesson the hard way. My dog rolls, likely so will yours. Pack some doggie tushy wipes and an extra towel because will have to wipe damp or muddy paws, at least.

Collar and harness

Harnesses work well while walking – and you’ll encounter ‘must be on leash’ zones – and extra attachments work as in-car restraints. Plus, if a collar breaks, you’ll have a back up. (Check out our review of EzyDog here)


He might not be ID’ed in the bar, but if you are separated make sure the number of the phone you’re carrying is on his tag. Also, have a photo on your phone (and who doesn’t), just in case.

Car bed

I’ve always got a durable dog bed in the car that can be easily carried into a hotel if needed. Mostly, it’s used as a comfortable lie down spot in the car (our back seats fold down) and reminds me when packing up the auto, Vic needs a ‘no luggage here zone.’

Advanced accommodation reservations

I don’t travel ad hoc, and I don’t recommend you do. I research and plan road trips, booking specific dog-friendly hotels (or camp sites) in advance knowing I’ve got a safe place to stay and Victor won’t get turned away. Red Roof Inn (a site affiliate) in the US is my go to hotel of choice. Watch for our pics on twitter (@sherritelenko)


I forgot these two trips. Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest and cheapest things to buy along the road.

First Aid Kit

just ’cause.

If you noticed, I don’t pack many treats. First because some ‘meats’ are challenging to take over the border and second because pet-friendly shopping at Pet Smart or others is a must and allows the chance to find some locally-made products.  Toys too – although Victor is usually more interested in my takeout pizza back at the room. Got a gift card for that too.


  1. […] a gear bag of dog stuff I take on all overnight or longer trips, but this 12-day trip to North Carolina and back, I added a […]

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